Viking raids on Anglo-Saxon London

The Lost City of London

Another in the occasional series on contemporary accounts of events in the history of London.

Cnut defeating Edmund Ironside

Early Anglo-Saxon London, or Lundenwic, which was situated immediately without the walls of the old  Roman city of Londinium, and to the west,  between Aldwych and Westminster,  became  subject to increasingly frequent and savage raids by the Vikings by the ninth century.  According to the “Anglo-Saxon Chronicle”, in 839, “… there was great slaughter in London … ”, and in 851, “ … came three hundred and fifty ships came into the mouth of the Thames; the crew of which went upon land, and stormed … London … ”.   Then, in or around 867, the city was actually captured and occupied by the Norsemen under Halfdere, who installed a garrison there (and a mint).  Its strategic significance was such that it was vital for the Anglo-Saxons to recapture it as soon as possible…

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