850 - 1050 AD Viking ship
Scandinavian expansion: Vikings arrive in force . . .
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Attacks by Scandinavian raiders ('the Vikings'): Danes along & inland from the east coast & Norwegians elsewhere . . . Norwegians to Shetland, Orkney, Hebrides & eventually Iceland (last third of 9th century) . . . settling down . . . the 'Danelaw' . . . Alfred the Great [Wessex - now representing much of south & central England] defeats Danes (878) . . . network of 'burhs' (or boroughs) for administration . . . Danes accept supremacy of Wessex (918) . . . Strathclyde dependency of Kingdom of Scotland (Picts & Scots) by 908; absorbed by ~ 945 . . . Welsh (British) & Irish largely left-alone (apart from Viking coastal raids) late 9th century . . . early 10th century, renewed raids by 'Norse' (i.e. Norwegians) Scotland (already strong here), Northumbria (920), areas adjacent Irish Sea & northern France (Duchy of Normandy by ~911) . . . Edgar ruled all England by ~960 . . . system of shires or counties [much as we would recognise today] . . . many further Danish incursions late 10th century (bought off via Danegeld) . . . Danes conquer all-England (1012-13) . . . Norse Earldom of Orkney all north & west Scotland & Islands (late 10th century) . . . Kingdom of Scotland (south & east) annexes Cumbria (1018) . . . Canute (1016-1035) [ England temporarily centre of Nordic empire ] . . . increased influence of Normans in Edward (the Confessor) affairs . . . Canute's Empire fragments with his death . . . prelude to the 'last invasion' . . . Wool becomes a major trading commodity (along with tin, fish, wine & beer) . . .
Norse voyages of raid & exploration westwards from modern Norway to the North & West Isles and beyond were frequent and extensive from mid-9th century * Iceland colonized c.885 & Greenland c.990 * this begs the question: was the mean wind-flow more 'easterly' than 'westerly'? * if so, then the main Atlantic jetstream possibly weaker and / or a long way further south (& much more 'diffuse') than modern-day patterns * anticyclones perhaps more dominant / frequent sub-Arctic latitudes with extensions to the south * early in this period, some bitterly cold winters occurred * occasional droughts 10th century * honey was the primary sweetener, and traded (suggesting a surplus), also implying an absence of frequent, prolonged cold & wet spells in spring & summer * early 11th century trade in wine, from 'Norse' lands in England to the continent, suggests a benign, warm & often sunny climate developing. Weather Log
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