UK news The violent Viking and Saxon invasions to have struck Peterborough last minute news


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- We take a look at two notorious early invasions into Peterborough

UK news The violent Viking and Saxon invasions to have struck Peterborough last minute news


PremierLeague-News.Com

- We take a look at two notorious early invasions into Peterborough

UK news The violent Viking and Saxon invasions to have struck Peterborough last minute news
21 February 2021 - 06:15

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Peterborough has a storied history, which spans hundreds of years and has not been without tumultuous times. The city’s majestic cathedral is at the heart of most of this history. Archaeological evidence suggests that a Roman building stood on the site of the cathedral, while the current building became the resting place of Queens in the Tudor and Elizabethan periods, as well as featuring in the War of the Roses. However, in its earlier years, the cathedral - in its former status as a monastery - was also pillaged and destroyed on numerous occasions, as Peterborough was the subject of invasions by Viking and Saxon warriors. These invasions were to define the early history of Peterborough, as the requirement for improved defences led to the development of the religious building itself as well as townships around it. Here, we look at two notorious early invasions of Peterborough - one from a Viking group, one from a Saxon group. What they have in common, though, are quite phenomenal names. Read More Related Articles 21 photos of Cambridge Market Street that show its ever-changing parade of shops Read More Related Articles The European towns and cities twinned with Peterborough Ivar the Boneless Around 200 years before a Viking invasion was said to have struck Peterborough, a monastery was founded on the site of the current cathedral. At that time it was named Medeswell, and later became Medehamstede, which meant “the home or farmstead in the water meadows”. Located on the north bank of the River Nene, the monastery was founded by Peada, the son of King Penda of Mercia, and completed by his brother Wulfhere around 655 AD. Mercia, if the finer details of 7th century Anglo Saxon history are not your strong points, was at that time a pagan kingdom. However, it had a ‘marriage contract’ with neighbouring Northumbria, a kingdom which covered much of Northern England and south-east Scotland. Northumbria was a Christian kingdom and its agreement with Mercia meant that Christian missionaries were allowed to establish religious houses, which led Peada to found the monastery in Peterborough, or Medeswell as it was known. By all accounts, the religious building seemed to enjoy an initial period of relative stability. However, this was disturbed rather emphatically when a gang of Vikings showed up in the late 9th century. Alongside his remarkably named ‘Great Heathen Army’, Ivar the Boneless was said to have made his way to the Peterborough area. During his time here, he attacked and destroyed the monastery, which is quite possibly the first instance (of many) of the building being ransacked. Certain historians and scholars have disputed whether the attack of Ivan’s army actually happened, but Peterborough Cathedral’s online history page states that “given the similar treatment meted out to other abbeys locally at this time the Viking attack seems credible".

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. Whether this was how the original monastic church fell might be disputed, but a relic of the building - the ‘Hedda Stone’ is on display in Peterborough Cathedral today. Peterborough Cathedral (Image: Cambridge News) Hereward the Wake Between 960 AD and 970 AD, a Benedictine house was re-founded on the site, approved by the authority of King Edgar and Bishop Aethelwold of Winchester. Around this time, a township began to develop to the east of the building. The area’s next brush with warfare was in 1066, when King Harold’s army were said to have stopped in Peterborough while making their way from York to Hastings. However, the cathedral was to come under attack yet again, this time in 1070, with an army of Danish mercenaries the perpetrators. Apparently a ploy to stop Peterborough’s then considerable wealth falling into the hands of a new Norman Abbot, Hereward the Wake raided the monastery with his band of soldiers. Peterborough Cathedral - in all its glory in the modern era (Image: Instagram / @weeze92) The attack is listed in Peterborough Cathedral’s online history, which describes a resistance effort from the monastery’s monks. It says that Hereward’s group: “came with many ships and wanted [to get] into the minster, and the monks withstood so that they could not come in. “Then they laid fire to it, and burned down all the monks' buildings and all the town, except for one building. Then, by means of fire, they came in at Bolhithe Gate. The invaders were said to have refused a peace offering from the monks and proceeded to go into the minster to take “the crown off our Lord's head - all of pure gold - then took the rest which was underneath his feet”. They were also said to have filled their boots with as much treasure as possible - or “so much gold and silver and so many treasures in money and in clothing and in books that no man can tell another". Presumably in response to Hereward the Wake’s attack, sixty knights were moved onto Peterborough Abbey and its monastic estates by William I in 1071. The King also ordered construction of a motte and bailey castle on the site’s north side. These new defences proved effective and it wasn’t until 1102 when the monastery was faced with another significant attack. A group of Flemish mercenaries, described as ‘unemployed’, kept themselves busy and "broke into the minster of Peterborough, and in there took much of value in gold and in silver, that was: crosses and chalices and candlesticks." Peterborough Cathedral has seen many significant events since then, but these early invasions and attacks were rather significant in the early years of Peterborough's most famous building.

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