Vikings Invade England

In 793 - about six years after commencing raids - Vikings (probably Norwegians) invaded England.  They came first, historians believe, to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne - in Northumbria - where they raided the Lindisfarne Priory. 

Terrified monks escaped, taking with them two of the monastery's most valuable treasures:  the Cross of St. Cuthbert and the foot-high, hand-painted Lindisfarne Gospels.  After the fleeing monks were shipwrecked, the Lindisfarne Gospels washed ashore (and are now in the British Library).

Who were these Vikings?  Why did they invade England (and Scotland, Wales and Ireland)?  Were they seeking to plunder only - or - did some of the invaders stay behind after their compatriots returned home?  What archeological evidence do we have about these raiding invaders?

People today usually think about Vikings as fierce men who stole and killed for their own gainful purposes.  Written records are usually the basis for those beliefs, although scholars are certain scores of records were wiped out by Viking raiders who continued to damage or destroy monasteries.

If most of the records were destroyed, how can we know what really happened in 793, when the Scandinavian invasion of Britain began?  What does archeological evidence tell us about the Vikings?

On the island of Anglesey, in Wales - home, between 2011-2013, to the Duke (Prince William) and Duchess (Catherine Middleton) of Cambridge - fragments of armbands were found.  That led to further archeological investigation - and some very startling finds.

Media Credits

Clip from the 2001 BBC series - "Blood of Vikings" ("First Blood" episode), presented by Julian Richards - online courtesy BBC Worldwide Channel at YouTube.  Copyright, BBC, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the series.

See, also:

Vikings at Anglesey

Viking Ships

Vikings and Their Settlements

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"Vikings Invade England" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jun 05, 2020.
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