By 875, the Vikings had carved the land up into three parts and a Viking overlord, Guthrum. However, when the Danes arrived the King’s insistence on leading the army in prayer might have caused a … Credit: T. Hughes. Ethelred joined the force, and divided the army into two halves, one of which he would command. By Professor Edward James Last updated 2011-03-29 Wihtware (Victuarri / Isle of Wight) From its regional capital at the Roman town of Venta Belgarum (probably Caer Gwinntguic to the Romano-Britons, Winchester in Hampshire - see feature link), the British territory of the Belgae reasserted some form of independence in the early fifth century (if not before). The Vikings attack on the holy island of Lindisfarne off the northern coast of Northumbria is the earliest recorded and the best known of the Viking raids in the west. After the sacking of Lindisfarne, Viking raids around the coasts were somewhat sporadic until the 830s, when the attacks became more sustained. Winchester Castle was built shortly after the Norman Conquest and it played important roles during the Anarchy and seventeenth century Civil War. The Viking raids and subsequent settlements define the period known as the Viking Age in Britain which had profound consequences on the development of the culture and language. The Saxons adopted it as the capital of the Kingdom of Wessex and re-used the earlier defences to create a vast fortified burh. The Great Heathen Army (Old English: mycel hæþen here), also known as Great Danish Army or the Viking Great Army, was a coalition of Scandinavian warriors, mainly Danish but including warriors from Norway and Sweden, who invaded England in 865 AD.Since the late 8th century, the Vikings had engaged in raids on centres of wealth such as monasteries. There was situated the monastery of St. Cuthbert, one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage in Britain, and it was there that the a fleet of more than 90 Viking ships landed in Kent, sailed to Ipswich and, after sacking that town, came into the estuary of the Blackwater river in Essex. Facing them on the other shore stood the ranks of the English army led by the Ealdorman of Essex, Byrhtnoth. The Viking forces were led by a Norse chieftain named "Reginherus", or Ragnar, who tentatively has been identified with the legendary saga character Ragnar Lodbrok (Old Norse: "Ragnarr Loþbrók", contemporary Icelandic: "Ragnar Loðbrók"). Overview: The Vikings, 800 to 1066. Viking Attacks The following is a chronological list of major Viking military confrontations, occupations, and explorations. Ælfheah (c. 953 – 19 April 1012), more commonly known today as Alphege, was an Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Winchester, later Archbishop of Canterbury.He became an anchorite before being elected abbot of Bath Abbey.His reputation for piety and sanctity led to his promotion to the episcopate and, eventually, to his becoming archbishop. The raids started in June of 793 CE when three ships docked at the shore by the abbey of Lindisfarne. The siege of Paris of 845 AD was the culmination of a Viking invasion of West Francia. From the infamous Lindisfarne raid in 793 to the year the Vikings arrived in North America, we bring you eight dates from Viking history you need to know… In 835, "heathen men" ravaged Sheppey. Winchester was an important Roman town that was fortified in the second century AD. A modern depiction of the Vikings advancing on Wessex. But what are some other key moments in the history of the Vikings? The Viking era is thought to have lasted from the ninth century to 1066, when the Norwegian king Harald Hardrada was defeated at the battle of Stamford Bridge. It is not comprehensive, and probably many Viking raids on smaller communities occurred nearly continuously without being recorded by … If the Vikings had continued with the offensive it is unlikely that Alfred could have held out, as it happened, events in the North forced the Vikings to swing about and this gave Alfred the space he needed.