Kingdom of Northumbria


The Kingdom of Northumbria (c. 604-954 CE) was a political entity in the north of modern-day Britain with Mercia directly to the south, the Kingdoms of the Welsh to the west, and the land of the Picts to the north; the eastern line of the kingdom was bordered by the sea. The region was originally divided between the two kingdoms of Bernicia (in the north) and Deira (south) but the people were referred to as Northumbrians, (meaning “those north of the Humber River”). These two kingdoms often fought against each other until they were united under the reign of Aethelfrith (r. 593-616 CE) but their rivalry would continually destabilize the region throughout its history.

More about: Kingdom of Northumbria


  • c. 547 - 599
    Reign of Ida the Flamethrower; first king and founder of settlement in the region.
  • 593 - 616
    Reign of Aethelfrith in Northumbria.
  • c. 600
    Battle of Catraeth; Aethelfrith defeats the Britons, enlarges Northumbria. .
  • c. 604 - 954
    Span of the Kingdom of Northumbria.
  • c. 604
    Unification of Bernicia and Deira under Aethelfrith as Kingdom of Northumbria.
  • 616
    Battle of Chester; Aethelfrith defeats Welsh, expands kingdom.
  • 616
    Battle of Bawtry; Aethelfrith killed fighting East Anglia.
  • 616 - 633
    Reign of Edwin in Northumbria.
  • 626
    Battle of Win-and-Lose Hill; Edwin of Northumbria defeats forces of Wessex and Mercia.
  • 633
    Battle of Hatfield Chase; Northumbria collapses after defeat by Mercia.
  • 634 - 642
    Reign of Oswald in Northumbria.
  • 635
    Lindisfarne monastery in Northumbria is founded by the Irish missionary Aidan.
  • 642
    Battle of Maserfield; Northumbria defeated by Mercia, Oswald killed.
  • 642 - 670
    Reign of Oswiu in Northumbria.
  • 654
    Reunification of Northumbria under King Oswiu.
  • 655
    Battle of the Winwaed; Northumbria defeats Mercia.
  • 664
    Synod of Whitby; Oswiu of Northumbria decides in favor of Roman Catholicism over Celtic Christianity.
  • c. 672 - 735
    Life of cleric and scholar Bede of Northumbria.
  • c. 735 - 804
    Life of scholar and cleric Alcuin of York.
  • c. 735 - c. 802
    Period of instability in Northumbria; over ten kings rule in quick succession.
  • 793
    Viking raid on Lindisfarne Monastery in Northumbria.
  • 829
    Wessex becomes overlord to Northumbria.
  • 866
    Great Heathen Army of the Vikings invades Northumbria.
  • 867
    Battle of York; Vikings defeat Northumbria.
  • 876 - 954
    Norse rule in Northumbria.
  • 946 - 955
    Reign of Eadred of Wessex, King of England; conquers Norse of Northumbria.
  • 952 - 954
    Reign of Eric Bloodaxe; last Norse king of Northumbria.
  • 954
    Norse driven out by Eadred of Wessex; Northumbria becomes part of England under Eadred.