Irish-Norwegians 900AD-945AD Most of the Vikings who settled in northern England before 900AD came from Denmark although there were a few who came direct from Norway to settle on the Yorkshire coast around Scarborough and Cleveland. A second wave of Vikings came after 900AD, but this time the invaders were Norwegians who had been living in Ireland for nearly a century and acquired some aspects of Irish culture and language. They used Ireland as a launching pad to attack England, initially colonising Merseyside and Cumbria before turning their attentions to south Durham and the Durham coast.
903AD - IRISH EVICT NORWEGIANS (Dublin and North-West)Native Irish under the leadership of the King of Leinster have expelled the Norwegians from their great fortress at Dublin. They begin to cross the Irish Sea and settle in Merseyside and Cumbria. Among the Cumbrian natives escaping the Vikings is an An glo Saxon noble called Alfred who has sought refuge in the Land of St Cuthbert between the Tyne and Tees.
905AD (Circa) - VIKINGS DUMP HOARD NEAR PRESTON (North West)A huge hoard of some 1,300 Viking items are dumped on the river bank at Cuerdale near Preston. The Ribble is part of a Viking trade route between Dublin and York.
911AD - NORMANS ARE FRENCH VIKINGS (Europe)Vikings settle in northern France and give their name to the Normans (North men).
913AD - EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND DIES (North-East)Eadwulf, the Anglo-Saxon Earl of Bernicia who ruled the land north of the Tees, has died.
914AD - IRISH-NORWEGIANS REGAIN DUBLIN (Ireland)Exiled Irish-Norwegians in Lancashire and Cumbria recapture Dublin under Sihtric.
914AD - DANES AND IRISH-NORWEGIANS ATTACK NORTH-EAST (Corbridge)Irish-Vikings under King Ragnald attack the North-East with the help of the Yorkshire Danes. The Bernicians fight in alliance with the Scots and defeat the Vikings at Corbridge.
918AD - IRISH-NORWEGIANS DEFEAT NORTHUMBRIANS AND DANES (Corbridge)Ragnald defeats a joint army of Northumbrians, Danes and Franks in a second battle at Corbridge. The Danes no longer support Ragnald.
918AD - NORTH RULED FROM DUBLIN (York)Ragnald has seized York and established Irish-Viking control in Yorkshire. York will now be ruled as a client kingdom of the great Norwegian Bhold of Dublin.
918AD - IRISH-NORWEGIANS SETTLE SOUTH AND EAST DURHAM (County Durham)Land in south and east Durham is seized by Ragnald and given to his army leaders Scula and Olaf Ball who share it out among their Irish-Viking followers. The land is the best farmland belonging to the Bishop of Chester-le-Street but he doesn't have the s trength to challenge them. Scula gets land in the south including Billingham and School Aycliffe (Scula Aycliffe). Olaf Ball gets the east coast from Hartlepool to Sunderland. Ragnald could have taken land in Yorkshire but many powerful landowners in Yor kshire are of Danish descent and could be a military threat to him in the long run.
921AD - SIHTRIC BECOMES KING OF YORK (York)Ragnald has been succeeded by his cousin Sihtric as King of York.
924AD - EDWARD THE ELDER DIES (England)Edward the Elder, King of Wessex, has died. He is regarded by the Viking rulers of the north as their superior and now Sihtric of York acknowledges Edward's successor, King Athelstan, as the 'over-king' of England.
927AD - KING GUTHFRITH (York)Sihtric, King of York, dies and is succeeded by Guthfrith, a Dublin Norwegian.
July 12, 927AD - ATHELSTAN MEETS NORTHERN KINGS IN CUMBRIA (Eamont Bridge, Cumbria)King Athelstan meets the kings of Strathclyde and Scotland at Eamont Bridge in Cumbria. The kings acknowledge Athelstan's superiority. Ealdred, Earl of Bamburgh, who rules the Anglo-Saxon territory of the North-East, also gives his support. No Viking kings are present.
927AD - KING OF YORK EXPELLED (York)King Athelstan captures York and Guthfrith, the Viking king, is expelled.
934AD - KING OF ENGLAND VISITS CHESTER-LE-STREET (Chester-le-Street)Athelstan, King of the English, has visited the shrine of St Cuthbert at Chester-le-Street and bestowed many great gifts. The gifts include a work by Bede entitled the Life of St Cuthbert which depicts Athelstan on the cover. He also gives Bishopwearmout h, Sunderland, to the Bishop of Chester-le-Street. It was part of the land taken by the Irish-Vikings in 918.
934AD - ATHELSTAN ATTACKS SCOTLAND (Scotland)Athelstan has severely ravaged Scotland to enforce his superiority in the north.
934AD - KING GRANTS RIPON SANCTUARY (Ripon)Athelstan has granted rights of sanctuary to the monastery at Ripon.
October 27, 937AD - ATHELSTAN DEFEATS IRISH-NORWEGIANS AND SCOTS (North West)Vikings from Dublin assisted by the Scots have been heavily defeated by King Athelstan in a bloody battle somewhere in the North West. Athelstan has destroyed the Danish fortress at York in order to completely suppress any further Viking rebellions.
October 27, 939AD - EDMUND BECOMES KING OF ENGLAND (England)Athelstan, King of Wessex and England, has died at Gloucester. He has been succeeded by his 18-year-old brother Edmund.
939AD - DUBLIN VIKING BECOMES KING OF YORK (York)Olaf Guthfrithson of Dublin, the son of Guthfrith, has become King of York after the people of Yorkshire rejected the claims of young Edmund.
942AD - BLACAIR IS NEW KING OF YORK AND DUBLIN (Ireland)Blacair Guthfrithson has become the new Viking King of York and Dublin following the death of his brother Olaf.
944AD - EDMUND TAKES YORK (York)Edmund, King of England, has seized York.
945AD - CUMBRIA CEDED TO SCOTS (Cumbria)Strathclyde and Cumbria are ceded to Malcolm, King of the Scots, by Edmund. The area once formed part of the kingdom of Northumbria but it has been extensively settled by Scots over the past 30 years.
Eric Bloodaxe 946AD-989AD When Eric Bloodaxe became King of York in 948AD he claimed all of Northumbria as his own. He had one rival - Earl Oswulf of Bamburgh. Supported by the King of Wessex, Oswulf employed an agent to murder Bloodaxe at Stainmore high in the Pennines near to where the A66 runs today. On Eric's death, the 350 year old Kingdom of Northumbria came to an end. The King of Wessex became King of all England. The North-East had lost its independence for good.
May 26, 946AD - ENGLISH KING ASSASINATED (England) Edmund, King of England, has been assassinated, he has been succeeded by his son, Eadred.
946AD - ARCHBISHOP SUBMITS BUT PLANS TO GIVE NORTH TO BLOODAXE (West Yorkshire) Wulfstan, the Archbishop of York, has submitted to Eadred at Tanshelf in the south of Northumbria. Eadred is unaware that Wulfstan plans to offer the Kingdom of York to Eric Bloodaxe, the King of Norway.
948AD - ERIC BLOODAXE BECOMES KING OF YORK (York) Eric Bloodaxe - part Norse, part Danish - has been elected King of York and lays claim to the whole of Northumbria.
948AD - BLOODAXE OUSTED BY NEW WESSEX KING (Ripon) Yorkshire support for Eric Bloodaxe has been subdued following an attack from Eadred, the King of England. Bloodaxe has been ousted by Eadred in favour of a new candidate. Ripon minster is severely destroyed during the confrontation and Odo, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has taken the relics of St Wilfrid and reburied them at Canterbury. Because of the uncertainty in the North-East, King Malcolm of Scotland has raided as far south as the River Tees.
949AD - OLAF SIHTRICSON BECOMES KING OF YORK (York) Olaf Sihtricson, a Viking from Dublin, has become the King of York. He is thought to have gained the support of Eadred, King of England, who would rather see Olaf in power than the powerful Eric Bloodaxe who is somewhere in exile. Wulfstan, Archbishop of York, has been imprisoned for supporting Eric Bloodaxe.
952AD - BLOODAXE REINSTATED AT YORK (York) Olaf Sihtricson has failed to gain support in York and Eric Bloodaxe has been reinstated by the men of Yorkshire. Eric visits the shrine of St Cuthbert at Chester-le-Street. This pilgrimage has become something of a tradition among powerful kings - in pr evious years English kings who have visited the shrine have included King Athelstan, King Edmund and King Eadred.
954AD - BLOODAXE MURDERED ON BLEAK STAINMORE (Stainmore, Teesdale) Eric Bloodaxe has been murdered in the bleak moors of Stainmore in Teesdale by Maccus, an agent of Oswulf Ealdulfing, the High Reeve or Earl of Bamburgh, who rules Northumbria north of the Tees. Oswulf is a supporter of Eadred, the King of Wessex and Eng land, who may have encouraged the murder. Eric's death signifies the end of northern independence and from now on Yorkshire and the North-East will be ruled as part of England by Kings in the south.
954AD - SCOTS TAKE EDINBURGH (Lothian) The Scots under King Indulf have taken Edinburgh from the Northumbrians.
955AD - EADWIG KING OF ENGLAND (England) King Eadred has died and has been succeeded by his nephew Eadwig.
957AD - NORTHUMBRIANS REBEL AGAINST EADWIG (North) Mercia and Northumbria have rebelled against Eadwig in favour of his brother Edgar who they wish to appoint king.
October 1, 959AD - new KING OF ENGLAND (England) Edgar is the new king of England.
966AD - OUTSIDER iS YORK CITY LEADER (York) Oslac, a nobleman from the fenlands of Mercia, is appointed Earl of York (Yorkshire) by Kind Edgar who expects him to keep the north peaceful.
966AD - NORWEGIANS ESTABLISH SCARBOROUGH (Scarborough) Viking brothers called Thorgils and Kormak in the service of King Harald Grafeld, King of Norway, have established a stronghold at Scarborough while harrying in Ireland, England and Wales. Thorgils was known to his brother by the nickname 'Hare Lip', or in the Viking language 'Skarthi' . It is probable that 'Hare-Lip' gave his name to Scarborough. There may already have been an Anglo-Saxon settlement on the site and there was certainly a Roman signal station here.
971AD - SCOTS RAID AS FAR AS TEESDALE (North-East) Kenneth, King of Scotland, has raided the North-East as far as Stainmore, Teesdale.
972AD - St OSWALD BECOMES ARCHBISHOP OF YORK (York) St Oswald, the Bishop of Worcester, has been appointed the Bishop of York. He is a Midlander by birth but is of Danish descent. St Oswald replaces St Ethelwold who only became Archbishop of York last year. He is sometimes confused with the earlier St Oswald who was a once king of Northumria.
974AD - KING DISCUSSES THE NORTH-EAST'S FUTURE (Cheshire) King Edgar has held a meeting with Kenneth, King of the Scots, and the Kings of Cumbria, the Islands and five other kings at Chester. The meeting is thought to have been a discussion regarding the Scottish claim to land north of the Tees. Edgar, who impr essed the northern kings with his great army, is likely to have told them to keep their hands off the region which has been a great supporter of kings in the south.
975AD - EDWARD BECOMES KING (England) King Edgar dies and is succeeded by King Edward the Martyr.
975AD - OSLAC EXILED FROM YORK (York) Oslac, Earl of Yorkshire, has been exiled from York and replaced by Earl Thored.
979AD - 'UNREADY' KING OF ENGLAND (England) The young King Edward the Martyr has been murdered at Corfe Castle, Dorset, and succeeded by his nine-year-old half-brother Athelred II - nicknamed the Unready because he is so young.
979AD - VIKINGS ESTABLISH PARLIAMENT ON MAN (Isle of Man) The Vikings have established the Tynwald, which is the name of the parliament on the Isle of Man. The island is a major stronghold of Norse settlement.
988AD - FORKBEARD IS NEW KING OF THE DANES (Isle of Man) Swein Forkbeard has become King of Denmark
The Birth of Durham 990AD-1031 The rising power of Wessex weakened the North of England in the last decade of the first millennium and left the region vulnerable to the attacks of Danes and Scots. The Community of St Cuthbert at Chester-le-Street, a remnant of Northumbria's greater days, fled to Ripon in 995 to escape one such raid. The monks returned north in the same year, but chose Durham as their new home where their visitors would include King Canute.
990AD - ALDHUN IS LAST BISHOP AT CHESTER-LE-STREET (County Durham) Aldhun has become the Bishop of Chester-le-Street
993AD - NEW VIKINGS ATTACK BAMBURGH (Northumberland Coast) A new force of Vikings under Olaf and Swein Forkbeard has attacked Bamburgh, the coastal Bhold of the Eadulfsons who are the virtual rulers of Bernicia.
995AD - SCOTS ATTEMPT TO SEIZE NORTH-EAST (North-East) Kenneth of Scotland is defeated in an invasion of the North-East by Uhtred Eadulfson, son of the Earl of Bamburgh. The monks in the Community of St Cuthbert have fled Chester-le-Street with St Cuthbert's body to escape the Scots and, accompanied by Bishop Aldhun, they settle for a short time at Ripon.
995AD - CITY OF DURHAM FOUNDED BY MONKS OF ST CUTHBERT (Durham City) St Cuthbert's Community has returned north to settle at Dunholm (Durham). The site is naturally defended like an island, formed by the horse-shoe gorge of the River Wear. The monks are said to have been guided by a vision, but it is more likely to have been a deliberate political decision. They are constructing a minster of wood called the White Church for St Cuthbert's remains at Durham. Uhtred Eadulfson of Bamburgh employed labour from the Coquet to the Tees to fortify the site. Aldhun is the first Bishop of Durham and is Uhtred's father-in-law.
999AD - STONE MINSTER AT DURHAM (Durham City) A new 'White Church' minster is built at Durham but this time of stone for the shrine of Cuthbert.
1000 - A NEW MILLENNIUM (The Christian World) The Christian world enters a new millennium. It is thought to be 1,000 years since the birth of Jesus Christ.
1000 - DANES ATTACK (England) England is subjected to continuous raiding by the Danes.
1003 - DARLINGTON GIVEN TO BISHOP OF DURHAM (York) Darlington receives its first mention in history. It has been given to the Bishop of Durham by Styr, son of Ulphus, at a ceremony in York. (In those days, the region's ruling elite were very closely connected: Styr's daughter, Sigen, is the third wife of Uhtred of Northumbria and one of Uhtred's previous marriages was to the daughter of Aldhun, Durham's first bishop.) Styr also gives land at Coniscliffe, Cockerton, Normanby and Seaton.
1006 - SCOTS MASSACRED AT DURHAM (Durham City) The Scots under King Malcolm have been heavily defeated once again by Uhtred during an attack on Durham City. Malcolm was attempting to seize the North-East. Heads of the best-looking Scottish soldiers were displayed around the city walls after Durham wo men had washed their faces and combed their hair (the women were presented with the gift of a cow for their work).
1006 - ATHELRED APPOINTS NORTHERN EARL (North-East and Yorkshire) Athelred, King of England, has appointed Uhtred as Earl of York which means he now rules all Northumbria.
1013 - FORKBEARD SEIZES NORTH (North) Swein Forkbeard, King of Denmark, has returned to England with an army to become King of England. Entering the Humber and encamping at Gainsborough he has forced Uhtred the Earl of Northumbria to submit. After capturing London he seized the English throne.
February 1014 - CANUTE THE DANE TAKES KINGDOM (York) Swein Forkbeard dies at York. His son Canute is elected King by the Danish army.
1016 - CANUTE OUTMANOEUVERS EARL (York) Uhtred has led an army into the West Midlands to trouble Canute but the king moves up the eastern flank of the country into Lincolnshire and crosses to York.
1016 - EARL OF NORTH ASSASINATED (York) Uhtred has been assassinated at Canute's court at Wighill near York. He was visiting Canute in the hope of making peace. He never got to see the king.
November 30, 1016 - KING CANUTE APPOINTS NORTHERN EARLS (North-East and North Yorkshire) King Canute has appointed a Norwegian called Eric Hlathir as Earl of York, and Eadulf Cudel of the house of Bamburgh as the Earl of Northumbria north of the Tees. Canute is dividing England into earldoms.
1018 - DURHAM TERRITORY GROWS (Bishop Auckland and Stockton) The territory of the Bishops of Durham, which will develop into County of Durham, is expanding. Lands acquired by Bishop Aldhun since 995 include territory in the Tees and Wear valleys from Styr and Snaculf - the latter giving Bradbury, Mordon, Sockburn and Girsby - while Norton and Stockton have been acquired from Ulfcytel. Escomb and Aucklandshire in the Wear Valley, which belonged to an earl called Northman, also now belong to the bishop.
1019 - SCOTS PUSH BORDER TO TWEED (Carham on Tweed) The Scots under Malcolm II have defeated the Northumbrians under Eadulf Cudel in battle at Carham on Tweed. Northumbrian territory from Edinburgh to the Tweed is seized by the Scots. Canute is in Denmark. Aldhun, the Bishop of Durham, has died, heartbroken by the defeat at Carham.
1022 - BEDE'S BONES PINCHED (Jarrow) The relics of Bede have been brought to Durham from Jarrow by Aelfred, a notorious collector of saint's relics.
1023 - YORK ARCHBISHOP DIES (York) Archbishop Wulfstan has died, a man of great learning and wisdom.
1027 - CANUTE VISITS DURHAM (Durham City) Canute has made a visit to Durham, where he walked bare foot from Garmondsway, six miles to the south of the city, to visit St Cuthbert's shrine.
1031 - CANUTE INVADES NORTH-EAST (North-East) Canute has invaded the North-East to quell all rebellion.
1031 - CANUTE GIVES STAINDROP TO DURHAM (Staindrop) Canute gives land around Staindrop to the bishops of Durham. Canute is known to own a mansion in the district, probably at Raby.