Posted by: travelrat | May 29, 2013

Vikings at Sarum

Vikings B2

Most Bank Holidays, English Heritage put on a historical re-enactment at Old Sarum. This time, the Vikings came, in whom I’m particularly interested, since I just returned from Norway.

I’d like to think, too, that I’m descended from Vikings, for I used to thrill to the tales of characters like Erik Blood-axe and Olaf the Fart (I was disappointed to learn, years later, that the delightfully musical surname of the latter simply meant ‘The Traveller’)

Vikings B4

Of course, they were keen to demonstrate that there was much more to Viking culture than rape, plunder, pillage, looting and burning … these things are forbidden nowadays under the Health and Safety Act, anyway.

Vikings B3

Some of the Vikings, indeed, came as peaceful traders and settlers … but that’s not nearly as interesting. And, most of them pointed out … the winged or horned helmet is purely a figment of the Victorian imagination, as is the so-called ‘Whitby Prayer’.

‘From the fury of the Northmen, good Lord, deliver us’

In fact, someone once jokingly suggested it may actually have been written for the occasion that Newcastle United came to Wembley to play Chelsea for the FA Cup!

Vikings B1


  1. Looks like it was fun, wish I’d been there! I find the Vikings very interesting too. Great pictures

    • Hi, Stevie!

      Are you in the area? Because the Vikings will be appearing at the Ancient Technology Centre at Cranborne, Dorset on the 27th and 28th July.

      • Ooh actually yes. My boyfriend lives in Bournemouth, so not too far away at all. Thanks for the heads up! I’ll definitely try to get there.

  2. […] the Vikings came to Old Sarum a couple of years ago, (see ) they were at pains to point out that not all of them were bloodthirsty warriors, who wouldn’t […]

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