Breydon Water, my go-to place when I need to escape the pressures of the day. It never fails me.
I stand on the bank and look over the water… and I see ships. Long ships. Viking ships. A fleet of eighty. Where are they going – to raid the monasteries? In later years there’ll be one on the Yare at Norwich, but for now Norwich is just a collection of Saxon hamlets. Nothing there to interest Vikings.
Their longships hug the southern bank, and veer into the Waveney. The Waveney divides Norfolk from Suffolk and rises near Thetford not ten meters from the rise of the Ouse that then flows westward to the Wash. Thetford. They’re heading for Thetford, there to meet with others coming in from the west.
This raid will surely find its way into the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles.
“This year the Viking army […] fixed their winter-quarters at Thetford. And in the winter King Edmund fought with them; but the Danes gained the victory and slew the king; whereupon they overran all that land and destroyed all the monasteries to which they came.”