The Chieftain’s port – Innerpollen, Lofotr Viking Museum

Dissemination text about the Chieftain’s port – Innerpollen. Audio file is coming soon.

The harbour is central to the Chieftain’s at Borg. Here he receives goods and sends merchandise out into the world, receives visits and travels. The harbour is widely used from the 5th century to the end of the Viking Age (ca. 1050 AD). The use of the harbour is at the same time as Chieftain’s House at Borg.
Borgpollan is a common name for the two pollens Ytterpollen (outer lake) and Innerpollen (inner lake) on the north side of Vestvågøy municipality. The lake in front of you is called Innerpollen and consists of saline. Innerpollen extends approx. 2 km south from Skjellstraumen, which enters the water Flaget in the northeast between the peninsulas Flaget and Skjelløya. At Innerpollen, remains have been found around the shoreline after approx. 20 boathouses. Six of these boathouses have been archaeologically excavated and show use between the periods 500 and 1050 AD.
The sea level has dropped at Innerpollen – which affected the use of the Viking ship harbour. During the approx. 600 years, ships and boats could navigate between the narrow and shallow connections between the outer and inner Borgpollan. When the sea level dropped at the end of the Viking Age, it became more difficult for boats and ships to sail/row into Innerpollen.
When Innerpollen had limited access to seawater, it led to the sea freezing in winter. Cod fishing is most productive in winter. When Innerpollen freezes at the end of the Viking Age, we also see that the use of the boathouses ceases. Large parts of Chieftain at Borg’s income came from fishing and sea capture.