Since Ivarr the Boneless and his brothers landed in East Anglia in 865 the Anglo-saxon kingdoms of Britain knew no peace. By 875 only ten years later, East Anglia, Northumbria, Mercia and even Wessex all had new rulers. All but one of these kings had been set up at the instigation of the Danish invaders.… Continue reading 871: The battle for Wessex, or how Alfred the Great came to the throne.
After subduing York, and the failed attempt to take Nottingham from the Mercian King Burghred and his West Saxon brothers-in-law, the Danes turned their attention to East Anglia. The Danish army, headed by Ivarr the boneless and his brother Ubba crossed over Mercia and wintered at Thetford in East Anglia, raiding and pillaging the surrounding… Continue reading How Ivarr made a saint of King Edmund the Martyr
Most people know that in the early medieval period the Vikings came and attacked the various kingdoms of England and that many of them even settled down here afterwards to farm. You may also have previously known that one of the cities they conquered was York which later became one of their bases and a… Continue reading The second attack on York: The Northumbrians strike back
The next morning at sunrise, Aethelwin and Ailith dutifully made themselves ready for the procession. It was Palm Sunday. In days gone by, they would have set aside their beautiful dresses and their expensive jewellery in favour of simple, unadorned tunics, in order to show their piety and respect for the occasion. Now, neither had… Continue reading The second Attack of York, 867AD: Excerpt from The Northumbrian Saga
Aethelwin should have been glad he had gone, this was their chance. They were unguarded, free to roam as they pleased, free to escape. But all she could feel was the coldness of his absence in the room. “Will they be back before the attack?” “Of course. He’s barely left our side these past four… Continue reading St Cuthbert’s Day: Excerpt from The Northumbrian Saga
So what did the Anglo-saxons and Vikings fight with? That all depended on what you could afford. If you were a poor ceorl, you fought with whatever you could find: hoes, rakes, sling shots, knives, axes. If you were a little richer you could afford to buy yourself protective body armour, shields and swords. Swords… Continue reading You call that a knife?
Well I am back from my holiday and even though I had an amazing time travelling around the USA, I am glad to be home in my own house and my own bed. My friend and I spent New Years Eve in New York City, where it was a very toasty -3 degrees Celsius (27… Continue reading The Holiday is over! Back to work!
Most of the Anglo-saxon battles took place on land and contrary to many Hollywood movies (which nonetheless can be very entertaining) they fought mostly on foot, not on horseback. Frankish texts are fairly unanimous on this point saying that horses were primarily the mode of transportation to and from the field of war. However there… Continue reading How to fight in Anglo-saxon England