Prepare for a Viking invasion this winter with two unique exhibitions exploring Britain's Viking past

 York Helmet
25 Oct 2017 13:18:52.307

The University of Nottingham is preparing for a Viking invasion this winter with a unique programme including two significant exhibitions and an exciting programme of workshops, talks and activity days exploring Britain’s Viking past.

Nottingham Lakeside Arts is delighted to present the two exhibitions over the coming months which aim to tell a new Viking story. To reveal how the Vikings transformed and shaped every aspect of life in Britain and to delve deeper into their fascinating world.

This winter’s Viking programme builds on numerous University of Nottingham strengths including one of the world’s leading experts on the Vikings, Professor Judith Jesch; the University’s Centre for the Study of the Viking Age, which is a leading centre for Viking research; and the University of Nottingham Museum.

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Viking: Rediscover the Legend

A British Museum and York Museums Trust Partnership Exhibition, generously supported by the Dorset Foundation.

The Djanogly Gallery is hosting a major touring exhibition from the British Museum and York Museums Trust from 25 November 2017. Programmed by the University of Nottingham Museum, Viking: Rediscover the Legend aims to depict what the Vikings were actually like rather than simply the popular myths that surround them and challenge the misconception that they were just violent raiders and warriors. The exhibition provides new interpretation and a fresh perspective in order to understand what it really meant to be a Viking.

Dr Clare Pickersgill, Keeper of the University of Nottingham Museum, said: “I am very excited about the exhibitions coming to Nottingham. They provide an amazing opportunity to examine regional Viking heritage within its national and international context through both the exhibitions and in a hands-on way through the extensive programme of public events that is planned.”  

The exhibition brings together significant Anglo-Saxon and Viking artefacts including some of the most well-known hoards ever discovered in this country.

Dr Gareth Williams, Curator of Viking Collections at the British Museum, said: “Viking: Rediscover the Legend provides a unique opportunity to work with our regional partners to explore the very different impacts that the Vikings had in different parts of the British Isles. The collaboration between the British Museum and the York Museums Trust combines two of the leading Viking collections in the UK, including spectacular silver hoards, jewellery and weapons, but also objects from everyday life.

“However it is particularly exciting to see this material set in different regional contacts, and I look forward to seeing the exhibition in combination with Danelaw Saga to highlight the importance of Viking heritage in the Midlands.”

The exhibition at the Djanogly Gallery runs from Saturday 25 November 2017 to Sunday 4 March 2018. Admission is free.

Danelaw Saga: Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands

Invade, immigrate, integrate, inspire… The Weston Gallery is proud to host Danelaw Saga: Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands from 15 December 2017. The exhibition tells the tale of how the Vikings shaped the East Midlands with artefacts, maps and medieval documents, and expands on and complements Viking: Rediscover the Legend.

Visitors can map the routes of Viking expeditions, view coins brought from the Middle East to the East Midlands, learn about places whose names evoke our Viking past and explore their heritage further with artefacts and jewellery worn by the Viking women that settled here.

Jointly curated by Professor Judith Jesch and Dr Roderick Dale of the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age, together with Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham, Danelaw Saga will be the first exhibition to explore the considerable Viking influence on the East Midlands and a unique opportunity for visitors to examine Viking influences on the region.

Professor Judith Jesch, said: “The East Midlands was part of the Danelaw, a part of England that was under Viking rule during the Viking Age, approximately 1,000 years ago. Its major towns and cities were Viking centres and the Vikings may still be seen in place-names such as Linby from Old Norse lind ‘lime-tree’ and by ‘farmstead, village,’ and local dialect words such as ‘scratin’ for ‘crying.’

“Our project will work closely with the University Museum, and will collaborate with local museums in Derby, Leicester, Lincoln and Nottingham to tell the story of the East Midlands in the Viking Age. It is very exciting for scholars interested in Vikings as well as for members of the wider public who may want to learn more about this vast history.”

The exhibition at the Weston Gallery runs from Friday 15 December 2017 to Sunday 8 April 2018. Admission is free.

Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands

Supporting and enhancing the two exhibitions will be a huge number of exciting talks, workshops and activity days for all ages, allowing audiences young and old to delve deeper into the world of the Vikings and uncover the legacy of the Vikings on our doorstep.

Professor Jesch, added: “By holding an array of activities and events in conjunction with the exhibition, the Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands project, aims to embed an awareness of the Viking Age heritage of the region and to foster creative engagement with that heritage by creating material that will outlast the life-span of the project.” The project is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Viking Activity Days will enable visitors to learn about different aspects of Viking life and take part in a wide variety of activities including handicrafts, reading and inscribing Viking runes, games and telling sagas. 


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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available from Liz Goodwin, Media Officer at the University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 951 5798,; or Tim Rushby, Head of Audience Development and Marketing, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, on +44 (0)115 846 7379,


Liz Goodwin - Media Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 95 15798 Location: University Park

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