Centre for the Study of the Viking Age
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Viking Workshops

The School of English (which has world-leading researchers in Viking and Anglo-Saxon studies) invites school groups to visit the University for a morning of varied and exciting activities. Staff and students lead workshops, usually culminating in a mock (and safely presented) battle between Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. Children enjoy the experience of seeing the university, and afternoon activities can also be arranged with the University Museum. Schools arrange their own transport.

Viking items on display for volunteer training
Our items on display for volunteer training © K. Whitehouse



This was a writing system designed to be cut into stone or wood. We show pictures of runes and reproduction artefacts inscribed with runes. We provide a simplified runic alphabet and encourage the children to write their names and a simple message on their own rune stick.


Vikings were skilled warriors. Carefully using reproduction artefacts, we show children how Vikings and Anglo-Saxons made and used armour and weapons. The artefacts themselves are paradoxically beautiful, and intrigue the children on many different levels. The show fight at the end of the sessions is often the highlight of the day.


The question explored in this session is, ‘How do we know how the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons lived, worked and fought?’ Using often unusual artefacts, we explore some of the fascinating discoveries of archaeology. A brief story from Beowulf introduces furnished burials, and we encourage children to make and decorate a burial chanber.

Place names

Most of our early place-names were given by Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, but the Nottingham area has other layers of names too. In this session we explore the languages, landscapes and meanings of place-names using maps and pictures and the children's familiarity with the area.



General Information

  • workshops usually run from around 9.45 to 12.30
  • we can usually accommodate one or two classes of children per school (around 30 or a maximum of 60)
  • refreshments are provided for children, teachers and helpers
  • a carousel of varied, immersive activities
  • bookings need to be arranged by late summer
  • schools need to arrange their own transport

 Workshops for this year are unfortunately over. Take a look at the outcomes and experiences from schools and volunteers!

Contact and Application

Owing to high demand, we kindly ask schools to make a binding application and inform us at once in case of unforeseen events. We reserve the right to refuse schools who have failed to attend or cancel in time. In case of too many applications, we will select schools, and give preference to schools who have not been able to attend previously. Schools will be informed in due time of the outcome of their application.

If you have any questions, please contact Professor Judith Jesch for more information. To book your class(es) in for a workshop, please email emily.dawkes@nottingham.ac.uk.



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Centre for the Study of the Viking Age

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924
email: csva@nottingham.ac.uk