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Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past.
850 .. 874
850 .. 874
Please note that the TimeRef website is currently being redesigned.
Danish invasion defeated
The Danes landed at Wembury near Plymouth and were defeated by forces from Devon. A sea battle off the coast of Kent led by Athelstan (eldest son of Ethelwulf) defeated a Danish fleet of vessels and Ethelwulf defeated an army of Danes at the battle of Ockley who had arrived in the Thames and were attacking the south of the country.
Unhappy with his father's marriage to Judith and absence from the country, Ethelbald, Ethelwulf's second son claimeds the kingdom of Wessex for himself. When Ethelwulf later died, Ethelbald married Judith, his stepmother.
A Viking fleet spent several years raiding the cities around the Mediterranean, including Valence on the River Rhone and Pisa on the Italian coast. They sailed through the straits of Gibraltar from their base in Brittany.
Ethelbert becomes King of Wessex
Upon the death of his elder brother, Ethelbert became the King of Wessex.
Ethelread held a Witenagemot (Witan) at the palace of Woodstock.
The 'Great Army' arrive in East Anglia
A large number of Vikings landed in East Anglia and gathered horses and supplies from the surrounding areas in preparation for their assault on Northumbria. Their leaders were Ivar the Boneless, son of Ragnar Lodbrok, and possibly Anlaf (Olaf) Cuaran, the King of Dublin.
Vikings driven out of Ireland
Vikings raiders were driven from the northern coasts of Ireland by Aed Finliath.
Northumbria is invaded by the Danes
The 'Great Army' moved north from their original landing site in East Anglia and into Northumbria where it split into two. One section took boats up the coast and sailed into the Humber while the other section went overland.
Armies from Northumbria attacked the Danes at York but were defeated. The Danes moved south attacking Nottingham and taking the city. The king of Mercia asked Ethelred and Alfred for assistance and an army from Wessex went to help.
Danes impose a king on Northumbria
The Danes place a puppet King on the throne in Northumbria called Egbert.
The Danes invade Northumbria and York
The Danes led by the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok, Ivar the boneless and Halfdan, attacked Northumbria and York. They wanted revenge for the death of their father who had been killed by Aella, the King of Northumbria. (Aella could have been an Irish Prince.) The Danes destroyed many churches and monasteries including Whitby Abbey. The monasteries remained ruined for two hundred years.
Alfred marries the daughter of a Mercian nobleman.
A peaceful settlement is reached
Ethelred and Alfred married Mercian noble women whilst assisting the King of Mercia with the Danes on his land. A peaceful settlement was reached with the Danes and a Danegeld was paid for them to leave.
Moving south again from York, The Danes entered East Anglia, attacking and destroying the many religious buildings in the area including the monastery at was what to become Peterborough. The King of East Anglia, Edmund raised an army to attack the Danes but was captured and killed.
During the period between 871 and 875 while the Danes were occupied in the north, Alfred had time to rebuild his defences.
Iceland settled by Norwegians
Around this time travellers from Norway were either being shipwrecked on or deliberately landing on Iceland. Possibly setting up a colony.
Battle of Ashdown
Aethelred and Alfred defeated the Danes at Ashdown.
Alfred 'The Great' becomes king of Wessex
After fighting the Danes all winter Aethelred died. He was only in his twenties. He was buried at Wimborne and was succeeded by his younger brother Alfred 'the Great'. Aethelred had two sons but they were too young to rule. The younger son Aethelwold would later rebel against against Alfred's son Edward the Elder for the English throne.
More Danes arrive in Britain
Another army of Danes landed in London and were joined by those at Reading. The army defeated Alfred at Wilton and so the king decided to pay the Danes some money to keep the peace.
Ivar 'the Boneless', the king of Dublin died. He was succeeded by his brother Halfdan.
Revolt in Northumbria
In 867 the Danes had installed a puppet ruler in Northumbria called Egbert. In 872 the Northumbrians rebelled and expelled Egbert. The Viking army moved north from Wessex and put down the revolt. They installed a new ruler called Ricsige.