Series 1 - Episode 3



We all know that Canute couldn’t hold back the tide, but his Norse origins aren’t quite as well known as his day at the beach. The ruler of a huge empire and an early standardiser of European currency, Canute was laid to rest in Christian fashion at Winchester Cathedral. But his roots were pagan. He was a Viking. The story of how he came to be king of all England is also the story of how the Viking world kept changing, with fortresses, dynasties and, crucially, conversion to Christianity.

Throughout his programmes about the Vikings, Neil Oliver has kept the clichéd tales of violent pillage to a minimum, but it seems that they were not the only ones to behave badly.


Neil Oliver tells the story of how the age of the Vikings came to an end, using archaeological evidence to explore the lives of the first Danish kings, the spread of Christianity in Scandinavia, and the voyages of discovery undertaken by Norse sailors in the Atlantic. He also profiles Canute, the former king of England, and reveals why the reputation he has accrued over the past millennium does a disservice to his diplomatic feats. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Neil Oliver
Director Simon Winchcombe
Executive Producer Eamon Hardy
Producer Simon Winchcombe
Series Producer Cameron Balbirnie