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The Vikings

primary homework help viking religion

Who were the Vikings?

The Vikings came from all around Scandinavia (where Norway, Sweden and Denmark are today). They sent armies to Britain about the year 700 AD to take over some of the land, and they lived here until around 1050.

Even though the Vikings didn’t stay in Britain, they left a strong mark on society – we’ve even kept some of the same names of towns. They had a large settlement around York and the Midlands, and you can see some of the artefacts from Viking settlements today.

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primary homework help viking religion

primary homework help viking religion

primary homework help viking religion

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primary homework help viking religion

The Vikings wanted new land because the places where they came from in Scandinavia – Norway, Sweden and Denmark – weren’t very easy to live in. It was hard to grow crops, which meant there wasn’t a lot of food as the population got bigger. Britain and Europe had plenty of good farmland , so the Vikings tried to claim some of that land for themselves.

Even though the Anglo-Saxons were pretty well established in England, the Vikings would turn up every now and then to raid towns and take a bit of land. Sometimes, instead of fighting the Vikings, the Anglo-Saxons decided it was better to pay them money so they’d stay away. This payment was called Danegeld.

The first Viking attack on England was in 787 on the Isle of Portland. The Vikings went home straight afterwards, but they came back to England in 793 and raided a monastery at Lindisfarne. Monastaries made easy targets because the monks who lived there didn’t have any weapons, and they did have money and food.

The Vikings believed in many different gods , and they thought making sacrifices to the gods kept them all happy. They also told stories about the gods, called Norse mythology . Some of the gods included:

The Vikings believed that if a warrior died while fighting in battle, he’d go to Valhalla , which is where Odin was. Other heroes who had died would also be there. Odin would send his warrior maidens, called Valkyries, across the sky to ferry dead warriors to Valhalla.

Viking warriors were very good fighters. They’d wear helmets and carry shields to defend themselves, and they’d also have one of these weapons:

Boats that the Vikings built are called longships – they are long, narrow boats that can be used in both deep and shallow water, making them perfect for travelling over the ocean and carrying lots of warriors onto the shore. Longships were symmetrical, meaning they looked the same at the front as they did at the back. They’d often have dragon heads carved at either end.

VIkings sailed all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to Newfoundland in North America in their longships!

Viking homes were long too – they were called longhouses ! They were rectangular, made from wood and were usually just one big room without any inside walls. There would be one big fire pit in the centre for cooking and keeping the house warm. The roof was covered in thatch, and there was a hole in the middle for smoke from the fire to go through. Benches around the house would be used both to sit on and to sleep on.

Most clothes that the Vikings had were made from wool, but they also had some clothes made from linen. They used dyes made from plants and minerals to make red, green, brown, yellow and blue, so their clothes were very colourful.

Viking men wore a long shirt, trousers with a drawstring tie and a coat with a belt around the waist. Viking women wore long dresses with a tunic over the top that was held up by two brooches pinned at the shoulders. Both men and women wore woollen socks and leather shoes.

Alfred the Great defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Ethandun (in modern day Wiltshire). After this, he and the Vikings agreed to set boundaries for their kingdoms. The area that the Vikings lived in was called Danelaw, and it meant that the land south of the diagonal line between London and Chester belonged to King Alfred (Wessex). Danelaw eventually became smaller and smaller as the Anglo-Saxons took more and more control.

Jorvik was a large Viking kingdom around York. The last king of Jorvik was Eric Bloodaxe, who was driven out in 954. The Vikings in England then agreed to be ruled by the king of England rather than having their own king.

But, that doesn’t mean that the king of England couldn’t be a Viking! The first Viking king of England was King Canute in 1016. He ruled until 1035, and then his sons were kings after that – but only for a total of seven years. Harold Harefoot was king until 1040, then Hardicanute was king until 1042.

Names to know:

King Canute (ruled as king of England from 1016-1035) – Canute was the first Viking king of England. He won a battle against Edmund II that divided their kingdoms, but when Edmund died Canute ruled both kingdoms. His sons, Harold Harefoot and then Hardicanute, ruled until 1042.

Harald Hardrada (c.1015-1066) – Harald Hardrada was the king of Norway. He led Viking armies into England, but was defeated at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in York by King Harold II.

Leif Erikson (c.970-1020) – Leif Erikson was a famous Viking explorer who sailed all the way to North America. 

Eric Bloodaxe (died in 954) – Eric Bloodaxe was king of the Viking kingdom of Jorvik between 947-948 and 952-954. He was the last king of Jorvik before it became part of England.

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The Vikings were warriors from northern Europe. They were also known as Norsemen or Northmen. They sailed the seas from the late 700s to the 1000s. They attacked many countries and took away much treasure. Their northern European neighbors gave them the name of Viking, which means “ pirate .”

Viking Life

From the 800s to the 1000s, the Vikings traveled far from their homelands in Scandinavia. Some…

The Vikings were good sailors. They used the position of the Sun and the stars to find their way at sea. They sailed in wooden ships called longships. Rowers and sails moved the longships across the seas. In about 1000 a Viking named Leif Eriksson sailed all the way to North America.

The Vikings also were fierce warriors. The gods they worshipped were warriors, too. Their chief god was called Odin . Odin ruled over a warrior heaven called Valhalla .

A Viking burial ship is on display in a museum in Oslo, Norway.

Writings called sagas provide even more information about Vikings. Sagas were stories that Vikings told about their history and mythology . Icelanders wrote down many Viking sagas in the 1100s and 1200s. Vikings also enjoyed poetry, music, and dance.

Vikings first attacked England in the late 700s. In 865 a Viking group from Denmark called the Danes conquered several English kingdoms. The English drove out the Danes in 954, but the Danes soon returned. The Danish king Canute I ruled England from 1016 to 1035 as a part of his Viking empire. England finally threw off Danish rule in 1042.

However, in 1066 the Normans conquered England. The Normans were descendants of Vikings who had settled in France. The name Norman means “Northman.”

Vikings first attacked Ireland in 795. They founded kingdoms in Dublin, Limerick, and Waterford. They threatened all of Ireland until 1014, when the Irish beat them in the Battle of Clontarf .

Some Vikings roamed eastward. They attacked and looted the coasts of the Baltic Sea . After invading Russia , they moved far inland and mixed with the native people. The name Russia comes from a Viking word. Other Viking warriors served as mercenaries, or soldiers who worked for money, in the Byzantine Empire .

End of the Viking Era

After the 1000s the Vikings were no longer an independent group of warriors. Some mixed with the peoples of the lands that they conquered. Others settled down in their homelands. The homelands, too, became more stable. Eventually they each became a united, single country rather than collections of warring kingdoms.

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Super Brainy Beans - History

Home » Vikings

Vikings for kids

Vikings for kids

Vikings for kids learning in KS2 at Primary School. Homework help on the history of Vikings, who they were and where they came from.

Time: 750AD - 1100AD

Who were the Vikings and where did they come from?

The word Vikings probably means 'pirate'. They were fierce fighters that came from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. They were often farmers and when the Vikings did not have enough land to farm they started to attack other countries for new land.

For 300 years the Vikings arrived in other European counties in boats called longships. They would rob towns and villages and invaded large areas of Britain, Ireland, France & Italy.

Viking Facts

BBC Bitesize - Vikings

Places to see Viking history

primary homework help viking religion

Vicious Vikings

Free online History games

Vikings Shop

Shop for Viking Books

What happened to the Vikings?

Eventually, the Vikings became less violent as they settled in the new countries.

Vikings that settled in Northern France were known as Normans (Northmen). This part of France is now known as Normandy.

The Vikings that settled in eastern Europe were known as Rus (redheaded people). This is now known as Russia.

Also on Super Brainy Beans

Anglo Saxon

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Expires February 7th, 2021 11.59pm

Viking Project, Room 9

by Anita Walshe | Mar 22, 2022 | 3rd Class Blogs , Class Blogs , Ms Walshe's Blog

We are going to create a group project about the Vikings. In class, we have chatted about how to use this blog to help you to research your project. Remember! Everyone will work together on Section A . Everyone may pick one or two topics to research from Section B .

These websites are a great place to start your research:



SECTION A:    Everyone works together on this part     

Section B: each girl should pick one or two of these topics

Homes + farms

Viking longboats

Viking families

Viking Traders

Viking Explorers

Viking warriors

Viking gods/goddesses

Viking Government: The Thing

The Vikings and Clontarf



Please monitor your daughter carefully when using the Internet. These websites have been checked for suitability, but navigation away from them may not be safe for her.

Belgrove Senior Girls School


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