Danes Road, IG1


One of a quartet of streets commemorating a phase of local history, in this case starting with a series of viking raids in the 8thCentury and ending with the death of the Danish King Cnut in 1035, who had sat on the English throne for some 19 years. The mid-9thCentury marked a change in the viking attitude to the British Isles and they came to see it as a place of colonisation. In AD870 the Danes razed the nearby Saxon Barking Abbey, built about 200 years before. By the 10thCentury, the native and the Norse populations were living alongside one another in relative peace, but it wasn’t long before a waning of political strength within the English monarchy under the reign of Edward the Martyr (murdered in AD978) gave rise to new waves of viking attacks. At the Battle of Maldon in Essex in AD991 the vikings inflicted a crushing defeat on Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman of Essex, and his lands came under Viking control in an area called the Danelaw. Hostilities came to head in 1002 when King Æthelred proclaimed that all Danes living in England would be executed. The Danes responded with a series of savage attacks across England and Sweyn Forkbeard returned with a large army to take the English throne in 1013. Cnut succeeded him and it was only following his death that the two kingdoms were once more declared independent. The inspiration for the streets likely came from the nearby Lavender Mount or Uphall Camp, a former Roman hillfort – based on an even older encampment from the Iron Age.




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