Dr Oisín Plumb MA (Hons), MSc, FHEA, FSA Scot


Institute for Northern Studies
Scott's House
Grainshore Road
KW15 1FL


Dr Oisín Plumb obtained his PhD on ‘Early Medieval Ecclesiastical migration from Northern Britain to Ireland’ from the University of Edinburgh in 2016. During this time, he also taught in both Celtic and Scottish Studies; and History Classics and Archaeology at Edinburgh. Prior to his doctoral research, he completed a degree in Medieval Celtic Studies, followed by a masters degree in medieval history, both in Edinburgh. His masters dissertation examined the engagement of the Iona community with astronomy, geography and unusual natural phenomena. He is originally from Edinburgh and moved to Orkney in 2017.

Outside of his research work, he plays tin whistle and euphonium. His love of Orkney began when he first attended the Orkney Folk Festival as an undergraduate in 2006, and he has attended every Orkney Folk Festival since then.

Research interests

Oisín Plumb’s research focuses on Early medieval Northern Britain and Ireland. Particular issues of interest include the Picts, Dalriada, Ireland, the church, the early medieval north Atlantic, travel and exploration, the study of the night sky in the early middle ages.

Research and publications

  • ‘Over the storm-swelled sea’: early medieval ecclesiastical migration from Northern Britain to Ireland (PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2016) online
  • ‘A Case of mistaken identity? Monenna and Ninian in Galloway and the Central Belt’, Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society 91 (2017), pp. 9-20
  • Columba, Nessie, and the Deadly Loathsome Little Creatures’, Contribution to the Mimir’s Well column, The Orcadian 10/05/2018
  • ‘A Possible Hiberno-Pictish Dispute’, Notes and Queries, Volume 65, Issue 4, (1 December 2018), pp. 476–478 online
  • What is North? (Brepols, North Atlantic World series, forthcoming) (co-editor)
  • ‘“Beyond the range of human exploration”: Cormac and the ‘North’ in the seventh century’ (forthcoming article)
  • ‘Over the storm-swelled sea’: Picts and Britons in the early medieval Irish church (Monograph: Brepols, North Atlantic World series, forthcoming)

External responsibilities and memberships

  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • Member of the Scottish Medievalists
  • Member of the Royal Historical Society

Oisin Plumb