Skip to content

2.4 River Raiders

Exploring the stories of key elements in the Brecks’ landscape history

Delivery Lead Organisation: The Breckland Society

Aims/Objectives

Exploring the stories of key elements in the Brecks’ landscape history through a series of research and fieldwork projects delivered by Breckland Society volunteers, including research and practical field work, celebratory booklets, exhibitions, and online resources, this project will:

  • Explore the Use of the Brecks Rivers as corridors for movement and trade pre-1066
  • Uncover the history and impact of Vikings in the Brecks
  • Raise awareness of these stories through new interpretation, written and on-line material
  • Create more of a sense of place, and awareness of the importance of the landscape features and heritage.

Summary

The project will be exploring the history and impact of the Vikings (made infamous by the pages of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) in the Brecks through research and fieldwork delivered by volunteers from across the region. Particularly significant events, such as the martyrdom of King Edmund at the hands of the Vikings, will be high on the agenda, but less-well known factors, such as the role which the Vikings played in the establishment and development of Thetford, will also be explored.

Project activities will include training in archaeological and historical research skills and practical fieldwork and will result in the publication of an illustrated report, the installation of an interpretation panel and creation of online resources. Volunteers will also have a role in curating a Viking-themed exhibition to be held at Thetford Ancient House Museum.

River Raiders Seminars

Seminar 1: Anglo-Saxon and Viking East Anglia

An overview of the historical and archaeological evidence for the Viking presence in East Anglia, and the Breckland area. This is the first event of the Breckland Society’s latest project – River Raiders.

This event took place on September 30th 10.30-12.30 via Zoom. An edited recording can be seen on our YouTube channel

This FREE seminar was attended live by more than 80 people, and presents an overview of the historical and archaeological evidence for the Viking presence in East Anglia, and the Breckland area in particular.

It has a significant emphasis on the role which Thetford played as a Viking camp and later Anglo-Scandinavian township in which the Viking army overwintered before defeating Edmund in battle in AD 869.

The presenter is Dr Richard Hoggett, a landscape archaeologist and recognised authority on Anglo-Saxon and Viking East Anglia.

Click here for further reading and resources relating to this seminar.

Seminar 2: Reading the Anglo-Saxon and Viking Landscape

Examining the archaeological and historical evidence for the settlement and integration of the Vikings into East Anglian life and culture.

This event took place on October 21st 10.30-12.30 via Zoom. An edited recording can be seen on our YouTube channel

This is the second event of the Breckland Society’s latest project – River Raiders and is being delivered by the Breckland Society as part of the Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership scheme.

To see Dr Hoggett’s reading list to accompany this project, including a great many links to other downloadable resources click here: https://bit.ly/2SVYoJG 

Seminar 3: Digging Deeper

This session presents an overview of the many and varied sources of archaeological and historical information which can be accessed online and used to inform research projects. It will focus on East Anglian Anglo-Saxon and Viking resources in particular, but many of the sources presented contain material relevant to all periods across the whole country.

This event took place on March 17th 10.30-12.30 via Zoom. An edited recording can be seen on our YouTube channel

https://youtu.be/pmLkkSNW-Sw

This is the third event of the Breckland Society’s latest project – River Raiders and is being delivered by the Breckland Society as part of the Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership scheme.

To see Dr Hoggett’s list to accompany this seminar click here: https://brecks.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Digging-Deeper-Online-Resources.pdf​ 

Resources