Why Did the Vikings Invade England?
During the 700’s, the Vikings began to raid English monasteries and churches to trade and sell. The Anglo-Saxons at the time had never seen such merciless men. In the Anglo-Saxon chronicles, the Vikings are described as ‘sea-borne pagans’, as all of the Vikings came on huge war-ships from what we would now refer to as Scandinavia. The Vikings had originally come from Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and they were certainly very vicious people. The first raids came in the late 700’s, and began as just bloody, frightening raids.
The first recorded were of unprotected monasteries on the south coast of England- Lindisfarne, in 793; Jarrow, in 794; and Iona, in 795. And although these raids were terrifying for the Anglo-Saxons, they were yet unaware of the blood-shed and fear to come… In 835, Kent was attacked, and no stone was left unturned in the Vikings’ search for valuable treasure. Everything was a mess and the Saxons were panicking, but this Kentish raid unexpectedly lead to a full-scale invasion 30 years later. By the 840s, the Vikings were heavily involved in over-seas trading and raiding, and had travelled all over most of Europe.
But this, it would seem, was not enough. The land in Scandinavia could not suffice to feed the over-populated region, whereas the land in England was healthy, and ready to be used- or stolen. The Vikings would have known where the majority of the unprotected churches and monasteries were in Europe and Russia, and they used this to their advantage. Casual raids became expected by the 850s and eventually converted to huge invasions and settlements, which of course would mean England. By 860, the Vikings were settled in Britain- arriving in hundreds and thousands from the two main routes they used to raid and invade…