Anglo Scandinavian York

Comb from Anglo Scandinavian York - Yorkshire Museum

The period of York's history between the demise of Eric Bloodaxe in 954 and the arrival of the Normans in 1068 is known as the Anglo-Scandinavian.  York was ruled by an English king but was still heavily influenced by viking culture.

It was in a period of relative peace.  Eric's conqueror, the English king Eadred, died only a year later in 955 and was eventually succeeded by his nephew Edgar.  Edgar was to rule England from 959-975, a time free from foreign attack so he became known as ‘the Peaceable’.

According to a contemporary account by this time York was a major city of 30,000 citizens.  ‘The city is crammed beyond expression,’ the account states, ‘and enriched with treasures of merchants, who come from all parts, but above all from the Danish people.

Despite its importance, English kings rarely visited Jorvik. Instead they appointed earls to keep a grip on Northumbria.  A story has it that Viking invader King Svein Forkbeard of Denmark was buried in York in 1014. 

The Vikings had been good for York, turning it into a thriving, bustling conurbation.  By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, York was second only to London in size and prosperity.

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