Viking invasion and the beginning of the Norman Era

Anglo-Saxon London

The Romans left London (and Britain as well) at the beginning of the 5th century. For a while, Londinium lay in ruins, the people of the blooming town left the place.
However, the city grew up again when people from Holland, Germany and Denmark came. They were Angles, Saxons and Jutes, and the period is called the Anglo-Saxon period. London was a useful and busy port for them.

In the 9th and 10th century, Vikings from Denmark (the Danish Vikings) sailed up the River Thames and attacked London. They burnt down many of the houses, and introduced Danelaw from the north of England down to London.


In 1014, Anglo-Saxons and the Norwegian Vikings attacked the Danes in London. The Danish Vikings were on London Bridge and were throwing spears at the attackers, Norwegians and Anglo-Saxons. They used roofs to keep the spears away. They also tied ropes to London Bridge and pulled it into the water (this led to the song: London Bridge is Falling Down).

cnutthegreatThe Viking attacks ended when Canute (or Cnut) became king in 1016 and united the attackers and invaders in peace. London started growing very fast.

In 1042 came Edward the Confessor (House of Wessex) and ordered to build Westminster Abbey. After his death he was made into a saint and buried in his abbey (it no longer stands, the one you can see today was built under Henry III (in the 13th century).edwardtheconfessor

Edward the Confessor’s father was Anglo-Saxon Ethelred and his mother was Emma, the daughter of a Norman king, Richard I.
Not long before his death, Edward promised the English crown to his Norman cousin, William. However, he changed his mind and named a powerful lord, Harold Godwin the Earl of Wessex to be his successor because Harold fought successfully against the rebellious Welsh and Northumbrians (from northeast ENG and southeast SCO).

William the Conqueror of Normandy from France successfully invaded England in 1066. For more than 400 years, it was the medieval period in England.