English, Scottish and Irish towns

On the Sea Stallion's voyage to Dublin in 2007 the ship will pass many different places during the voyage – including towns that existed in Viking times.

Many of these towns in Ireland and Great Britain experienced both the positive and the negative influences of the Vikings' expansion towards the west.

Written and archaeological sources can provide us with some ideas and thoughts concerning how life was in these towns and how the Vikings influenced their development.

  • Why did so many Viking towns appear in, respectively, England and Ireland?
  • Can we refer to the Viking settlements in Scotland as towns?
  • Are there similarities and differences between the towns in England, Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia?
  • How can we recognise a Scandinavian Viking town in England today?
  • What is "the Dane Law" and does it still exist today?
  • How is the presence of the Vikings apparent in, for example, London and York. What influence did the Vikings have on the towns' development?
  • Which sources can tell us about the town of York? Why do we know about the town of York?
  • London and Lund have the same name in Latin – why is this?
  • How were place names and street names created in Viking times?
  • What was the significance of the Vikings for the development of towns in Ireland?
  • What is a "Longphort"?
  • Compare Dublin with the Viking towns in England and Scandinavia. Are there similarities and differences?
  • What significance does Dublin attain in Ireland – for international trade, for the local area and for royal power?
  • Compose a dramatic skaldic epic about Cnut the Great's attack on London and his laying siege to the town in AD 1014.
  • Make a drawing of Dublin as a Longphort, and later as a trading town, clearly showing the town's development.
  • Draw and label a ground plan of Jarlshof in Scotland.
  • Write a travelogue or an article about the Viking town of York in the 11th century. The article should be modern in style and suitable for a guide book on England.