SLIDESHOW: Viking force invades Rothesay Castle

A horde of rampaging Vikings overpowered the brave Scots army to seize control of Rothesay Castle on Saturday - only this time, 750 years on from the original Scandinavian siege of the historic building, there was no lasting damage, and there were hundreds of people watching the battle from the sidelines.

Crowds lined virtually the whole length of Rothesay’s promenade to watch the invading army come ashore and march through the town, intent on taking the castle by any means necessary against a defensive force of pupils from the island’s three primary schools.

The invading Viking forces march along Rothesay's promenade en route to their attack on Rothesay Castle on Saturday.

The invading Viking forces march along Rothesay's promenade en route to their attack on Rothesay Castle on Saturday.

The occasion was ‘At Land And Sea’, a day of Viking-themed activities organised by the castle’s custodians, Historic Scotland, and the Friends of Rothesay Castle to mark the anniversary of the original siege of the building in 1263.

After the two sides laid down their arms the huge crowd - probably the biggest ever assembled in the castle - watched demonstrations of Viking fighting techniques, cooking, weapon-making and games, enjoyed a taste of archery and even got the chance to throw wet sponges at some weel-kent local faces who were brave enough to put their heads in stocks.

Here’s a selection of our photographs from the first part of the day - we’ll have more coverage, including a video of the highlights, very soon.