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Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past.
875 .. 899
875 .. 899
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Danes move against the north.
Led by Halfdan the Danes moved north to attack the Picts and the area of Strathclyde. The Danes divided Northumbria taking York for themselves and creating the area known as Danelaw. A second Danish King called Guthrum took his army back south to Cambridge where he prepared plans to attack Wessex.
Alfred builds a small navy
Alfred the Great organised a small number of ships to attack invading Danes.
Led by Guthrum, an army of Danes moved to Wareham in Dorset where they were met by a new army from the sea who landed at Poole. Alfred trapped the army and demanded hostages in return for a peaceful settlement. The Danes divided, half fleeing to Exeter where they besieged the town while the other half escaped in their ships but were drowned in heavy seas. Those at Exeter were forced to surrender and were moved up to Gloucester.
Jorvik founded by the Vikings
The Vikings made York the capital of their kingdom in England. They called it the kingdom of Jorvik.
After the death of Aed, Giric (his cousin?) became the Scottish ruler.
The Danes take the advantage
After Exeter. Alfred was hoping that trouble with the Danes was over, but again led by Guthrum, an army headed for Alfred at his Chippenham residence. Alfred fled under overwhelming odds leaving Chippenham in the hands of the Danes.
Alfred burns the cakes
During the winter and spring period Alfred was in hiding. He ran a guerrilla warfare style war against the Danes and set up his headquarters on the Isle of Athelney in Somerset. It was on one of his scouting missions (the story goes) that he took refuge and not being recognised as the King was asked to watch the cakes which he burnt.
Battle of Edington
Alfred called for his men to form an army and attack the Danes. He ordered the army to meet at a location known as Egbert's Stone and seven weeks after Easter an army was formed. Once formed the army quickly moved towards Guthrum and the Danes and the two armies met at Edington. The battle at Edington was won by Alfred and the Danes retreated to Chippenham. The Danes were surrounded and surrendered. Guthrum along with several other high ranking members of the Danish army were converted to Christianity under Alfred's sponsorship. Guthrum and Alfred agreed on peace terms and the Danes returned to their holdings in East Anglia known as the Danelaw.
After the success at Edington Alfred decided to construct of a series of fortified villages or burhs to help protect Wessex. He set up a system that provided Wessex with both a standing army and defence at a local level.
New Viking Invasion
A new Viking fleet sailed up the Thames and built a camp at Fulham. For Alfred this was a worrying situation as he was unsure if this new Viking army would move to join Guthrum. Alfred did not have to worry as the army soon broke camp and headed for France.
An army of Vikings landed in Kent from the Continent and besieged Rochester. Alfred's work in improving the defences of the major towns paid off and the town held out long enough for Alfred to organise an army and force the Vikings to flee back across the Channel to the Continent.
The Siege of Paris
A fleet of Viking longships sailed up the River Seine heading for eastern France and new lands and cities to plunder, When they reached Paris the Vikings offered to spare the city if they were allowed free passage up the river. The river was blocked by bridges that crossed and prevented even the Viking ships passage. Their request was denied and so the Vikings laid siege to the city. The siege was broken when an army led by Emperor Charles the Fat arrived. Charles agreed to pay the Vikings off and allowed them passage past Paris to Burgundy which they plundered,
Alfred took full control of London and strengthened its defences in defiance against Viking attacks. London had not been a capital town before now but Alfred raised London's status.At some point in this period of time Alfred and Guthrum signed a treaty agreeing to several conditions. The first condition being a boundary thought to define the extent of the Danelaw, the area where the Vikings were living in England.
A huge army of Danes travelled from Boulogne using some 250 ships and crossed the Channel landing in Kent at the Lympne Estuary, now called the River Rother. The army found a half-completed Saxon fort at Appledore which they attacked and took control of. At the same time another Danish army led by Haesten had arrived in the Thames estuary and set up camp at Milton. Alfred was facing a serious threat but decided to position his army half way between the two enemy encampments and wait.
While Alfred concentrated his efforts against the Danes at Milton, the Danes at Appledore left their camp. Alfred's son Edward took an army and caught the Danes at Farnham. Edward dealt a heavy blow and forced the Danes to retreat to an island on the River Colne. At the same time Danes from East Anglia had sailed around to the Cornish coast and had besieged Exeter. Aflred, who had been on his way to help Edward deal with the Danes on the island, changed direction and headed for Exeter. Back in Essex Haesten had gained reinforcements and moved to a new fortified site at Benfleet, but the fort was attacked by the Saxons while the Danes were on a raiding trip and this forced Haesten to move to Shoebury. The Danes outside Exeter ended their siege and sailed around to the join Haesten at Shoebury.
The combined Danish army left Shoebury and marched west up the Thames valley through Worcestershire and up the Severn valley finally reaching Chester where they were besieged by the Saxons who tried to starve the Danes out. The Danes managed to escape into Wales where they raided and left with a great deal of spoils.