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Gunn Tartan History

Clan Gunn were reputed to be some of the fiercest fighters in the land, they are suspected to have descended from Olaf the Black, a harsh sea lord.

Clan Gunn was a name first heard in Caithness at the turn of the 12th century, when Gunni and his wife Ragnhild, took over the lands. They had inherited these areas from her brother and lost no time warring with the surrounding clans.

The name Gunn means war and this clan is said to have descended from Vikings that raided the shores in the centuries before. Some believe that they are direct decedents of Olaf the Black, who was one of the most feared kings of the sea. He ruled over parts of the Hebrides with an iron fist and is the topic of many a myth and legend. The Gunns were at the necks of other clans, particularly the Keiths, and they had a reputation as a fearsome bunch.

The first historically recognised chief of this clan was George Gunn, who was the coroner of Caithness in the 12th century. During the following centuries this clan fought many wars with their neighbours and strengthened alliances with others, until the start of the Jacobite Rising. At this point they supported the British and Alexander Gunn, who was chief in 1745, was a captain in the army.

At this point they supported the British and Alexander Gunn, who was chief in 1745, was a captain in the army.

In 2015, after 230 years without an official chief, Lord Lyon deemed that Iain Alexander Gunn was the rightful heir of the title after a petition put forth by the remaining members of the clan.

The verdant greens and darker blues that make up this tartan are punctuated by a splash of red that makes this tartan recognisable. The thin stripe of red brings colour to the muted piece and is still worn with pride by the surviving members of the clan today. They still hold yearly conventions in Orkney and this is a long standing family tradition that grows larger as the family does.

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