After almost twenty years of conflict, the rulers of Norway and Denmark, Harald Hardrada and Sweyn Estrithson made peace. This allowed Harald to turn his attentions to England where he believed he had a right to the throne. In 1038 Magnus of Norway and Harthacnut of Denmark had signed a treaty that specified if either died without an heir his kingdom must pass to the other. When Harthacnut died childless in 1042 Magnus claimed both Denmark and England as his own. It was this claim that Harald was basing his own claim upon.
An attack by a Danish invasion fleet led by Sweyn Estrithson of Denmark was fought off by a garrison stationed at a castle at Sandwich. Sandwich was an important port on the south coast. The location has now been found and the site is being investigated. ¹
An army sent by Sweyn of Denmark landed in the north and captured York. Local rebels joined the Danes and attacked the two castles within the city. A fire lit by the Normans in an attempt to prevent the Danes attacking the castles got out of control and a large part of the city was destroyed including the cathedral. The confusion aided the Danes in capturing the castles and killing most of the Normans in the city.
Upon the death of Sweyn the King of Denmark a war of succession followed between his eldest sons. Harold became king and reigned until 1081.
3D Virtual Reconstructions
Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past. Built using the popular game development tool Unity 3D, these reconstructions will run in the most of the popular web browsers on your desktop or laptop computer.
More medieval people
Uncover the lives of the hundreds of kings, queens, lords, ladies, barons, earls, archbishops and rebels who made the medieval people an exciting period of history to live through.