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Royal Berkshire History for Kids


The Scots & the Irish
Who were they?



  • The Irish are a type of Celtic people who have always lived in Ireland.
  • During the Dark Ages, Scotland was not called 'Scotland'. It was called 'Pictland' after the Picts who lived there.
  • The Scots originally lived in Ireland. Some of them came to live in Pictland during the Dark Ages.
  • The Scots came from Northern Ireland. They were a tribe of Irish people.
  • Other Irish tribes came to live in Wales during the Dark Ages.
  • They spoke a language called Gaelic. They used a type of writing called Ogham for name tags and gravestones.
  • Pictland was eventually taken over by the Scots and was renamed 'Scotland' after them. It means 'Land of the Scots'.
  • The Scots of today are their descendants, but they mostly speak English. Only people in the Outer Hebrides speak Scots Gaelic today. The Irish also speak Gaelic.
  • Some historians have come up with a new idea about the Scots. They think they always lived in Pictland. They say that long before the Romans came to Britain, the Picts, Scots and Britons were all one people speaking Gaelic. Because the Scots were so friendly with the Irish, their language did not change into Brythonic or Pictish.


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