Bringing Wirral's past back to life

Wirral Archaeology

Pre Brunanburh – Irelands Political Situation

We’ve referred to Anlaf’s great enemy in Ireland in previous assessments, namely Muirchertach Mac Neill. As we know, Anlaf had defeated the Vikings of Limerick just weeks before he left for England in order to challenge Aethelstan, but going back to 925 AD the Dublin Vikings had suffered a major defeat at the hands on Muirchertach at the battle of Carlingford. This battle was not only a significant defeat for the Dublin Norse but resonated throughout Ireland because Muirchertach slaughtered several hundred Vikings who had surrendered to him. Anlaf’s father Gofraid, had led the Dublin Norse into battle. He, somehow, had managed to escape.

Owain the First

Owain Ap Dyfnwal was a Northern British King who fought alongside Anlaf Guthfrithson and Constantine of Alba at the battle of Brunanburh in 937 AD.

He was king of Strathclyde, a kingdom of indigenous Britons, who’s Kingdom was formed during the post Roman period when the ethnic groups of the British Isles fought to create independent countries during a period of political instability and foreign invasion.

Nova Anglia

As with many of the myths, legends, conflicting documentary evidence and disagreement between modern day historians and archaeologists pertaining to Anglo Saxon refugees fleeing England following the Norman conquest, the truth cannot be confirmed with any absolute certainty, but equally, therefore, cannot be dismissed or disproved.

Ivar the Boneless

Ivarr hinn Beinlausi or Hyngwar (in old English), Ivar the boneless, was said to be the first born son of Ragnar Lodbrok and his third wife, Aslaug.

Investigating Roman Roads

It is well known that Chester was a major Roman base in England, with road links to London and to the rest of the country. It was also a port with ships sailing up the Dee to load and unload goods and people. At Meols, 20 miles to the north at the end of the Wirral peninsula, many Roman artefacts have been discovered which suggests that it also, was an important port with a trading and manufacturing centre. Here, larger ships could moor in an anchorage that is/was known as Hoyle Lake, and their goods loaded/unloaded, or transferred to smaller boats/barges for onward delivery to Chester.

Holm-Going

There were two type of duels that were fought in the Viking period amongst Scandinavians. The practice was made unlawful sometime in the 11th century, but the two types were called einvigi and holmgang respectively.

Gods of the Vikings

The gods worshipped by the pagan peoples of Scandinavia consisted of a full pantheon of supernatural deities. I will refer to these gods as those of the Vikings, rather than referring to them as belonging to the Norse, Danes or Rus.

Egil Skallagrimsson

Egil Skallagrimsson was as Icelandic Viking who fought for the Anglo-Saxons at the battle of Brunanburh in 937 AD.

He appears to have had an adventurous life, but his life story, recorded by a relative, namely one Snorri Sturluson, over 200 years after the event’s of Egil’s lifetime, is embellished and as is typical with many of the Viking saga’s needs to be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt

Cwichelme’s Hlaew

After the battle of Maldon in 991, an English defeat, the Anglo Saxon chronicles recorded an arrogant English boast that if invading Vikings ever reached ‘ Cwichelme’s Hlaew’ , now Cuckhamsley Hill on the Berkshire downs, that they would never, ever make it home again.

Constantine Mac Aeda King of Alba

Constantine the second of Alba (early Scotland) was one of the Northern British Kings that fought against Athelstan at the battle of Brunanburh in 937 AD.