Wirral & West Lancashire Viking Research Page
One of the four new Thingwall signposts on Wirral – officially opened June 15th 2012.
Cross Hill – believed to be the site of Wirral’s Thing – is to the right of the hedge. Thanks to Don, Roy, Matt and United Utilities.
Next project: Meols Park Viking
Statue. Click here!
Headline from The Guardian, 3rd December 2007
from The Independent, 8th December 2004
BEHIND THIS PAGE
I’m Steve Harding, Professor of Applied Biochemistry at the University of Nottingham and welcome to my Wirral and West Lancashire Viking Research page. It’s been designed primarily to keep people abreast of research on the Vikings in this part of North West England, although I‘ve added quite a bit of trivia too. The page was first set up in 2002 as The Wirral 1100th Viking Anniversary Page to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of Vikings arriving and settling in Wirral in or around AD902, an event generally accepted by Scholars to be correct. Wirral was the area I was born and brought up and I was particularly inspired when as a Finals year student, not in History but in Natural Science - Physics - I stumbled on F.T. Wainwright’s book “Scandinavian England” in the College Library. What was particularly inspiring was when I found that the football team I had been supporting since the age of 5 had a Norse Viking name: Tranmere! And more recently ITV Weatherman Fred Talbot described Wirral as “Little Scandinavia”. This website is a collection of cuttings and trivia about not just Wirral but also neighbouring West Lancashire and Chester which are also steeped in Viking tradition (but Lancastrians and Cestrians please forgive my Wirral bias). Although Linguistics, History and Archaeology have been the main grammar of enquiry, Biology and Physics are now making important contributions and there are several examples of this below – and of teams of people working together. The book that has just appeared VIKING DNA: The Wirral and West Lancashire Project provides an excellent example of this. For a more general picture of Vikings in the Irish Sea region I recommend Dr. David Griffiths book Vikings of the Irish Sea, also published last year. Due to copyright restrictions I haven’t been able to directly link to all that I would have wished but I have put a link to an email request where appropriate. If there are any glaring mistakes or factual inaccuracies please let me know.
The year 2002 marked the 1100th anniversary of the expulsion of Vikings from Ireland and their subsequent arrival and settlement of Wirral, a small peninsula between Wales and Liverpool, by Norsemen and Danes: Vikings from Norway and Denmark… and although they appear to have settled peacefully, 2007 also marked the 1100th anniversary of the start of their raids on Chester.
Migrations Picture: John Harding
After their expulsion from Dublin in AD902 the Wirral Vikings, initially led by the Norwegian Viking INGIMUND, would have landed in their boats along the north Wirral coastline probably between what is now the lighthouse at Lingham (Old Norse lyng-holmr), Hoylake/Meols (Melr), West Kirby (vestri Kirkjubyr) and Thurstaston (Thorsteinn’s tun). They spread throughout the peninsula as far as south Chester and across the Mersey to populate South West Lancashire, joining another large group of Vikings who populated West Lancashire. Let's explore!...
1. Scandinavian England (F.T. Wainwright, ed. H.P.R. Finberg, 1975). Now out of print but 3 chapters (on Wirral) are reprinted in Wirral and its Viking Heritage, and one (on Lancashire) in Viking Mersey.
4. Viking Norway (Torgrim Titlestad, 2008), hardback, 405 pages, Saga Bok (Stavanger). Order from Saga Bok or Bokkilden. Contains an Appendix: Norway’s “colony” of Wirral, Liverpool.
6. Stability of Complex Carbohydrate Structures. Biofuels, Foods, Vaccines and Shipwrecks (edited by Stephen Harding, January 2013), Royal Society of Chemistry (based on a Meeting held at the RSC, Burlington House, London, September 2011). Leading experts exchange ideas and consider the stability and degradation (mechanisms and measurement) of carbohydrate structures in areas as diverse as food, biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, biofuels and preservation of Viking boats from microbial decay.
3. VIKING MERSEY: Scandinavian Wirral, West Lancashire and Chester. (Stephen Harding, 2002), paperback, 240 pages, Countyvise Ltd. Amazon link (UK) and Amazon.com.
4. Bjarki the Viking (Jane Dickman, March 2010), paperback, 80 pages (for 7-12 year olds).
5. VIKING DNA. The Wirral and West Lancashire Project (Steve Harding, Mark Jobling and Turi King, Foreword by Michael Wood. Countyvise, December 2010), paperback, colour 166 pages. Amazon.co.uk [click on “5 new” and follow the Countyvise Link & order your copy for £17.50] … and Amazon.com.
1. In Search of the Vikings (book based on the Chester Viking Conference, November 2010, edited by S. Harding, D. Griffiths and E. Royles) – due Spring 2013.
2. In Search of the Battle of Brunanburh (P. Cavill & S. Harding) – due Spring
1. North-West Mercia AD871-924. Article by F.T. Wainwright, originally published in the Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire in 1942 and edited version reprinted in Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 19-42.
2. Ingimund’s Invasion. Article by F.T. Wainwright, originally published in the English Historical Review in 1948 and edited version reprinted in Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 43-59.
3. The Background of Brunanburh. Article by John McNeal Dodgson, originally published in the Saga Book of the Viking Society in 1957 and reprinted in Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 60-69.
4. Early monuments of West Kirby. Article by W.G. Collingwood. Originally published in John Brownbill ed., West Kirby and Hilbre. A Parochial History, 1928 and reprinted in Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 84-97.
5. Wirral Field Names. Article by F.T. Wainwright, originally published in Antiquity in 1943 and edited version reprinted in Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 98-99.
6. Pre-Norman crosses of West Cheshire and the Norse settlements around the Irish Sea. Article by J.D. Bu’Lock, originally published in Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society in 1958 and in Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 70-83.
7. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Stanley family of Stanley, Storeton and Hooton. Review of English Studies, volume 30, pages 308-316 (1979). Article by Edward Wilson. The 14th century poem is interesting from a Wirral perspective in that some of the (fictitious) action takes place in Wirral, the poem contains a significant proportion of Norse dialect words and a number of scholars such as Edward Wilson, Gervase Mathew and Andrew Breeze have associated the unknown poet with Sir John Stanley of Storeton Hall, Knight of the Garter.
8. Scandinavian Wirral. Article by Judith Jesch. From Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 1-10.
9. From Scandinavia to the Wirral. Article by Judith Jesch, with appendix by Simon Bean a silver ingot discovered in 1995 at Ness. From Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 11-18.
10. The Vikings and Victorian Merseyside. Article by Andrew Wawn. From Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 108-124.
11. Locations and Legends. Article by Steve Harding on the location of names and features in Wirral, mapping the distribution of some Norse-derived names, and looks at some tenacious Victorian legends. From Wirral and its Viking Heritage, ed. P. Cavill, S. Harding & J. Jesch, 2000, pages 108-124.
12. Battle of Brunanburh: extract from book by Paul Cavill – Vikings: Fear and Faith in Anglo-Saxon England, Harper Collins Publishers, London & Glasgow, 2001, pages 97-111. See also The Context of Brunanburh. Chapter by N.J. Higham in Names, Places, People. An Onomastic Miscellany in Memory of John McNeal Dodgson (ed. A.R. Rumble and A.D. Mills), Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1997, pages 144-156.
13. Viking Settlement in the Wirral. Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society, new series vol 78, 2003, pages 107-117. Article by Stephen Matthews suggesting Ingimund's arrival was part of a deal with Queen Aethelflaed.
14. Scandinavian Settlement in West Cheshire - Stretching the Boundaries. Cheshire History, no. 43, pages 28-40 (2003/4). Article by Dan Robinson of the Grosvenor Museum, Chester: it includes a description of the Shocklach "Sleipnir" Horse.
15. Revisiting Dingesmere. Journal of the English Place Name Society, October 2004, volume 36, pages 25-38. Article by Paul Cavill, Stephen Harding and Judith Jesch suggesting a solution to a mystery concerning the Battle of Brunanburh: Dingesmere = Thing’s mere or marr.
16. The Wirral Carrs and Holms. Journal of the English Place Name Society, December 2007 volume 39, pages 45-57. Article by Steve Harding on the distribution of the carrs (ON kjarr) and holms (ON holmr) in Wirral - old Norse names associated with marshland - and their significance in terms of dialect (and in relation to the total absence of corresponding English names for the same features) - and possible relevance to the Battle of Brunanburh.
17. The Neston cross: an exercise in community engagement. Abstract by Roger White, Steve Harding and Martin Cooper in Vikings in the 21st century (J. Jesch, C. Lee, J. Carroll and C. Callow, eds). University of Birmingham 17-18 December, 2007. Use of the latest scanning laser technologies to help construct a replica of a remarkable piece.
18. The site of the battle of Brunanburh: manuscripts and maps, grammar and geography. Article by Paul Cavill in A Commodity of Good Names. Essays in Honour of Margaret Gelling (edited by O.J. Padek and D.N. Parsons), Shaun Tyas, Donington UK, pages 303-319, 2008.
19. . Molecular Biology and Evolution, February 2008 volume 25, pages 301-309. Article by Georgina Bowden, Patricia Balaresque, Turi King, Ziff Hansen, Giles Pergl-Wilson, Emma Hurley, Stephen Roberts, Patrick Waite, Judith Jesch, Abigail Jones, Mark Thomas, Stephen Harding and Mark Jobling.
20. Wirral: folklore and locations: Chapter by Steve Harding in The Battle of Brunanburh (ed. Michael Livingston), Exeter University Press, accepted for publication 8th May 2009.
1. BBC Radio Merseyside, Tony Snell show, 5/2/01 ("The Vikings" - 20 min)
2. BBC North West Tonight Broadcast 23/2/01 (News item by Mark Edwardson - launch of 2 new Wirral/Mersey Viking books, 3 min)
3. ITV1 Granada Reports, 9/10/01 (News Item by Rachel Bullock: Derek Mellor from Neston - 3 min)
4. BBC North West Tonight, 22/10/01 (News item by Alan Newry: Keith Sherratt from Frankby - 2 min)
5. BBC Blood of the Vikings, 13/11/01 (clip from programme 2 - Brunanburh, 1 min)
6. BBC Blood of the Vikings, 4/12/01 (clip from programme 5 - Wirral and the Lake District, 3 min)
7. BBC Blood of the Vikings, 4/12/01 (clip from programme 5 - Bill Housley from Meols, 3 min)
8. Channel One, 3/1/02 (News item by Nicola Dixon - 1100th anniversary of Viking settlements, 3.5min)
9. BBC Radio Lancashire, 8/3/02 Patrick Waite talks about the forthcoming genetic survey of Wirral and W. Lancs.
10. BBC Radio Merseyside, 1/5/02 Lucinda Smith describes the celebration of 1100 years of Norse Wirral.
11. BBC Radio Merseyside, 1st broadcast 28/5/02 Where's Wirral? - BBC Sense of Place series, 30 min. Roger Phillips interviews Lorraine Rogers, Ben Harrison, Helen Renner, Steve Harding, and Scirard Lancelyn-Green. Brief excerpt.
12. BBC Radio Lancashire, 5/5/02 Patrick Waite and Wigan MP Ron Rigby talk further about the forthcoming genetic survey of Wirral and W. Lancs.
13. BBC Radio Lancashire, 14/11/02 Alison Brown covers the DNA Sampling session at Ormskirk the previous day.
14. BBC Radio 4, Nature Series, 18/10/04 One of the Vikings favorite dishes was lobster. Lionel Kelleway talks to experts about a fascinating molecule that comes from the shell of this creature.
15. BBC Radio 4, Today Programme, 20th December 2004, Review of Today's Papers - Battle of Brunanburh.
16. BBC News at One. 20th December 2004 (3 min). Report following Steve’s initial suggestion of the identification of Dingesmere in the Battle of Brunanburh as Things-mere. The research paper, Revisiting Dingesmere: Journal of the English Place Name Society, October 2004, volume 36, pages 25-38.
17. BBC Radio 4, 6pm News, 20th December 2004, Mark Simpson Reports on the Battle of Brunanburh.
18. BBC North West Tonight, 20th December 2004, News Item by Abbie Jones on the Battle of Brunanburh.
19. BBC Radio Merseyside, Roger Phillips Show, 31st December 2004 (5 min) Report by Laura Fynn on Dingesmere and the Battle of Brunanburh.
20. BBC Lancashire Telling Lives Series, January 2005 (2 min) "My Grandad Said": short film by Gladys Armstrong about the origins of the Rimmers.
21. BBC Radio Merseyside, Breakfast Show, 25th January 2005 (6 min) Wirral Head Ranger Martyn Jamieson and Steve Harding talking about "Dingesmere" - the "Things mere" on the Dee estuary.
22. ITV1 Granada (North West England): LOST TREASURES, Series 1, Episode 4, Part 1 (11min) before the break and Part 2 (11min) after the break. VIKINGS. Mark Olly and Stephen Harding go in search of Viking Treasures in Lancashire, Isle of Man and Wirral. Thursday 1st September 2005, 7.30pm.
23. BBC North West (Inside Out Series) Monday 2nd October 2006, 7.30pm: The Wirral Vikings! Programme about the Wirhalh Skip Felag. (8 minutes, 160Mb)
25. BBC Radio Merseyside, 8th January 2007 (5min). Steve Harding pays tribute to Magnus Magnusson.
26. ITV1 Granada, Sunday April 29th 2007: LOST TREASURES, Series 2, Episode 1: mystery over old cliinker boat buried beneath a pub at Meols: Mark and Steve explore. Download high resolution avi version.
27. RUV TV (Iceland) Kastljos, 21st June 2007 (2 min). Icelandic Booker Prize winner Andri Snaer Magnason and Mike McCartney talk about the Viking Mersey book and Liverpool’s ICE2007 Festival
28. BBC News24. 10th September 2007 (4min) News item on Ground Penetrating Radar studies on an old boat buried under a pub – and a hypothesis of what it might be.
29. ITV1 Granada, 13th September 2007 (3.5min). Reporter Andy Bonner visits the Railway Inn, Meols and meets the team behind the Ground Penetrating Radar studies on the old boat underneath the pub.
30. BBC Radio Merseyside, 26th November 2007 (4 min). Tony Snell Breakfast Show. Looking forward to the Viking Genetics event at the David Lloyd Leisure Centre, Knowsley the following evening.
31. NRK Radio, 27th November 2007 (6 min). Norgesglasset. Prof. Torgrim Titlestad (University of Stavanger) reviews the publication of the Viking Genetics paper in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Introduction, Notes, Elink to Norgesglasset.
32. BBC Radio Merseyside, 28th November 2007 (3 min). Tony Snell Breakfast Show. Looking back at the Viking Genetics event.
33. BBC North West Tonight, Evening News 28th November 2007 (3.5min). News item by Andy Gill reflecting on the publication of the Viking Genetics paper in Molecular Biology and Evolution.
35. ITV1 Granada, 20th July 2008 6pm (22 min) LOST TREASURES (Series 3, Episode 5): VIKINGS 3. Mark and Steve go in chase of Vikings again…. and also this clip from Lost Treasures Episode 7: Anglesey, broadcast on 3rd August 2008.
36. CityTalk105.9 (Liverpool), 26th July 2008 8.15am (6 min). Saturday Breakfast Show: Simon O’Brien talks with Steve Harding about the days Olsok08 Viking Churches Heritage Walk between Neston and St. Olave’s Chester.
37. Sunday August 31st: ITV1 Granada, 5.30pm. FRED’S FAMILY WALKS, Episode 3: Fred takes us for a walk in Little Scandinavia. ITV Weatherman Fred Talbot walks through a corner of Viking Wirral with Steve Harding. Low resolution version.
39. BBC2, Saturday 3rd January 2009, 8pm-9pm GMT. Neil Oliver gives the Scottish perspective on the Battle of Brunanburh - and emphasizes its importance for the UK. “The Last of the Free: At the dawn of the first millennia there was no Scotland or England. In the first episode of this landmark series, Neil Oliver reveals the mystery of how the Gaelic Scottish Kingdom - Alba - was born, and why its role in one of the greatest battles ever fought on British soil defined the shape of Britain into the modern era “. Repeat of broadcast on BBC1 Scotland in November 2008. Direct link to the piece.
40. WCR Radio (W. Miidlands), Monday 9th November 2009, 7pm, Philip Solomon show. Philip chats with Steve Harding about the Vikings and DNA tests.
41. BBC Radio Lancashire, Saturday 30th May 2010, 1pm. (8 minutes). Maria Felix-Vas talks to Steve about the DNA testing in North Lancashire and the earlier results for Wirral-West Lancs. Part of the Viking Day at Lancaster Maritime Museum.
42. BBC Radio Lancashire, Saturday 18th December 2010, 8.20am. (6 minutes). John Gilmore talks to Steve about the new book “Viking DNA: The Wirral and West Lancashire Project”.
43. BBC Radio Lancashire & BBC Radio Manchester, Tuesday 18th January 2011, 10.25pm. (35 minutes). John Barnes talks to David Johnson (Tarleton) and David Swindlehurst (Preston) about DNA and their Viking ancestry.
44. BBC Radio Lancashire, Thursday 10th February 2011, 2pm. (35 minutes) John Gilmore and the new book.
45. NRK1 Norway (Rogaland), Friday 27th May 2011. News item (in Norwegian) about volunteer training of recruit oarsmen for the Drakken Harald Fairhair Longship Project (news item runs from 8.21 to 11.36)
46. BBC Radio Merseyside, Sunday 29th May 2011 5pm & Wednesday 2nd June 9pm (30 minutes). Roger Phillips asks Steve Harding how he got involved with the Vikings – he also talks about the Harald Fairhair project.
47. ITV1 GranadaReports, Wednesday 6th July 2011 6pm (3 minutes). London may have the Olympics in 2012 but the NorthWest has the Draken in 2013! Andy Bonner and Steve Harding are at Meols & talk about the Draken Harald Fairhair project– and then Liverpool Victoria Boat Club put them through their paces…
48. Channel 4, Wednesday 26th October 2011 (1 minute). Opening sequence from Come Dine with me “Welcome to Wirral, home of Tranmere Rovers, the only football league team with a Viking name”.
49. BBC Radio Merseyside 18th November 2011 (3 minutes). Steve tries to persuade RM’s Roger Phillips to become a Tranmere fan as part of BBC’s Children in Need, live on air, Radio Merseyside.
50. NRK Østlandet, 9th December 2011 (20 minutes). Interview with Stig Vaagan (in Norwegian/ i norsk) about the new book Vikingblod.
52. BBC Radio Merseyside 27th January 2012, 11.58am (2 minutes). Roger Phillips on Steve’s award from Norway.
53. BBC Radio Nottingham 27th January 2012, 5.55pm (5 minutes). Simon Hoborn also talks to Steve about his award from Norway.
54. BBC Radio Lancashire 30th January 2012, 8.25am (5 minutes). Graham Liver talks to Steve about the Vikings in Lancashire – are they still here today?
55. BBC North West Tonight 14th March 2012, 6.45pm (2.5 minutes). Andy Gill reports.
56. BBC Radio Merseyside 14th March 2012, 6.50pm (7 minutes). Lee Bennion (Drivetime) reports.
57. BBC Radio Cumbria, 15th March 2012, 7.25am (2.5 minutes). Ian Timms reports.
59. ITV1 Granada Reports, Friday 15th June 2012, 8pm. News item by Andy Bonner on the unveiling of the new Thingwall signposts in Wirral.
POPULAR MAGAZINE & JOURNAL ARTICLES
1. The Great Stone of Thor (Notes and Queries, 5th Series 8, Nov 1877, pages 364-365) and 6th Series 3, Jan 1881 pages 30-31). Two articles by Sir James Picton pondering the origins of a large outcrop of red sandstone at Thurstaston. Picton argues the name Thurstaston derives from Thors stone whereas later research shows it derives from Thorsteinn’s farmstead – Old Norse, but nothing to do with what we now call Thor’s stone.
2. Meols (article by David Griffiths) British Archaeology, Issue 62, December 2001, p8.
3. Bookshelf: Viking Mersey. (Charles Nelson reviews the latest releases with a Lancashire flavour), Lancashire Life, April 2003, p270
4. The Norsemen Re-Take Thingwall. Wirral Champion, July 2003, p61 (Report on the 1st Icelandic tour)
6. The Brunanburgh Viking. Poulton Hall Gardens Magazine, April 2004, page 11. Article by June Lancelyn-Green on the unveiling of Sue Sharples Sculpture "The Brunanburgh Viking", 4th April 2004.
7. On the Net: The Vikings. BBC History Magazine, May, 2004, page 71. Chris Moss and Steve Harding review Viking web sites.
8. June Lancelyn Green's Dowagers Diary. Wirral Champion, August, 2004, pages 36,37. Article includes Sue Sharples' Brunanburgh Viking.
9. Viking Wirral and the Battle of Brunanburh. Battlefield, August, 2004, pages 22, 23.
10. Its all in a name. BBC History Magazine, January 2005, volume 6, no.1., page 61. Article by Robin Attar in the Journals section, reviewing the recent publication in the Journal of the English Place Name Society about Dingesmere and the Battle of Brunanburh.
11. If you are looking for the Vikings - looking no further! Teaching and Learning Magazine, January/February 2006, page 64. Feature article by Juliet Smith on the forthcoming launch this year of the Web Resource 'Vikings in Wirral'.
12. Vikings nice blokes really, Times Education Supplement Magazine, 19 January 2007 pages 54-55. Feature by Stephen Manning on the launch of the Web Resource ‘Vikings in Wirral’, with Mike McCartney.
13. Scandinavian Invasion, Tranmere Rovers Official Programme (Tranmere v Chesterfield, 2nd March 2007), p21 &36. Article by Tony Coombes about Tranmere’s growing band of Scandinavian supporters.
14. Honour for Norwegian king. Oxford Today, Hilary Issue, 2007. page 4. Article about award of Degree of Doctor of Civil Law to King Harald V. Harald tells about the long line of Norwegian kings educated in England since Harald Haarfagre’s son Hakon the Good. You can download the King’s speech here.
15. Viking Time Travellers. Historic cross at Neston to be restored. Wirral Champion, October 2007. Article on the stone fragments belonging to 10th Century Viking crosses at Neston.
16. Anglo-Norse Review, Winter 2007, pages 27-30. Report on the rediscovery using Ground Penetrating Radar of an old buried clinker boat at Meols – and speculation as to what it might be.
17. A Viking ship at Meols? Current Archaeology, December 2007, volume 213, pages 4-5. Article by Lisa Westcott about an intriguing vessel buried under the Railway Inn car park, Meols.
18. The Viking Roots of North-west England. Current Archaeology, April 2008, volume 217, page 7. News item about the publication of the paper in Molecular Biology and Evolution.
19. Norways “colony” of Wirral, Liverpool. Appendix article in Torgrim Titlestad’s book Viking Norway, Saga Bok, Stavanger, 2008, pages 371-379.
22. St. Olav’s Viking Walk. The Norseman, January 2009, pages 46-53. Article by Steve Harding and Dan Robinson on the Wirral-Chester “Olsok” Viking walk.
23. Viking Wirral and Viking Genes. Heswall Magazine, February 2010, pages 24-25.
24. Ny “Liverpool-bok” I salg: Vikingblod. November 2011. Artikkel i "Kopite" - for de 30 000 medlemmene av den skandinaviske støtter klubben av Liverpool FC - om ny bok av Steve og Stig om det skandinaviske påvirkninger fortid og nåtid i området rundt Liverpool - Wirral og West Lancashire - i Nordvest-England. [Article in the "Kopite" – for the 30000 members of the Scandinavian supporters club of Liverpool FC - about the new book by Steve and Stig about the Scandinavian influences past and present in the area around Liverpool - Wirral and West Lancashire - in north west England].
25. Nottingham’s Knight of Norway. Article in the University of Nottingham Newsletter, February 2012.
26. Wirral Sets Sail. Cheshire Life, June 2012 pages 217-220. Article by Emma Mayoh. NB “King Alfred” should read “Queen Aethelflaed, daughter of King Alfred”.
27. Vikings in The Wirral: From Tranmere Rovers to the Royal Palace. The Pembrokian (Pembroke College Oxford Magazine), Issue 36, July 2012, page 7. Article by Sophie Elkan.
1. The last of the Wirral Vikings, (Article by Jim Barrow about Mr. Gordon Tottey from West Kirby) Daily Post, 15/3/1971, page 5
2. Wirral’s place names – Viking heritage. (Article by David Healey on the Viking place names in Wirral) Wirral News 5/7/80, pages 14-15
3. Meols’ relics mimic the Viking culture (Article by David Healey on the finds from Ancient Meols – and the artistic tastes of the Vikings) Wirral News 12/7/80, page 14
4. Wirral’s Vikings – Cultured and Christian (Article by David Healey on the culture and Christianity of the early Viking settlers) Wirral News 19/7/80, page 11
5. Ethelred was ready (Article by David Healey on the Norseman Ingimund – a man who incited Wirral’s Vikings to attack Chester – or did he?) Wirral News 26/7/80, page 13
6. 'Stonehenge' in Thurstaston?, Hoylake and West Kirby News, 10/5/89
7. Viking stone used for Odin worship, Wallasey News, 17/5/89
8. "Fury at Odin cult's beliefs", and "Live and let live: Son Ragnor replies" , Wallasey News, 28/6/89 and (reply) 7/7/89?
9. Woodland rape cry 'Vikings', Wirral News, 1990 (exact date uncertain)
10. 'Heathens' plan for local Viking village, Heswall News, 12/12/1990. Article about plan to set up "Vendel", a local Viking village.
11. Blushing Bride a Viking, (Article about Viking Marriage at Thor's Stone, Thurstaston) Wirral News, 5/6/91
12. The Vikings are back - in peace (Article by Alan Weston), Daily Post, 24/2/01, page 14
13. De fant Tors Hammer (They found Thor's Hammer - article by Hermann Hansen) Adresseavisen (Norway) 24/2/01, page 5. Translation
14. Vikinger fram fra glemselen (Vikings rescued from oblivion- article by Trine Andersen) Dagsavisen (Norway), 27/02/01, page 21
15. Wirral's Viking legacy (Article by Louise Powney), Wirral News Group, 7/3/01
16. Bætt við breska víkingaafarinn (a rediscovered British Viking Place - article by Sigrun Davidsdottir) Morgunblaðið (Iceland) - lesbók section, 10/3/01, p17
17. New book reveals Wirral's Viking past, (Article by Stuart Hughes), Wirral Globe, 14/3/01
18. Pupils keen to pass Viking DNA tests (Article by Louise Powney), Wirral News Group, 17/07/02
19. Youngsters get back in touch with Viking roots, (article by David Harding), Wirral Chronicle, 5/07/02 p21
20. Modern Vikings!: swab tests, Wirral Globe, 24/07/02, p21
21. City to Celebrate its long Viking history , Chester Chronicle, 9/08/02, p19
22. Vikings return in force to Chester ... one thousand years on, Daily Post, 13/08/02, p7
23. Viking Invasion wins over Town, Chester Chronicle, 16/08/02 p13
24. Church's Viking Past, The Mail (Chester), 21/08/02, p2
25. Peaceful invaders from across the sea, (Article by Clifford Birchall), Ormskirk Advertiser, 21/11/02, p25
26. Viking's New Home. Wirral News, 21st April 2004. Article by Louise Powney on Sue Sharples' Brunanburh Viking sculpture at Poulton Hall.
27. Discovery is rewriting our peninsula's history. Wirral Globe, 23rd June 2004, page 11. Article by Eric Munn on amazing discovery of Viking stonework at Bidston.
28. VIKINGS ARE RETURNING: Heritage of Norse invaders to be marked. Wirral News, 21st July 2004, Page 1 and Page 2. Article by Louise Powney on the Wirral Viking Heritage Project.
29. BATTLE COULD SPARK BOOM: Heath site of historic conflict. Wirral News, 13th October, 2004, pages 1-2. Article by Kevin Core on the solution of a mystery concerning the Battle of Brunanburh: “Dingesmere” as the “Thing’s mere or marr”. See also web link and also this video clip of marshland/wetland on the Dee estuary.
30. For the Cradle of English Civilisation, go to the Wirral. The Independent, 8th December 2004, page 15. Article by Louise Jury on the Battle of Brunanburh.
31. Is this the battle site that shaped England's destiny? The Times, 20th December 2004, page 18. Article by Ben Hoyle on the Battle of Brunanburh.
32. History Hot Topic! Wirral News, 10th August, 2005. Article by Louise Powney/ photo Val Curtis about the annual Viking boat burning at Thurstaston.
33. Rovers Fan on Rich-List. Wirral News, 16th November, 2005. Article by Louise Powney on rumours from Norway that Shipping Magnate John Fredriksen is a Tranmere Rovers supporter.
34. Stone 'most vital' find in 20 years Wirral News, 30th November, 2005. Article by Louise Powney about a lecture given by Professor Richard Bailey on the discovery of the 'mini-hogback' tombstone at Bidston.
35. New bar mixes area's past with the present. Wirral News, 20th September, 2006, page 7. Article by Katy West on The Wro in West Kirby and an ancient Charter.
36. Viking Scholar asked the right questions. Wirral News, 10th January, 2007. Wirral News’ tribute to Magnus Magnusson, who died on Sunday 7th January 2007.
37. Viking Support. Wirral Globe, 6th March, 2007. Article about the large numbers of Norwegians coming to Tranmere home games – and the historical connection with the Vikings.
38. Viking invaders are flocking to Tranmere. Wirral News, 7th March, 2007, page 6. Article about over 100 Norwegian supporters now regularly coming to Tranmere’s Friday home games – and the historical connection with the Vikings.
39. Festival Celebrates our Viking Heritage. Wirral News, 27th June, 2007, page 11. Article by Katy West on visit by Wirral Cultural delegation Mike McCartney and Steve Harding to Iceland as guests of ICE2007 Festival organiser Ingi-Thor Jonsson and Icelandic Booker Prize winner Andri Snaer Magnason.
40. Heritage Walk. Wirral News, 25th July 2007. Article by Katy West on Wirral Viking Churches Heritage between St. Bridget’s West Kirby and St. Mary and St. Helen’s in Neston.
41. Bid to rebuild historic cross. Ellesmere Port Pioneer, 22nd August, 2007.
42. Town’s historic Viking cross to be restored. Ellesmere Port Standard, 22nd August, 2007.
43. Historic Find to be Rebuilt. Neston News, 22nd August, 2007, pages 1&2. Article by Matt Hurst on the stone fragments belonging to 10th Century Viking crosses at Neston.
45. Builder found Vikings washed up at Pub. The Times, 10th September 2007, p. 29. Article by Jack Malvern on the rediscovery using Radar methods of an old clinkerboat which may date from the Viking settlements on Wirral.
46. Radar scans reveal Viking boat underneath a Pub. Independent, 10th September 2007, p9. Article by Ciar Byrne on the rediscovery using Radar methods of an old clinkerboat which may date from the Viking settlements on Wirral.
47. Natives are of Viking Stock, Ormskirk Champion, 3rd October 2007, pages 1 and 5. Article by Natasha Robson on the forthcoming publication and presentation of results at the David Lloyd Centre, Knowsley, 27 November 2007, 7pm.
48. Ligge det et vikingskip under denne puben? (Transl. Does there lie a Vikingship under this pub?). Dagbladet (Norway) 20th October 2007 pages 14 and 15. Ole Bjørner Loe Welde considers the evidence for a Nordic clinker boat under the Railway Inn Pub at Meols, on the Wirral peninsular near Liverpool. Direct web link from Dagbladet. See also: The Meols Boat Project.
49. Vikingefunn ved pub? (Transl. Viking find at a pub?) Aftenposten (Norway) 30th October 2007 page 13. Article by Cato Guhnfeldt considering the evidence for a Nordic clinker boat.
50. Forensics tracking a Viking ancestry. Volunteers take a DNA voyage into the past. Wirral News, 31st October 2007 page 5. Article by Clifford Birchall on the forthcoming publication and presentation of results at the David Lloyd Centre, Knowsley, 27 November 2007, 7pm.
51. Viking links to be disclosed. Ormskirk Advertiser, 1st November 2007, page 29. Article by Clifford Birchall on the forthcoming publication and presentation of results at the David Lloyd Centre, Knowsley, 27 November 2007, 7pm.
52. Findings of Viking study expected soon. Midweek Advertiser, 7th November 2007, page 8. Article by Clifford Birchall on the forthcoming publication and presentation of results at the David Lloyd Centre, Knowsley, 27 November 2007, 7pm.
53. Forensics find Viking clues, Midweek Visiter, 7th November 2007, page 12. Article by Clifford Birchall on the forthcoming publication and presentation of results at the David Lloyd Centre, Knowsley, 27 November 2007, 7pm.
54. DNA’s the hi-tech way of digging up history of Vikings. Years of research about to be unveiled. Formby Times, 1st November 2007, page 36. Article by Clifford Birchall on the forthcoming publication and presentation of results at the David Lloyd Centre, Knowsley, 27 November 2007, 7pm.
55. Viking artefacts museum soon to open its doors. Daily Post, 13th November 2007. Article about the Charles Dawson Brown Museum at West Kirby.
56. Norse by north west. Liverpool Echo, 24th November 2007. Article by Martin Rigby on the forthcoming publication and presentation of results at the David Lloyd Centre, Knowsley, 27 November 2007.
57. Modern day Vikings. How experts are tracing descendants. Liverpool Echo, 1st December 2007. Article by Martin Rigby (follow up of #56) about the publication of the paper in Molecular Biology and Evolution and the presentation at Knowsley.
58. Proof of Liverpool’s Viking past. Guardian, 3rd December 2007, p4. Article by James Randerson (Science correspondent) about the forthcoming publication of the paper in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Web link and blog.
59. Focus on Link with the Vikings, 30th January 2008. Article by Sue McCann on the forthcoming St. Bridget’s Centre Appeal Lecture on 5th February.
60. Morgunbladid, 24th February 2008, pages 20-21. Innlent - greinar UPPRUNI Með víkingablóð í æðum Helmingur karla í Wirral og í Vestur-Lancashire afkomendur víkinganna. Article by Orri Pál Ormarsson about the publication of the paper in Molecular Biology and Evolution.
61. Morgunbladid, 6th June 2008, pages 1, 26 and 27. Víkingaborgin Liverpool. Sðgur, gen og tunumálið. Article by Arnthor Helgason about the Viking links of old Liverpool, Wirral and West Lancashire.
62. Nordmenn skal testes for vikingblod, 28th September 2008. Article by Geir Lillesund (NTB) in Norways most popular paper about the search for volunteers from old families in specific areas of Norway.
63. Bergens Tidende, 28th September 2008. Sjekkes for vikingblod. Article by Geir Lillesund (NTB) (in Norwegian) on the search for volunteers from old families in the Bergen area of Norway.
64. Aftenposten (Norway), 29th September 2008: Article by Geir Lillesund (NTB) about the search for volunteers from old families in specific areas of Norway.
65. Adresseavisen (Norway), 29th September 2008: Søker vikingblod hos nordmenn. Article by Geir Lillesund (NTB) about the search for volunteers from old families in Trondelag.
66. Jyllands Posten (Denmark), 29th September 2008: Article by Geir Lillesund (NTB) about the search for volunteers from old families in the Jutland and Sjaelland areas of Denmark.
67. Gudbrandsdølen Dagningen, 2nd October 2008. Har du vikingblod I årene? De er på jakt etter frivillige i Gudbrandsdalene. Article by Ingunn Aagedal Schinstad on the search for volunteers from old families in the Gudbrandsdalen area of Norway.
68. Liverpool Daily Post, 3rd January 2009. Page 3 article by Mike Chapple on the evenings BBC2 broadcast “History of Scotland” in which presenter Neil Oliver talks about the huge significance for the battle of Brunanburh and the birth of the Norse-Celtic alliance.
69. Yorkshire Post, 30th January 2009. 'Time team' to seek out genetic secrets of Yorkshire's Viking past. Feature by Mark Branagan on the follow up of the Wirral & West Lancashire survey to the rest of northern England.
70. Wirral News, 25th March 2009, page 5. Unlocking secrets of our Norse code. Feature by Lorna Hughes on the link-up between Thingwall in Wirral and Tingvoll in Norway, focusing on the schools and a visit of a 12-strong delegation from Tingvoll. Read also this report (in Norwegian) by Gunnlaug Ribe from Tingvoll Kommune.
71. Wirral News, 8th April 2009, page 24. Short Sighted. Letter by David Griffiths, Steve Harding and Rob Philpott protesting about the threatened closure of Wirral Libraries.
72. Wirral News, 22nd April, 2009. Tranmere must mark Viking name. Letter by Steve Harding about the 125th anniversary of Tranmere Rovers.
73. Wirral News, 3rd June 2009. Why Wirral is Worthy. Poem by Jenny Holliday.
74. Wirral News, 3rd June 2009. Cruel Vikings. Letter by Harry Smith (West Kirby).
75. Wirral News, 10th June 2009. Celebrate our Norse Heritage. Reply to Harry’s letter.
78. Wirral News, 19th May 2010. On the trail of Viking history. Article by Lorna Hughes on the unveiling of an Information board at Meols Park by MP Esther McVey.
79. Haugesunds Avis & Karmøy Lokal, 10th June 2010. Jakter på viking-gen. Article by Carsten Kickstat on genetic survey of old Norway, and visit of Mark,Turi and Steve. Pdf of visit - starting off with Marilyn Monroe and finishing with a tricolor picture with Per Anders and Stig.
80. Day the Vikings made a comeback and Heritage walk starts from Neston church; Wirral News, 21st July 2010. Double page spread of articles by Lorna Hughes covering the Nation Archaeolical Day event at Bidston and looking forward to thb St. Olav Viking Pilgrimage.
81. Pilgrimage is marking historical links and Vikings show how to live off the land: Wirral News, 4th August 2010. Articles by Lorna Hughes following the 2010 Wirral-Chester St. Olav Viking Pilgrimage.
82. Britain steeped in Viking blood: The Weekly News, Thursday 30th September 2010. A light hearted look by Craig Campbell about the legacy of the Vikings.
83. Viking Links Uncovered. Wirral News, 24th November 2010. Article by Lorna Hughes on the publication of the new Viking DNA book.
84. New book shows Vikings are still alive in West Lancashire. Southport Advertiser (and the Crosby Herald, Formby Times, Ormskirk Advertiser and the Skelmersdale Advertiser), 7th January 2011. Article by Joe Thomas on the publication of the new Viking DNA book.
85. Viking coin is a forgery. Wirral News, 2nd March 2011, page 3. Article by Lorna Hughes on the discovery that a coin discovered in Neston in 2005 and attributed to the Viking King Olaf Guthfrithsson – is an elaborate fake.
86. Return of the Vikings: Rebuilt longboat to head for Wirral. Wirral News, 25th May 2011, page 3. Article by Lorna Hughes on the Drakken Harald Fairhair longship project. Also: read her articles on p3 of the Liverpool Daily Post and the Liverpool Echo.
87. Call to mark Viking Link to Thingwall. Wirral News, 5th October 2011, page 13. Article by Lorna Hughes on the proposal to replace the missing Thingwall sign at the bottom of Cross Hill with one similar to the Tingwall sign in Shetlands.
88. Ny bok om Viking-spor I England. Aftenposten, 4th December 2011. Article by Trine Andersen on the new book Vikingblod.
89. Viking longship update in Wirral. Liverpool Daily Post, 6th January, 2012. Article by Lorna Hughes.
90. Reis deg, Sir Stephen. Liverpool Echo, 19th January, 2012, p20. Article by Lorna Hughes.
91. Honour for Wirral Scientist. Wirral News, 25th January, 2012. Article by Lorna Hughes.
92. Viking lecture in West Kirby raises £1329 for St Bridget’s Church appeal. Wirral News, 15th February 2012. Article by Lorna Hughes. Pdf link.
93. AGM and Viking Talk. Wirral News, 22nd February 2012, p9.
94. Wirral Viking Past brought to present. Wirral Globe, 22nd February 2012. Article by Craig Manning about the new signposts for Thingwall.
95. Town Hall hosts Wirral Heritage Fair. Wirral Globe, 29th February 2012.
96. Wirral History and Heritage Fair taking place at Birkenhead Town Hall on Saturday, Wirral News, 29th February 2012.
97. Signs celebrate our Viking past. Wirral News, 29th February 2012, p20. Article by Lorna Hughes about the funding by United Utilities of 4 new road signs for Thingwall (see also #87 above).
98. Vårt Land, 10th March, 2012, p9. Article by Trine Andersen.
99. Viking-ridder. Klassekampen, 10th March, 2009. Article by Trine Andersen.
100. Brite hedres for å ha lært landsmen om vikingene, Gjengangeren, 10th March, 2012, p39. Article by Trine Andersen.
101. Brite hedres for å ha lært landsmen om vikingene. Tønsbergs Blad, 10th March, 2012. Article by Trine Andersen.
102. Brite hedres for å ha lært landsmen om vikingene. Hamar Arbeiderblad, 10th March, 2012. Article by Trine Andersen.
103. Top honour for Professor. Wirral News, 21st March, 2012, p21. Article by Lorna Hughes.
104. Proud of Signs. Wirral News, 23rd May, 2012. Letter by Mrs. Jackson.
105. The Vikings are Coming! .. or are they already here? Liverpool Echo, 18th June 2012 p9. Article by Linda Foo Guest on the official opening of the Thingwall signs by Esther McVey MP.
106. Wirral Villages face up to Viking Past. Wirral Globe, 19th June 2012. Article by Geoff Barnes on the official opening of the Thingwall signs.
107. Signs celebrate our Viking Past. Wirral News, 20th June 2012. Article by Linda Foo Guest on the official opening of the Thingwall signs & the involvement of Thingwall Primary School.
108. Statue will celebrate Wirral’s Viking Heritage. Wirral Globe, 30th July 2012. Article by Geoff Barnes on plans to erect a statue at Meols Park of Wirral’s 1st Viking leader - holding an oar!
109. King of Norway awards Wirral Viking expert for “Outstanding Contribution”. Wirral Globe, 8th October 2012. Article by Geoff Barnes on Steve’s visit to the Palace.
110. Viking Longship bound for Wirral. Wirral Globe, 15th October 2012. Update by Geoff Barnes on the progress of the Draken Harald the Fairhair longship and news of the delayed voyage until 2014.
111. Viking Longship’s maiden voyage to Wirral delayed until 2014. Wirral News, 17th October 2012. Article by Lorna Hughes.
1. Sunday March 10th 2013. Trondheim Vikinglag Symposium, suhmhuset vitenskapsmuseet.
2. Tuesday March 12th – Wednesday March 13th, 2013. Viking Worlds (Archaeological Conference). Institute for Archaeology, Conservation and History, Archaeological Conference, Neils Henrik Abels vei, Oslo.
3. Wednesday March 27th 2013. Viking Irby, Thurstaston & Pensby (ITPAS – Irby, Thurstaston & Pensby Amenities Society Spring Lecture). Irby Village Hall, 7pm for 7.30pm. Members free, Non-members £5.
4. **NEXT**: Thursday 6th June – Sunday 9th June 2013. Wirral’s 100-strong “Viking Navy” visits Haugesund, Norway to join the Karmøy Viking Festival and row on the Draken Harald the Fairhair Longship in practice for the arrival in Wirral/Liverpool for its first maiden overseas voyage in 2014.
5. Monday 29th July (St. Olav’s Day) 2013. St. OLAVE’s VIKING HERITAGE WALK AND PILGRIMAGE. 13 mile walk/pilgrimage to commemorate St. Olav Haraldsson, patron saint of Norway. St. Mary & St. Helen Neston to St. Olave’s in Chester (meet 9am outside St. Bridget’s for 9.30am start). If you would like to take part contact Prof. Steve Harding.
7. Monday 25th November 2013. Lecture to Chester Society for Landscape History “What’s in a name? Place names, Surnames and the Viking settlements of Wirral”, Grosvenor Museum, Chester. Host: Mike Headon.
1. WIRRAL NEWS VIKING BLOG – 5 blog items to comment on: Viking Wirral, Neston Coin Forgery, new Thor movie, St. Olave’s Day Wirral Viking heritage walk and the Dragon Harald Fairhair Longship
2. The Viking Theatre – Old Wirral Forums
Steve Harding, Judith Jesch
and Mark Jobling with Kevin Taylor at the Knowsley Genetics Event,
27th November 2007. Photo courtesy of Trinity Mirror Copyright and the Liverpool Echo
The survey supported by the U.K. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council under the prestigious Watson-Crick 50th Anniversary programme was commenced in 2002 by researchers from the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham and has now been completed. The synopsis for the project was as follows: "If Vikings invaded and settled particular regions of the British Isles, we may be able to see their legacy within the DNA of modern populations of these regions. The male-specific Y chromosome is more likely to have preserved the signal of Viking presence than other parts of our DNA. In this project we extend the BBC's 'Blood of the Vikings' study in the Wirral and SW & West Lancs region, where Viking settlement is known to have been substantial, but where modern population influx has also been great. We plan to analyse the Y chromosomes of men from these regions who also have surnames known to have been present their in mediaeval times, and thus to bypass the recent major population movements in the region that may disturb the relationships between old genes and modern geography". The results from the project have been published in the leading scientific journal Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). It can be downloaded from here as an open access article. A more general publication “Viking DNA: The Wirral and West Lancashire Project” has recently been published (December 2010) by Countyvise Ltd [click on the link and then click on “5 new” and then “Countyvise”, and order your copy for £17.50].
THE BALTIC SEA ORIGINS OF FAIR HAIR & BLUE EYES
Fair or light hair and light or blue eyes have been associated with the Vikings since the origins of the genetic mutations leading to these appear to be around the Baltic Sea. The poster of the Youtube clip below is quoting data from a study by Beals and Hoijers which is discussed on pages 57 and 58 of Viking DNA. The Wirral and West Lancashire Project – the genetics behind both these features (although complicated involving several genes) is now becoming better understood. The contribution of the Vikings to the spread from the Baltic is however not known.
The genetics behind another physical condition associated with the Vikings namely Dupuytren’s Contracture (above), is also becoming better understood (p59 of Viking DNA. The Wirral and West Lancashire Project). This is a condition involving tightening of the elastic tissue of a hand making it difficult to flex the 4th or 5th fingers, and its occurrence appears most frequent in Scandinavia and areas settled by the Vikings.
OLD CLINKERBOAT OR CLINKERSHIP UNDER PUB AT MEOLS
In 2007 ground penetrating radar experiments appear to have confirmed the existence of an old clinker built boat deep under a pub car park at Meols. The boat had been discovered by workers digging foundations in the 1930’s and, after one of the workers had made a sketch of the end of the boat that was exposed, was covered over again. An unpublished study made in 2007 using Ground Penetrating Radar seem to suggest the vessel is still there. A hypothesis or suggestion has been made that it may possibly date back to the Viking age: the boat is of clinker design (overlapping planks) although it appears to have a rounded end. Until the boat is dated, all we can say for sure is that it is very old! Download a transcript of a seminar given at the North Sea Conference at Gothenburg Museum, October 14th 2011.
Such is the interest, the
Workers' Educational Association (WEA) are offering a course entitled 'Viking
Wirral' with course tutor Heather Butler, commencing Tuesday 18th September
2012 between 7pm & 9pm at St. Bridget's Centre, West Kirby, Wirral. For
further details please contact the WEA on 0151 243 5340 or simply attend the
VIDEOS OF VIKING LECTUREs
1. Viking Wirral (~45 mins)
(recorded by Alan Parker at the
Wirral Bookfest, Wallasey Library, October 12th
PDF DOWNLOADS OF RECENT LECTUREs
1. Viking Wirral and the Dragon Harald Fairhair Longship Project (Wirral Bookfest Lecture, Birkenhead Central Library, October 11th 2011)
2. Viking DNA (Gothenburg Museum Conference, October 13th 2011)
3. Wirral Clinkership under a Pub (Gothenburg Museum Conference, October 14th 2011)
4. DNA Detectives (Lowdham Book Festival, November 4th 2011)
5. Viking DNA (Wirral 3L’s, Bebington, November 23rd 2011)
6. Viking Wirral and the Dragon Harald Fairhair Longship Project (Liverpool Victoria Boat Club, January 9th 2012)
7. Viking Wirral and the Battle of Brunanburh (St. Bridget’s West Kirby Community Centre Appeal Lecture, February 1st 2012)
MAGNUS MAGNUSSON DIES
Magnus Magnusson died on Sunday January 7th 2007 at the age of 77. Magnus, one of the country’s leading television presenters and well-known Viking Scholar was a good friend of the region. Goodbye Magnus.
Listen to this tribute to Magnus on Radio Merseyside, 11.40am, 8th January 2007
Watch this tribute to Magnus, 7.30pm, 5th February 2007
Magnus on Brunanburh (1980); Magnus as King Canute; Magnus plays the Viking pan-pipes
BATTLE OF BRUNANBURH AD937
The Battle of Brunanburh was one of the most defining battles in the history of the British Isles and, as described by BBC Broadcaster Neil Oliver in History of Scotland it determined whether Britain would become one imperial power or stay as separate identities. Although the Northern Alliance of Scots, Strathclyde British and Norsemen from Ireland lost the battle against a combined Anglo-Saxon army from Mercia and Wessex - with heavy losses on both sides - the strong resistance proved decisive in what was to follow. The Battle of Brunanburh is recorded as a contemporary (or near contemporary) poem in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, and almost certainly took place on Wirral. Compelling arguments had earlier been made for other locations, notably in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Northants and SW Scotland. However the weight of scholarly opinion seems to be heavily in favour of Wirral.
The Wirral peninsula and Chester had not long earlier witnessed another major battle between “the armies of the Norsemen and the Danes” and the Mercian English – AD907. Chester was also the place where the Anglo Saxons had one of their earlier crushing and most significant victories against the British - AD613. Brunanburh was the old name until about 1732 for Bromborough. The poem also gives the location of the coastal point of escape as Dingesmere – which has now been satisfactorily explained as the “Things – mere or – marr”, the wetland or marshland associated with the Thing – the Viking parliament, at Thingwall on Wirral (see cutting from the Independent at the top of this web-page).
You can read more by following this link here …..
1. pushING BACK THE TIDE?
Many people in North Wirral used to believe that the famous event where King Canute is alleged to have attempted to push back the tide took place between Meols and Moreton shore. This tradition – which went back generations - may have been inspired by the constant flooding of the area before the sea defences were built coupled with romanticism of the Victorians. Indeed, and apparently as a bit of fun a special “Canute Chair” was constructed by the Cust family of Leasowe Castle with the inscription “sea not come hither and wet the soles of my feet” but was sadly broken up in the 1950’s. Maybe there is a chance of another construction, but in the meantime, see my attempt to push the tide back in this clip (Vikings didn’t have horns on helmets by the way!). Magnus Magnusson also has a go on the banks of the Thames (I think) in this clip.
Wirral’s Tranmere Rovers (Trani-melr = "Cranebird/heron sandbank”) is the only team in the English Football League with a Norwegian Viking name. Many Scandinavian supporters come over for a weekend and watch the big clubs like Man Utd., Liverpool and Everton on the Saturday/Sunday and watch Tranmere if they are playing on Friday night, but not many realise the connection. See links below for directions etc. and tickets.
· TRANMERE ROVERS: Official Tranmael Rovers site, Directions to the Tranmael Stadium - Wirral, Cowsheds: Tranmere supporters forum, BBC match reports, news and fixtures, Tranmæl - Tronderlag Norway, Panoramic view of the ground, Tranmael jingle (17 seconds), Tranmere Rovers Viking Page.
Left: Photo by Per Anders Todal; Right – Mersey Tricolour at Oslo: Per Anders, Steve and Stig Vaagan (from Vikingblod - spor av vikinger i Nordvest-England)
The 12 string Harding Fiddle (Hardingfele or Hardanger Fiddle) : the National Instrument of Norway.
I would like to thank friends and colleagues at the Wirhalh Skip-Felag, BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC North West Tonight (particularly Jim Clarke), BBC Inside Out series (Laurence Innwood, producer), Trinity Mirror Copyright, the Wirral News Group, the Wirral Globe, the Wirral Champion, the Wirral Journal, Cheshire Life, Morgunblaðið, Nytt fra Norge, British Archaeology, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society, Cheshire History, Wirral Life/ Chester Chronicle, Trine Andersen (NTB), Phil Hirst (Planet X TV), Chris Bartley and Sigrun Davidsdottir and Chris Collingwood for allowing me to reproduce or link to their material. I was recently fortunate enough to receive from King Harald V the award of Ridder av første klasse, den Kongelige Norske Fortjenstorden - Knight of the 1st class, the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. Really it represents the work of a great number of people – many thanks to all those who have helped over the last 2 decades.
Photograph with the “Knights Cross” courtesy of Mike McCartney. Right: close up
of the cross.
BBC coverage of the award: BBC North West Tonight 14th March 2012
Nottingham University Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri8ew-yHH3w&feature=plcp
This is an educational non-profit making web site. The site is maintained, and updated weekly by Steve Harding, and is in conjunction with the Wirral Learning Grid. The West Lancashire part of this page is still under construction and is being developed in conjunction with the West Lancashire Heritage Association. Lancastrians please visit the Hesketh Bank web site
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