From the 5th century until the Norman Conquest in 1066, the Anglo-Saxon period in England was a tumultuous era marked by invasions, battles, and the formation of kingdoms. After the Roman retreat around 410 AD, Germanic tribes, namely the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians, began settling in Britain, often clashing with native Britons. Over time, they established the Heptarchy: seven kingdoms that frequently warred with each other.
The late 8th century saw the harrowing Viking invasions, epitomised by the sacking of Lindisfarne in 793 AD. However, figures like Alfred the Great resisted and gradually unified the warring kingdoms, laying the early foundations of a cohesive English nation. Despite this unity, Viking aggression persisted, with figures like Sweyn Forkbeard and Cnut the Great achieving brief periods of conquest. Yet, by the mid-11th century, native rule was restored, only to end with the momentous Norman Conquest post the death of Edward the Confessor in 1066. This rich tapestry of conflict and conquest shaped the foundation of England, weaving tales of heroism, faith, and sovereignty.
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