Vikings, from raiders to invaders
Though we are mainly an early Anglo Saxon group we do on time cover the Viking Age. This is set principally in the 9th to 11th Century's and focuses on the Viking raids, The Great Heathen army and other key moments in the history of our nation up to the early Norman era.
The kit for this period can be different with swords, helmets, some clothing and other items changing over time with the Nordic influences. We have all the kit for these changes and can adjust our shows to suite the local history.
Below is a basic outline of our viking back story , as the crew of a long ship travelling up and down the rivers of Angleland raiding and trading.
By the late 9th century what we now call England was split in two. The southern and western half held under Saxon control by the royal seat of Wessex and the north and east under command of the Northmen in what was to be known as the Danelaw.
But this border was not static, nor was it always peaceful even if Saxons and Danes mixed both sides of this tenuous divide. Wars and conflict often broke out with everything from small scale raids of cattle or grain to larger skirmishes and even escalating to open warfare between kingdoms on occasion.
Well into the 10th century these localised conflicts continued to take place as the spheres of power shifted from side to side until England was eventually united under Anglo Saxon rulership.
We are a small warband consisting of Anglo Danish raiders and Norwegian exiles from Dublin. Who are in the business of carrying out many of these small raids across the border of the Danelaw. Either sailing up and down the rivers on their ship the “Harfnbod” (Ravens Feast) or marching inland to undefended settlements, farms and churches that are easy prey for their spears!
This small band is led by one Jarl Cnut the Terrible, himself an outlaw from both Norway and Iceland for various cruel acts of blood feuding. It consists of his family and household warrior elite (the Hesirs) plus a motley crew of social outcasts who have found themselves some sort of a home with the Jarl (all be it constantly moving around raiding and trading). Many are those who would normally have lived of the edge of society such as a Volva, a Skald with a price on his head for insulting a king, various outlaws from across both Viking and Saxon lands and even a blood-crazed Berserker.
Eventually Jarl Cnut would like to settle himself and his people down in this fertile land of wheat and honey, but the ever-shifting nature of the Danelaw border does not make this easy. And besides there are at present plenty of rich pickings to be had by raiding south and westwards.