The areas the Viking settled in were known as Danelaw. It covered an area roughly east of a line on a map joining London and Chester. The Saxons lived south of the line.
The Vikings settled in:
- Islands off the coast of Scotland -
Shetland, Orkney and The Hebrides
- Around the north and north west coast of Scotland
- Parts of Ireland - Dublin is a Viking city
- The Isle of Man
- Small parts of Wales
- Northumbria (which included modern Yorkshire)
- East Anglia
- Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Stamford and Lincoln
We can tell where the Vikings settled by place names of towns and villages today. Some of the names of places in Britain are made up of Viking words.
Place names ending in –by eg. Derby, Rugby, Whitby, Selby, Grimsby
–by meant farm or homestead (village). These places mark the earliest Viking settlements.
Derby - A village where deer are found
Place names ending in –thorpe (or -thorp, -throp or –trop) eg. Scunthorpe and Grimethorpe
Place names ending in –toft or-tofts.
A -toft referred to the site of a house or a plot of land.
hus = house
holm = islet; dry place in a marshy area
orm = Serpent or Dragon