Battle at Sunderland church from 866AD is recreated for hundreds of people

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Vikings and Northumbrians clashed on the site of a historic Sunderland church.

But this wasn’t an actual battle, instead the re-enacment of a time 1,200 years ago when murderous invaders ransacked the area.

LIVING HISTORY: Members of the Regia Anglorium living history group take part in a Viking battle re-enactment during the event at St Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

LIVING HISTORY: Members of the Regia Anglorium living history group take part in a Viking battle re-enactment during the event at St Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

Members of Regia Anglorum – a living history group specialising in the re-creation of the Viking Age in England – supplied visiting mauraders to recreate the period when St Peter’s Church, in Monkwearmouth, was destroyed by Norse raiders in 866AD.

The event was held to mark the completion of a £1million Sunderland City Council-funded interpretation and landscaping project to help better tell the story of the church.

Hundreds of people turned out today to see the battle, involving between 60 and 70 “warriors” and also learn more about the history of the site.

Frankie Gibson, of re-enactment group Saint Cuthbert’s Land, who got involved alongside Regia Anglorum, told the Echo: “There are groups of people here from Scotland, Lincoln, Yorkshire, Lancashire and some have even come from Portsmouth.

We like people to come away from this experience having learned how people lived back in the 800s, as well as seeing the battle too.

Frankie Gibson, Saint Cuthbert’s Land recreation group

“When the Vikings sacked two monasteries in this part of the country, St Peter’s didn’t really recover. We’re celebrating the work that has just been finished here.

“We like people to come away from this experience having learned how people lived back in the 800s, as well as seeing the battle too.”

The St Peter’s Medieval Festival will also be open between 10am and 4pm on Sunday with the re-enacted battle being held again at 2pm and warrior training from 10-11.30am.

Members of Regia Anglorum recreate a battle from when the Vikings ransacked parts of St Peter's monastery in 866AD

Members of Regia Anglorum recreate a battle from when the Vikings ransacked parts of St Peter's monastery in 866AD

LIVING HISTORY: Members of the Regia Anglorium living history group take part in a Viking battle re-enactment during the event at St Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

LIVING HISTORY: Members of the Regia Anglorium living history group take part in a Viking battle re-enactment during the event at St Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD