Who Where The Vikings?

There is plenty of evidence of Viking immigration and settlement in Britain and Ireland. But how did these new settlers fit in with their Pictish neighbours and what happened when they reached Ireland along the sea road from their homelands in Norway?

Vikings

Settlers

There is plenty of evidence of Viking immigration and settlement in Britain and Ireland. But how did these new settlers fit in with their Pictish neighbours and what happened when they reached Ireland along the sea road from their homelands in Norway? The evidence suggests that Dublin became a wealthy and important Viking outpost, making a mint in the slave trade.

A Viking king of England?

Yes, you read it right. It would appear that years of raiding and extortion weakened England's resistance so much that a Viking was able to seize the throne. The series also features stories of gruesome English revenge attacks, making us seem slightly less compliant than one might imagine.

The last Viking

So who were these Viking rulers of the British Isles? Well, you may not have heard of them, but one example, Harald Harada, was a Viking warlord who was vanquished by King Harold in 1066. Harold, in turn, met his end that same year at the Battle of Hastings. Modern scientific analysis of skeletons that were found more than 20 years ago reveals new information about this great battle, which marked the end of the Viking age in our land.

Vikings among us

There was a recent nationwide survey, conducted by University College London, to discover if any genetic traces of the Vikings remained in the British Isles. This was then compared with samples from Norway and Sweden to see if there were any matches. Watch the series to find out if our blood has a little Viking in it.