Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Another winter, another camp...the Great Army moves on

Following on from my last post,  Downtime with the Vikings at TorkseyI coincidentally came across an online article published last year about the Great Army’s next winter camp. In 873-4 they are recorded as overwintering at Repton in Derbyshire. Like Torksey this is on the Trent and in an area that became part of the Danelaw - Derby was to be one of the Five Boroughs. Repton itself had been one of the great centres of Mercian royal authority with the burial crypt of the Kings of Mercia still surviving under the later medieval church. However Repton itself gave no obvious signs of an encampment big enough to accommodate the Great Army and its followers.

New research, linked once again to the discovery of metal Viking gaming pieces, has indicated a site just two miles away at the hamlet of Foremark as the site of the winter encampment. This suggests more about the scale of the invasion force and their consequent impact on the country. These significant archaeological and field work discoveries are set out in A new Viking site could rewrite the story of the ‘Great Heathen Army’

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