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After marching approximately 180 miles in a staggering 5 days, the Saxon army arrived on the west side of the river. Despite being very tired, they were still ready to fight a long and bloody battle. The Viking army could not have been in a more disastrous position. They had expected the Saxons to come up a few days later, and so they were not wearing any armour, as they had left them on their ships. Moreover, their army was split in two by the river and had not placed any kind of defensive measures, such as lookouts.

The Vikings on the west side either put up a futile defence or ran for their lives across the bridge. Those who decided to fight were slaughtered without mercy. However, the Saxons came across an obstacle on the bridge. The story goes that a giant Norseman armed with an axe held up the entire Saxon army, and singlehandedly cut down over 40 Saxon soldiers. He himself was only killed when one cunning Saxon, drifted under the bridge in a barrel and thrust his spear through the latches of the bridge, killing the Norseman.