In this talk we will explore some of the different ways you might come across Vikings while visiting English medieval churches. Today we might think of the Vikings mostly as raiders and pillagers of churches, but the real story is more complex than that: there are also churches across England which were founded by, or in honour of, Viking warriors. We will look at stories of Anglo-Saxon saints who were killed by Vikings, and consider how their dramatic legends have been depicted in church art, from stained-glass windows to wall paintings. However, we’ll also discover the more surprising stories of Vikings who came to be celebrated as saints and martyrs, who also left their mark in England’s medieval churches.
Dr Eleanor Parker is Lecturer in Medieval English Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford, and a regular columnist for History Today. Her book, Dragon Lords: The History and Legends of Viking England (IB Tauris, 2018), explores how the Vikings were remembered in medieval English legend, literature and folklore. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/dragon-lords-9781350165359/