In the year 787, the first of three Viking ships came from Denmark. Upon their arrival, these newcomers from the seas were greeted, by the hand of friendship, only to be cut down where they stood.
Who were these Vikings that came from the seas of Europe? They came from Sweden, Denmark and Norway; some came to settle, for they were farmers and fishermen seeking new lands. Whilst others came to plunder, killing and taking captives to sell as slaves, these were fierce barbaric fighters.
For these Vikings, Britain offered much in the way of booty. Treasure’s from the Saxon Kings, Monasteries, silver and gold trinkets.
According to the writings within the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, it is said, that in the year 793, these Vikings landed on the island of Lindisfarne, destroying the Abbey, spilling the blood of the Monks – showing no mercy. Their actions of murder and plunder upon the Holy island sent shock waves through Britain and across Europe.
In the year 795, they raided the settlements of Ireland, and this became the heart of Viking trade, especially in slavery.
It is written many Norwegians sailed to the northern lands driving off the Picts and Scots, settling in parts of Scotland, the Orkney’s and Shetland islands in the 800’s. They settled on this newly acquired land; a new life of farming and fishing.
Viking warriors plundered Britain, and returned to their homelands with their booty for the winter months.
In the year 851, an enormous fleet of some 350 Viking ships, were observed at the mouth of the River Thames. London had not the men and weapons to stop the plundering heading their way. That same year they plundered Canterbury for slaves and riches.
In 865 they went on to conqueror East Anglia, Northumbria and Mercia this had become more than a raid upon their land, and return to their homelands before winter set in, they were here to stay.
These Vikings lived a simple lifestyle; their houses were a single room, open plan styled.
They cooked their food in iron cauldrons, which hung over a fire, or from a spit peeling off sliced meat. They drank beer made from barley and mead, in cups made from horns. Their clothes were woollen, often coloured from plant dyes, boots and belts made from leather.
Their blacksmiths made the tools with which to dig the land, build their houses, swords, axes and spears for battle.