This year - AD2013 - marks the 1111th anniversary of the 1st Viking settlements of Wirral led by the Norseman Ingimund. To mark this great occasion in our history and heritage we plan to erect a statue at Meols Park of Ingimund – the leader of Wirral’s first Viking settlements. After consultation with MP Esther McVey the design will be roughly similar to the statue of a Viking on a boat at Trondheim. But characteristically Wirral!
We dearly hope we can have this in place in time for the arrival of the the largest ever Viking longship reconstruction – the Harald Harfågre (“Harald the Fairhair) – 35metres long or half the size of a football pitch – when it comes on it maiden overseas voyage from Norway in May 2014. We hope the arrival will be greeted by HM the King of Norway. A 100-strong Viking Navy of volunteers from Wirral and the North West has been recruited – including the Norwegian Consul for Liverpool - 55 of whom will be visiting Norway June 2013 for practice on the new ship.
an icon for Wirral?
Unlike other Viking statues, Ingimund will not be holding a spear, sword or an axe – but an oar! – as shown in this design by local sculptur Stephen Hitchin - signifying that they came to Wirral to settle in peace. A large plaque will be alongside the statue marking all those people and businesses who have contributed. HM King Harald V of Norway will be invited to unveil the new statue.
The Vikings came to Wirral in vast numbers after being expelled from Ireland in AD902. The area is crammed full of Norse place names, artefacts, and up to 50% of the DNA in old Wirral families appears to be Norse in origin. They were people of tremendous energy and skill – great boatbuilders and craftsmen, navigators, lawmen and democrats – on Wirral they had their meeting or Thing at Thingwall. They represent a great icon of energy for our future. Read more.
AD902: Vikings arrive in Wirral ©Chris Collingwood
Roy Shuttleworth, Chairman Friends of Meols Park
Peter France, Chairman Wirral Heritage
Steve Harding, Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit
projects: Meols Park Viking Information Board (May 2010) and the Thingwall Road
£40,000 bid to erect Viking statue (Liverpool Echo, 30/7/2010)
Statue will celebrate Wirral’s Viking heritage (Wirral Globe, 31/7/2012)
£40,000 bid to erect Viking statue in Meols Park in time for visit of Viking longship replica (Wirral News, 1/8/2012)