Record Breaking Viking Invasion

Press Release: 22/11/2004

What would King Alfred have made of events at the City Museum during Half Term?

A group of Vikings set up camp in the heart of Alfred's capitol city, and instead of a fierce battle with the locals, were greeted with open arms by the present day Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of the City.

Valgard, a Viking warrior, Katya, his lady, and their children; all local members of the Vikings Re-enactment Society, were invited to the city by the City Council's Museums Service.

The Vikings brought history alive by allowing visitors to handle replicas of the real artefacts on display in the museum around them. Lucky children were able to try a Viking helmet for size, hold a sword or battleaxe, or grind flour with a quernstone.

"Visitors were able to find out all about the Viking way of life, how they dressed, what they ate, how they fought and the games they played." said Robin Iles, Winchester City Council's museum service education officer.

"Museum staff and Vikings were kept busy, as the continuing appeal of all things Viking attracted an all time record-breaking number of 890 visitors to the museum on one day".

You can see jewellery, coins and carvings from the time of King Alfred and the Vikings in the City Museum, Winchester open Tuesday-Saturday 10-4, Sunday 12-4. Admission free.