St. Olav’s Day Wirral Viking Churches Heritage walk
Sunday July 29th 2012
*** Postscript (31st July): Photographs of this years walk can now be downloaded: click here (21Mb) ***
(thanks to John Bailey & Dave & Eileen Glover!)
- in conjunction with St. Bridget’s Church West Kirby, the Church of St. Mary & St. Helen at Neston, St. Olave’s Chester, and the Municipality of Trondheim
Enjoy some of our magnificent Viking Heritage the healthy way! The annual St. Olav’s Day Viking Heritage Walk commemorates St. Olav Haraldsson, patron saint of Norway and every odd year goes from St. Mary and St. Helen’s in Neston (Nesstún) to St. Olave’s in Chester (13 miles or 20km) and every even year from St. Bridget’s Church West Kirby to Neston (8 miles or 12km). It was recently featured in The Norseman magazine & covered in Michael Wood’s BBC2 Series The Great British Story. All are welcome on the 2012 walk on 29th July (St. Olav’s Day) and we meet at 11.30am for a 12 noon start at St. Bridget’s.
Please note, that though this walk is not strenuous, it is quite long. Please wear appropriate footwear and bring refreshments to last the distance. People who take part do so at their own risk. The walk is approximately 12km (8 miles) and starts at the St. Bridget’s Church at West Kirby (meet 9.30am – includes a description of the dedication to St. Olav in the church and a demonstration of the famous West Kirby Viking hogback tombstone – one of two on Wirral) and makes its way along the Dee coast to St. Mary’s and St. Helen’s Church at Neston, finishing with a demonstration of the magnificent Viking stonework (fragments of at least 3 crosses) and replica reconstruction of one of the crosses (the “Viking Lady” cross).
St. Bridget’s West
was founded by Viking settlers coming to Wirral from
St. Mary and St.
Helen at Neston:
St. Helen is also associated with Norse settlers coming via
St. Olave’s at Chester: Original church founded by Chester’s Viking community in the 11th Century. Now the building is used as an archive for the Cheshire Records Office. (N.B. The 2012 walk we just go as far as Neston).
· Meet 11.30 for a 12noon start at St. Bridget’s Church West Kirby
Continue along the
Stage 1: St. Bridgets, vestri Kirkjubyr – Kaldeyjar
St. Bridgets church is a short (10 min) walk from West Kirby Railway station
St. Bridgets Hogback tombstone
Stage 2: Kaldejyar - Thorsteinn’s tún
Stage 3: Thorsteinn’s tún – Hesliwella – Geittún
Stage 4: Geittún – Parkgata -Nesstún
This is the end of the walk: there will be a demonstration of the cross fragments and the replica and refreshments will be served at the back of the church.
The magnificent “Viking Lady” Neston cross replica/ reconstruction at St. Mary and St. Hilary’s – the end of the walk
Transport back to West Kirby
There are trains from Neston Station close by:
Neston depart 16.52 arrive West Kirby (after changing at Bidston) at 17.37.
The next train is not until 19.22.
Please note that, in common with the main St. Olav’s Pilgrimage in Norway, although we provide a guide, walkers are responsible for their own safety and come on the walk at their own risk.
this Blog from the 2011 walk with BBC’s Michael Wood.
from Program 2 “Tribes to Nations” of Michael Wood’s acclaimed 2012
BBC2 Series The Great British Story.
Olsok: St. Olaf's pilgrimage in Norway produced by Trondheim Kommune
St. Olav’s Festival in
Enquiries: Steve Harding
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