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British Life and Culture

by Mandy Barrow

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British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Viking Britain

The danish flag Viking Age in Britain began about 1,200 years ago in the 8th Century AD and lasted for 300 years.

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Viking Britain

First recorded Viking attack happens in Dorset

793 Vikings attack the monastery of Lindisfarne, Northumbria

Vikings attack the island monastery of Iona, Scotland
Iona was attacked in 795 AD, in 802 AD and again in 806 AD


Wessex becomes the Supreme Kingdom
Egbert, King of the West Saxons, conquers Mercia and forces the Northumbrians to submit as well. From then on, Wessex retained its dominance in England. Egbert's grandson, Alfred, initiated the creation of the single kingdom of England.


Kingdom of Scotland formed
Some sources suggest that around 843 AD the kingdom of the Scots and the Picts was amalgamated, and that from this date historians can speak of a 'kingdom of Scotland'.


Athelstan, son of the king of Wessex, defeats a Viking fleet in battle
Egbert, king of Wessex, had made his second son Athelstan king of Kent. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Athelstan fought a sea battle against the Vikings off Sandwich, capturing nine ships and putting the rest to flight.

866 - 77 Invasion of the Great danish flag Danish (Viking) Army.
867 The Vikings kill rival kings of Northumbria and capture York
The city became Yorvik, the Viking capital in England.

Edmund, King of the East Angles, is killed by the Vikings
He was beheaded and his head thrown away to prevent proper burial. Much later, his head was finally reunited with the body, and both were buried in the royal residence, which later became known as Bury St Edmunds, a town in East Anglia.


Welsh king Rhodri Mawr is defeated by the Vikings and flees to Ireland


Wessex is overrun by Vikings and King Alfred goes into hiding in the marshes of Athelney (Somerset). After Easter, he called up his troops and defeated the Viking king Guthrum, who he persuaded to be baptised. He later brought Guthrum to terms and created a settlement that divided England.

886 England is Divided
Alfred, King of Wessex, agrees a treaty with Vikings to divide England
The Saxons retain the west, while the east (between the Thames and Tees rivers) was to be Viking territory - later known as the 'Danelaw' - where English and (Danish) Vikings were equal in law.
889 The Anglo Saxon Chronicle starts
926 Eastern England (Danelaw) is conquered by the Saxons
927 Athelstan, king of Wessex, takes York (Yorvik) from the Vikings, and forces the submission of Constantine of the Scots and of the northern kings.

Athelstan, first king of all England, dies


Eric Bloodaxe, the last Viking king in England, is forced out of Yorvik (York)
Eric Bloodaxe was invited to take over the kingdom of Yorvik (York) around 946 AD. He was welcomed by Athelstan, king of Wessex, who wanted Eric to protect his kingdom from Scots and Irish invaders.

960 Dunstan becomes archbishop of Canterbury

Edgar is crowned king of England at Bath, 14 years after taking power
Edgar ruled England from 959 to 975 AD, but it was not until 973 AD - two years before his death - that he organised a solemn coronation and anointing.

975 Edward, oldest son of Edgar crowned King of England.
He was not popular and was treacherously murdered at Corfe in Dorset three years later.
978 Edward's half-brother Æthelred becomes the new king.

Swein Forkbeard, son of the Danish king Harold Bluetooth,forces Æthelred the Unready into exile
England now under Danish control.

1016 King Canute of Denmark captures the English Crown

August: Edward the Confessor (Edward II) becomes king of England

1055 Westminster Abbey is completed

6 January: Edward the Confessor dies and is succeed by Harold Godwinson
Harold, earl of Wessex, was crowned king of England on 6 January 1066. He was immediately faced with powerful threats from William, duke of Normandy, and Harold Hardrada, king of Norway, both of whom laid claim to the English throne.

Click here for Information on the Vikings

Saxonslast pagenext pageMedieval

Prehistoric Britain BC Roman Britain 43 AD Anglo Saxon Britain 450
Viking Britain 793 Medieval Britain 1066 Tudor Britain 1485
Stuart Britain 1603 Georgian Britain 1714 Victorian Britain 1837
Modern Britain 1902 +

Roman Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two

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All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the Mandy Barrow.

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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