789 - Norwegian Vikings begin their attacks on England killing the kings reeve at Weymouth.
793 - 8th June, Vikings raid Lindesfarne. This island off the Northumberland coast housed a monastery and this provided the raiders with rich reward. Although monks took vows of poverty religious books and other artefacts tended to be richly decorated with gold and silver.
Although the occasional raid against England and Scotland had occurred in the years preceding this, 793 has come to be recognised as the start of the main period of Viking involvement with these islands.
795 - First recorded Viking raids on Scotland and Ireland.
796 - Death of Offa: end of Mercian supremacy in England.
799 - Vikings raid Aquitain.
800 - The Oseberg Viking longship is buried about this time. Charlemagne organises defence against the Vikings. Charlemagne crowned Emperor in Rome.
802 - Egbert, King of Wessex (to 839).
808 - Godfred, king of the Danes, destroys Slave town of Reric and transfers merchants to Hedeby.
810 - King Godfre raids Frisia.
813 - Danish kings campaign to re-establish their authority in Vestfold, Norway.
814 - Death of Charlemagne; succeeded by Louis the Pious.
823-4 - Ebo, archbishop of Reim, make mission to Denmark.
C.825 - Irish Monks driven out of Faeroes by Vikings. Danish coinage in Hedeby begins.
826 - Danish King Harald Klak baptized at Mainz. Ansgar’s first mission to Denmark.
827 - Muslims invade Sicily.
828 - Egbert of Wessex is recognized as overlord of other English kings.
829-30 - Ansgar’s first mission to the Svear at Birka.
830-4 - Civil war in the Carolingian Empire.
832 - Armagh raided three times in one month.
834-7 - Dorestad raided annually.
839 - AEthelwulf, son of Egbert, King of Wessex (to 858). The Swedes reach Constantinople.
839-40 - Vikings winter in Ireland for the first time.
840 - Viking settlers found the city of Dublin in Ireland.
841 - Viking base established at Dublin.
842 - Vikings winter in Francia for the first time.
843 - Carolingian empire partitioned.
843-85 - Frisia under intermittent Danish control.
844 - A Viking raid on Seville (the first in Spain) is repulsed.
844 - Kenneth MacAlpine, King of the Scots, conquers the Picts; founds a unified Scotland. Hamburg and Paris sacked. First Danegeld paid by the Franks.
846 - Muslim pirates sack the Vatican.
850 - Ansgar builds churches at Ribe and Hedeby. Vikings winter in England for the first time.
C.850 - Spanish Chritians push Muslims back to the River Duero.
852-4 - Ansgar’s second mission to the Svear at Hedeby.
854 - Horik, king of Denmark, killed in civil war.
858 - AEthelbald, eldest son of AEthelwulf, King of Wessex (to 860).
859-62 - Bjorn Ironsides and Hastein raid in the Mediteranean.
860 - AEthelbert, second son of AEthelwulf, King of Wessex (to 865). Rus Vikings attack Constantinople (Istanbul) for the first time.
C.860 - Gardar the Swede explores the coast of Iceland.
C.862 - Rurik becomes ruler of Novgorod. Askold and Dir seize Kiev. Charles the Bald orders construction of fortified bridges against the Vikings.
C.863 - Byzantine missionaries Cyril and Methodius sent to convert the Slavs. Schism between the Orthodox and western churches.
865 - Danish Great Army invades England.
866 - Danish Vikings establish a kingdom in York, England.
867 - Danes capture York.
870 - Danes conquer East Anglia.
C.870 - Earldom of Orkney established.
C.870-930 - Vikings settle in Iceland.
871 - The Danes attack Wessex; are defeated by AEthelred at Ashdown. Alfred the Great becomes king of Wessex until 871; the Danish advance is halted in England.
872 - Harald I gains control of Norway.
874-914 - “Forty Years rest” in Ireland.
876-9 - Initial Danish settlement in England.
877 - Alfred and his retinue were celebrating Christmas at Chippenham when they surprised by Guthrum and his Viking army. To escape this threat Alfred retreated to Athelney (in the Somerset Levels) where he established a defended centre. It is around this time that the alleged 'burning of the cakes' took place. The Vikings, meanwhile, remained in Chippenham.
878 - Late in the spring Alfred left Athelney and rode to Ecgbryhtesstan (the exact location of this place is not known). On arrival here he summoned the levies (armies) of Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire and then marched to confront Guthrum. This confrontation took place at Edington and the result of the battle was a comprehensive victory for the men of Wessex.
Following defeat at Edington, the Vikings under Guthrum retreated to Chippenham where they had fortified the island on which the current Church now stands. Alfred and his army starved the Vikings into submission through a two week siege. Guthrum and Alfred then reached an agreement to let the remaining Vikings go provided that Guthrum and his key commanders were baptised, and that the Vikings left Wessex. Guthrum was duly baptised (at Aller near Athelney) and took the name Athelstan. A few days later the ceremonial removal of his baptismal garments took place at Wedmore from which the treaty took its name.
As part of this 'Treaty of Wedmore' the Danes we given permission to settle in the eastern parts of England and place them under Danish Law. The result of this has become known in history as the Danelaw.
With a few exceptions (see London) this treaty was observed for the remainder of Alfred's life.
879 - Rurik establishes Kiev as the centre of the Kievan Rus' domains.
C.882 - Oleg unites Novgorod and Kiev.
885-6 - Vikings besiege Paris.
C.885-900 - Harald Finehair wins the battle of Harsfjord uniting most of Norway under his rule.
886 - Alfred captures London from the Danes. Alfred divides England with the Danes under the Danelaw pact.
888 - Final breakup of the Carolingian empire. Odo becomes king of the West Franks, Arnulf becomes king of the East Franks.
891 - Vikings defeated by Arnulf at the Dyle.
899 - Edward the Elder, King of Wessex (to 924).
900 - The Vikings raid along the Mediterranean coast.
C.900 - Norwegians begin settlement in northwest England.
C.900 - Revival of Byzantine in Turkey and the Balkans
901 - Edward the Elder takes the title "King of the Angles and Saxons".
902 - Vikings expelled from Dublin.
902-25 - West Saxon conquest of Danelaw.
907 - Rus attack Constatinople.
911 - The Viking chief Rollo is granted land by the Franks and founds Normandy in France. Rus make treaty with Byzantines.
912-13 - Viking raiders in Caspian Sea.
913 - Edward the Elder recaptures Essex from the Danes.
914-36 - Viking occupy Brittany.
917 - Vikings recapture Dublin.
924 - Athelstan, son of Edward the Elder, becomes king of Wessex and effective ruler of most of England (to 939).
926 - Athelstan annexes Northumbria, and forces the kings of Wales, Strathclyde, the Picts, and the Scots to submit to him.
930 - Icelandic Althing founded.
934 - Danes defeat Henry the Fowler, king of Germany.
936-73 - Otto the Great emperor of Germany.
937 - Battle of Brunanburh: Athelstan defeats alliance of Scots, Celts, Danes, and Vikings, and takes the title of "King of all Britain".
939 - Edmund, brother of Athelstan, King of England (to 946).
941 - Igor unsuccessfully besieges Constantinople and makes a treaty. Rus become assimilated into the Slavic population. Hugh Capet king of France.
945 - Dunstan becomes abbot of Glastonbury.
946 - Edred, younger brother of Edmund, King of England (to 955); Dunstan is named his chief minister.
948 - Bishops appointed to Ribe, Hedeby and Arhus.
954 - Erik Bloodaxe killed at battle of Stainmore; end of Viking kingdom of York.
955 - Edwy, son of Edmund, King of England (to 959).
956 - Dunstan sent into exile by Edwy.
957 - Mercians and Northumbrians rebel against Edwy.
957 - Hrothgar Gilthorsson born in Skolmor, Denmark.
958 - Death of Gorm the Old.
959 - Edgar the Peaceful, younger brother of Edwy, King of England (to 975).
960 - Harald Bluetooth restores Danish dominance of Norway.
964-71 - Svyatoslav campaigns against the Bulgars, Khazars and Byzantines.
C.965 - Harald converts Danes to Christianity. Muslim silver mines exhausted.
968 - Danevirke refortified against German invasion.
C.970 - Sigtuna founded.
971 - The Host arrive in England.
974-81 - Hedeby under German occupation.
975 - Edward the Martyr, son of Edgar, King of England (to 978).
978 - Edward the Martyr murdered at Corfe Castle; AEthelred II, the Unready (ill-counselled), younger brother of Edward the Martyr, King of England (to 1016).
980 - The Danes renew their raids on England attacking Chester and Southampton.
C.980 - Round forts built in Denmark. Varangian Guard formed in Constantinople.
981 - Viking leader Erik the Red discovers Greenland.
986 - Viking ships sail in Newfoundland waters. Erik the Red begins settlement of Greenland.
988 - Vladimir, prince of Kiev, converts to Orthodox Christianity.
991 - Battle of Maldon: Olaf Tryggvason defeats Byrhtnoth of Essex; AEthelred II buys off the Danes with 10,000 pounds of silver (Danegeld).
992 - AEthelred makes a truce with Duke Richard I of Normandy.
994 - Danes under Sweyn and Norwegians under Olaf Trygvesson sail up river Thames and besiege London; bought off by AEthelred.
994 - The Manaraefan first appear in England.
995 - Olaf Tryggvason conquers Norway and proclaims it a Christian kingdom. Olof Skotkonung becomes first king of Svear and Gotar.
1000 - Christianity reaches Greenland and Iceland. Olaf Tryggvason killed at battle of Svold.
C.1000 - Leif Eriksson, son of Erik the Red, explores the coast of North America.
1000 - Olav I dies; Norway is ruled by the Danes.
1002 - Brian Boru defeats the Norse and becomes the king of Ireland. Svein Forkbeard uses Normany as a base to attack England. St Brice’s Day Massacre, AEthelred ordered massacre of all Danes in England, Svein’s sister Gunhild, her husband and son, are killed. Muslim Caliphate of Cordoba collapses into petty states.
1003 - Sweyn and an army of Norsemen land in England and wreak a terrible vengeance.
1007 - AEthelred buys two years' peace from the Danes for 36,000 pounds of silver.
1010 - Viking explorer Thorfinn Karlsefni attempts to found a settlement in North America.
1011 — Hrothgar becomes Konungr of the Host.
1012 - The Danes sack Canterbury: bought off for 48,000 pounds of silver.
1013 - Sweyn lands in England and is proclaimed king; AEthelred flees to Normandy.
1013 - The Danes conquer England; Æthelred flees to Normandy.
1014 - Svein Forkbeard conquers England and dies! The English recall AEthelred II as King on the death of Svein; Canute, son of Svein, retreats to Denmark. Brian Boru defeats an alliance of Leinster and Norse at Clontarf.
1015 - Canute again invades England; war between Danes and Saxons. Olaf Haraldsson conquers Norway.
C.1015 - Vikings abandon the Vinland settlement on the coast of North America.
1016 - Olav II regains Norway from the Danes.
1016 - October, the battle of Ashington. In this battle Cnut inflicted the final defeat of Edmund Ironside, son of Ethelred II, King of England. Following this serious defeat Edmund agreed to share dominion with Cnut and gave him Mercia and the Danelaw. When Edmund subsequently died (assassinated) Cnut took kingship of the whole of England.
1017 - Canute divides England into four earldoms.
1019 - Canute marries Emma of Normandy, widow of AEthelred II.
1019-54 - Zenith of Kievan power.
1027 - First stone church in Denmark built at Roskilde.
1028 - Knut (Canute), king of England and Denmark, conquers Norway.
1030 - Olaf Haraldsson killed at battle of Stiklestad. He is soon regarded as a saint.
C.1030-5 - Battle of Tarbet Ness: Earl Thotfinn of Orkney wins control over most of northern Scotland.
1035 - Death of Canute: his possessions are divided; Harold I, Harefoot, becomes King of England (to 1040).
1040 - Hardicanute, King of England (to 1042); he dies of drink.
1041 - Ingvar the Widefarer’s expedition to the east.
1042 - Edward the Confessor, son of AEthelred II, King of England (to 1066), end of Danish rule.
1043 - Magnus the Good defeats the Wends at battle of Lyrskov Heath near Hedeby. Last Russ attack on Constantinople.
1047-64 - Conflict between Harald Hardrada of Norway and Svein Estrithson of Denmark.
1050 - The city of Oslo is founded in Norway. Bishopric founded in Orkney.
1051 - Earl Godwin exiled (until 1052): he returns with a fleet and wins back his power.
1052 - Edward the Confessor founds Westminster Abbey, near London.
1053 - Death of Godwin: his son Harold succeeds him as Earl of Wessex.
1055 - Harold's brother Tostig becomes Earl of Northumbria. SeljuknTurks take Baghdad.
1063 - Harold and Tostig subdue Wales.
1064 - Harold is shipwrecked in Normandy; while there, he swears a solemn oath to support William of Normandy's claim to England.
1065 - Northumbria rebels against Tostig, who is exiled. In 1065 Edward the Confessor, with Harold's agreement had banished Tostig (Harold's brother) from his Earldom of Nothumbria. Tostig fled overseas and formed an alliance with Harald Hardradr, king of Norway. When Harold became king of England on Edward's death Tostig and Harald decided to launch an invasion to further Harald's claim to the English throne (he was a descendent of Canute).
1066 - Harald Hardrada king of Norway defeats earls Edwin and Morcar at Fulford Gate. Harold Godwinson king of England defeats and kills Harald Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. William duke of Normandy defeats king Harold at the Battle of Hastings.
Most people know of 1066 as the year when William defeated Harold at the battle of Hastings. While this is true a series of other events throughout the year helped to decide the outcome of this battle.
Harold had expected William to invade in the late spring or early summer, and indeed this would have been the case if the winds had been favourable to his fleet. To counter this threat the Fyrds of the southern counties (the bodies of fighting men that had to be supplied if required by the king) were called out to defend the southern coastline during this period.
Harald and Tostig sailed up the Humber and advanced on York. They were met by the Earls Edwin and Morcar who were defeated.
1069 - Svein Estrithson invades England.
1071 - Slejuks defeat Byzantines at Manzikert.
1075 - last Danish invasion of England.
Vikings for all occasions, no year too exciting
Comments on this site should be sent to Roger Barry