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Arghh! It's the Vikings
Scary Soldiers run riot across Berkshire & Southern England


Viking Warrior -  Nash Ford Publishing

 

  • In AD 865, a big Viking army invaded England.
  • After 5 years of raids across the country, the fierce Viking soldiers left their boats at Maidenhead and marched to Reading where they set up their headquarters.
  • The Ealdorman of Berkshire beat them in a Battle at Englefield, but they would not leave the area. They burnt the town of Abingdon to the ground.
  • King Ethelred of Wessex and his brother, Alfred, tried to push the Vikings out of Reading, but they were chased into the marshes at Whistley. The Saxons escaped over the twin ford at Twyford, while the Vikings got lost in the fog.
  • Alfred was a great warrior. He led the Wessex army in a great victory over the Vikings. Lots of Vikings were killed.
  • This was at the Battle of Ashdown, which probably took place near Aldworth on the Berkshire Downs.
  • Ethelred died soon afterwards and Alfred became King of Wessex.
  • The Vikings made a surprise attack on Alfred's palace at Chippenham in Wiltshire. He was forced to flee into the marshes of Somerset.
  • Alfred hid in a hut belonging to a pig-keeper. The pig-keeper's wife didn't know who he was.
  • She asked him to watch her cakes baking on the fire. Alfred was busy thinking about how to beat the Vikings and the cakes got burnt. The pig-keeper's wife hit King Alfred with her broom! Some people say this happened in Faringdon.
  • Alfred gathered his friends around him and they built a small fort at Athelney in Somerset.
  • Alfred disguised himself as a minstrel and was invited into the Viking camp to sing songs. He was able to listen to all their plans.
  • Alfred used his knowledge to beat the Vikings at the Battle of Edington, near Westbury, in Wiltshire.
  • Alfred and the Viking King, Guthrum, made a peace treaty at Wedmore in Somerset. They set up a border called the 'Danelaw'. The Vikings ruled to the North of this and Alfred to the South.
  • Alfred then set up lots of forts or 'burghs' to help stop the Vikings from invading again. One was built at Wallingford and another at Cookham, near Maidenhead.

 

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