The nursery rhyme 'London Bridge is falling down' could be linked to a Viking named Olaf the Stout who fixed cables from long ships to the bridge and pulled it into the Thames. So who was Olaf the Stout…
Olaf Haraldsson later known as St. Olaf (and traditionally as St. Olave), was King of Norway from 1015 to 1028. As a teenager he went to the Baltic, then to Denmark and later to England. Skaldic poetry suggests he led a successful seaborne attack which pulled down London Bridge, though this is not confirmed by Anglo-Saxon sources. This may have been in 1014, restoring London and the English throne to Æthelred the Unready and removing Cnut. But Olaf's success was short-lived. In 1026 he lost the Battle of the Helgeå, and in 1029 the Norwegian nobles, seething with discontent, supported the invasion of King Cnut the Great of Denmark. Olaf was driven into exile in Kievan Rus. He stayed for some time in Sweden in the province of Nerike where, according to local legend, he baptised many locals. In 1029, King Cnut's Norwegian regent, Jarl Håkon Eiriksson, was lost at sea. Olaf seized the opportunity to win back the kingdom, but he fell in 1030 at the Battle of Stiklestad, where some of his own subjects from central Norway took arms against him
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