Lonsdale - the valley of the River Lune - was a major area of Viking settlement from AD 902. The Norman invasion of the North after 1066 was brutal and destructive. William the Conquerer feared an invasion from Denmark and believed - probably rightly - that the local inhabitants would side with their Scandinavian kin from abroad. In the 'Harrowing of the North' of 1069-70 there was wholesale slaughter of many thousands, followed by a deadly famine. There was another Danish invasion threat in 1085. Consequently the Normans fortified Lonsdale with castles and mottes. See www.lancashire.gov.uk/environment/archaeologyandheritage/heritage/castlelune.asp
The Viking Trail from Lancaster to Dent
In 902 AD Viking invaders landed at both St Bees Head and Lonsdale. This three-day 47 km (30 mile) walk follows the course of the Viking settlers who came to Lonsdale in the tenth century.
The route is of interest to the general reader and rambler. It passes through a beautiful area of north-west England that is rich in history.
The walker will visit several monuments and sites of interest from the Viking past. These sites correlate with areas where the Hodgson surname was and is relatively common. (See Hodgson Origins.)
A booklet on the this trail was published by Martlet Books in 1996. Now out-of-print, the text can be downloaded HERE free of charge.