Viking Timeline


793 Vikings sack the monastery at Lindisfarne in Northumbria.
794 Vikings attack sites in northern Britain, in what we now call Scotland.
795 Irish annals record a Viking raid on Rathlin Island, off Ireland’s north-east coast.
866 York is captured by a Viking army.
870 Iceland is colonised by Vikings.
871 King Ethelred, the West Saxon king, and his brother Alfred, defeat the Viking army at the Battle of Ashdown (in Berkshire).
876 Vikings from Denmark, Norway and Sweden settle permanently in England.
886 King Alfred formally agrees a boundary between his kingdom and land ruled by the Viking King Guthrum (an area later called “the Danelaw”).
950 Vikings from Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Hebrides raid Wales, particularly the coastal monasteries.
954 Eric Bloodaxe, the last Viking King of Jorvik, is thrown out of York.
980 Vikings settle in Greenland.
994 Olaf of Norway and Sven ‘Forkbeard’, son of the Danish king, lead an invading Danish army in an unsuccessful siege of London, and subsequently ravage the south-east.
1000 The Vikings reach Newfoundland, but they did not go beyond the coastal area and their settlement was short-lived.
1013 King Sven of Denmark (with his son Cnut) sail up the rivers Humber and Trent to be accepted as king in the Danelaw. The Saxon king Ethelred the Unready flees abroad.
1014 Cnut becomes the leader of the Danes on his father’s death and king of England after the death of Ethelred and his son Edmund Ironside.
1042 Ethelred’s other son, Edward the Confessor, is invited to return from Normandy as king.
1066 Harold Godwinson becomes the last Anglo-Saxon king after the death of King Edward. King Harald of Norway invades England and captures York, but is then defeated and killed in the battle of Stamford Bridge. King Harold is defeated by Duke William at the battle of Hastings.