A Brief History on the Viking Raid on Lindisfarne during 793AD

viking raid on lindisfarne

The Viking Raid on Lindisfarne: A Day to be Remembered

It was in the year of 793 A.D. when Viking raiders ventured forth and attacked the monastery of Lindisfarne. The norsemen delivered a sharp blow to Britain and Christians that forever lives in infamy. It was on the cold coast of Northern England, when long ships landed with people know as Northmen. With a ferocious lightning attack, Vikings earned their brute legacy by burning buildings, murdering defenseless monks, stole golden relics and other Christian treasures, and created a legacy and sense of impending doom that terrified people. It was a victorious day for men who took sail to the West, but for Christians it was quite the opposite. Their leaders believed that the Viking Raid on Lindisfarne was sent to Britain by God to punish people for their sinful lives and perpetual wrong doings.

How the Viking Raid on Lindisfarne Happened:

One of many questions discussed by heathens and historians interested in the Viking Raid on Lindisfarne is “How did they attack?”

The answer is the Vikings didn’t send too many ships during their first attack. It was a small fleet with a small amount of men. They were attacking places like Lindisfarne on purpose. Perhaps they had some insider knowledge about the society of England? One thing is for certain, they weren’t afraid of English army because English kings were busy fighting with each other. It was almost impossible for kings to join forces to get rid of Vikings and their raids. During this era, coasts were unguarded and military resources were consumed by local and tribal quarreling which made it easier for the Vikings to land, attack, and pillage.

However, they weren’t there for the scenery. Vikings didn’t stay long. As soon as they loaded treasures and captured slaves, they sailed back to Scandanavia.

The Viking raid on Lindisfarne was then followed by series of attacks by Vikings of Norwegian and Danish descent. Rivers were unguarded in mainland Europe. Trade routes were expanding to as far as the middle east. They were expanding their presence with a rapid pace throughout the known world.

For England and much of Western Europe, trading was not on the table. The Vikings continued their series of attacks. For next two years, Vikings came back again and again to attack religious houses for plundering. Their attacks were repeated for more than a century, and eventually they started to take English-Lands as well.

Despite the reputation that spread throughout Western Christianized lands, the Viking Raid on Lindisfarne during 793 A.D. was not incredibly devastating. Many of the monastery’s treasures were left untouched by the northmen. Although Bishop Aethelwald’s stone broke, Gospels were mostly undamaged, and many of the important relics were still left within the walls of the Lindisfarne monastery. A few generations later, in 875AD, when Vikings were able to occupy most of northern England, their leaders were planning to attack northwards. At that time when England was going through a tough time, the monks decided to move the treasures somewhere safe. Even St. Cuthbert, while on his deathbed said to move his bones if the place was threatened. Even in death, the Vikings continued to frighten the English.

It is common to say that the age of Vikings began with the attack in 793AD, and persisted to last until 1066, although some mark dates even earlier. In Britain, a group of Vikings operating with 3-6 ships could create havoc. These raids crushed existing power, and played an important role in creation of England and Scotland. Vikings created great cities in Ireland. They had a great influence in the continent that lead to the establishment of Normandy, which has influenced history of Italy, France, and England. As a direct result of Viking age, Norway became a kingdom of its own. The Viking Raid on Lindisfarne is a day that will live in infamy.

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1 Response

  1. Jessica says:

    Hi there! I come here almost every weekend to read your blog. Especially I love the history column from your blog. I really enjoyed the way you guys explained it. Very good job, keep’s coming.

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