When did the Vikings invade Britain?
The first recorded Viking raids in Britain were in the year 789 AD when the Saxons of northern England were attacked by three longships from Denmark. The Viking raiders stole, killed and burned villages.
During the following years, the raids grew larger and more widespread. Some raids had fleets of up to 350 longships.
In 793 AD, the Vikings sailed across the North Sea to a small Christian monastery in north-east England called Lindisfarne.
The Norseman or ‘pirate raiders’ attacked and murdered the monks at the monastery burned its precious books and stole its religious treasures. Local people in the area were terrified and news spread of these fierce invaders from across the sea. Following this, there were many other violent aids all over the east coast of Britain.
In the year 865 AD, the Danish Vikings formed a Great Army and invaded England or Angle Land (Land of the Angles). There were many fierce battles over several years.
King Alfred, Saxon king of Wessex, fought the Vikings in a great battle, but he could not defeat them. Finally, the Vikings conquered and took over all of the northern and eastern parts of England. They seized much of the land for their own families and started their own farms. The area ruled by the Vikings was called The Danelaw.
During the same time that Danish Vikings attacked northern England, Norwegian Vikings sailed to north western Scotland, and conquered land for their farms both around the coast and islands. They also sailed and settled as far as in the Isle of Man and some parts of Wales.
Vikings joined together to invade countries such as Britain, Germany, France and Spain.
Eventually, some Vikings invaded and decided to stay in the area they had conquered. Over time, the settled Vikings began to trade, marry and became part of the population of that country.
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