'New evidence of the Viking Age
in East Anglia' - Dr Tim Pestell (Senior Curator of
Archaeology at Norfolk Museums Service)
Tim is the
Curator of Archaeology at Norwich Castle Museum.
Fewer members than usual
attended our April meeting but they settled down to
an evening where Tim gave
us an insight in to the Vikings who invaded Norfolk
is hard to evaluate, following the departure of the
Romans in 410. A mix of
Tribes from Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands made
their way across the
North Sea and settled Angle-Land (England). The three
largest groups were the
Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes.
travelled in their long boats, came from Scandinavia
and made their first raids
in 793. The ‘Great Heathen Army’
referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, invaded in
the year 865. Their intent was to conquer the
of East Anglia, Northumbria, Mercia and Wessex.
of East Anglia until his death in 869. The Martyrdom
of Edward and his sad
remains were translated to where we know today as
Bury-St-Edmunds. Twenty years after Edmund’s
working for the Viking kings started to reproduce
replicas of coins minted
during his reign.
looked at the evidence from Hoards of treasure dug up
from all over East Anglia. The study of
comparing coins minted by a
moneyer gives a strong indication as to where they
came from and who was being
represented on the coins. Tim with all
his expertise is able to date the coins and so we
begin to piece together when
and where the Vikings settled. Trefoil
broaches were worn by women from Scandinavia and have
been found in Norfolk
dated to the 9th and 10th centuries. Originally
the design and manufacturer of these
objects originated in Scandinavia but over time their
designs became more
English and were produced here. The St
Peter hoard of 924 from Morley St Peter, unearthed
South West of Norwich included
Arabic Coins. In Attleborough finds such
as Thor’s hammers have been discovered and these are
believed to have pagan
origins. Treasure from Great Ryburgh
included weights used for trading purposes.
The Bredfield brooch is a rare large piece of
jewellery of the 11th
century from the Isle of Ely. There have
only been fifteen such discovered across the British
defeat of the Anglo Saxons the Vikings began to settle
amongst the North-folk
and the South-folk with larger settlements in Thetford
and Ely. By 879 they were firmly established
throughout East Anglia.
It is thought that we were, perhaps, the original
centre of the Flegg area for
the Vikings - it is after all a place where they could
have first landed. However very little evidence
of Viking settlements
exists locally. There are of course
tantalising clues that the Vikings were in our area.
Strong enough for Ormesby St. Margaret to
adopt a village sign showing a Viking long ship.
evening of intrigue, comparison and ancient history
which led to the emergence
of the Kingdom of England by the 10th century.