Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Battle of Stamford Bridge

The Battle of Stamford Bridge in England, which is generally considered to mark the end of the Viking era, took place on September 25th, 1066, shortly after an invading Norwegian Viking army under King Harald Hardråde defeated York.

King Harold Godwinson of England met Harald with an army of his own, taking him by surprise after a forced five day march from the south of the kingdom and in the process being able to defeat the Norwegians and kill Harald Hardråde despite the fact that his army was outnumbered by Harald's. Before the battle could start in earnest, the Stamford Bridge had to be crossed, which was supposedly held by a particularly fearsome Viking; the English finally had to skewer him from underneath the bridge in order to be able to cross it.

The battle marked the end of full scale invasions of England from Scandinavia, and was the turning point of Viking activity in that area.

King Harold's success was not to last, however. Little more than a fortnight after the battle, on October 14th, after having marched his army all the way from Yorkshire, he was defeated by William the Conqueror, at the Battle of Hastings. Thus began the Norman Conquest of England.

Also see