Tuesday, 21 June 2005 01:00

Canvey Viking Ghost

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In 793 AD the Vikings invaded Britain. At first they reached the north of England and within less than 100 years they had worked their way south and had taken control of large chunks of England.


By the year 865 AD most of England had been seized and the big battle was for the south and west of England, known then as 'Wessex'. The British didn't give up easily. In fact the Vikings never took control of Wessex, but the Battle of Benfleet raged in the south of Essex...

Canvey Island, lying in the most southerly part of Essex was caught up in the battles that raged for Wessex, and it can easily be imagined that Viking Long Boats would pass by Canvey Island, heading down the Thames on their quest, to take Britain by force. It's not hard to take that one step further and imagine that many battles were fought on The Thames and just off the coast of Canvey Island.

Local Canvey legends have it that around 865 AD, in one such battle a Long Boat did indeed face battle and sunk without trace just off the Canvey Island coast. The boat met it's watery death and sunk beneath the waves. In the panic many Viking warriors struggled to make their way to the Canvey coastland, but on that rough windy night the currents that form as the Thames meets the North Sea were too strong and powerful for even the most rugged of Vikings, and all the crew lost their lives desperately trying to reach the land. None survived, all were taken. All except one. One warrior made it to the mud flats of Canvey and managed to haul himself up onto the shore. But it was too late he didn't have an ounce of energy left and he soon died on the shore. It is said that under the right circumstances his ghost can still be seen, crawling and stumbling across the mud flats, desperately searching for his friends and his boat. The ghost has been reported by many different people, over many years. Witnesses include a local priest in the 1950's, so if ever you visit Canvey Island, take a stroll to Canvey Point, wait for the Sun to set, and see if you can see the Canvey Viking.

If you've seen the Canvey Viking or have anything to add let us know.

Read 8511 times Last modified on Friday, 25 October 2013 23:22
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