Torksey is widely known as a Viking winter camp from an entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for AD872. A growing body of archaeological evidence offers the potential of placing the site in its broader chronological and spatial context. Previous work has focussed on the pottery industry associated with an Anglo-Scandinavian town or burh. Recent metal detector finds have also suggested Torksey may be an Anglo-Saxon ‘productive site’, implying that Viking occupation must be seen in the context of pre-existing Saxon inhabitation.
The aim of the project is to understand the role and significance of Torksey by plotting the chronological and spatial development of the various centres of activity, which have been tentatively identified through metal detecting. These include a putative Anglo-Saxon riverine ‘beach market’, the Viking winter encampment and wider trading site, the Anglo-Scandinavian burh and the Torksey ware kilns. The project has major implications for wider understanding of the Viking Great Army and its interaction with local populations, the development of Anglo-Saxon burhs, and the evolving nature of trade and industry in the early medieval period, and its connections with power and ideology.