About the Project

The Vikings had a presence in East Anglia for roughly 300 years. Working with five participating schools, and with generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Civilizations in Contact devised a three-day programme to introduce children to the Vikings' heritage.

On the first day of the programme, the children worked with specialist teacher Jane Bower to create the fictional Danish village of Hedeby in their classrooms. Using their imaginations, drama, dance and art, the children explored the Vikings' origins, their reasons for traveling and the dangers faced during their journeys.

On the second day, the children followed the Vikings' journey from Denmark to England as they resettled in the fictional East Anglian village of Vestenby. Created within the historic surroundings of West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, Vestenby allowed the children to explore everyday life for the Vikings in the year 878 AD with help from history immersion group History Off the Page.

The biggest test for the project came on the third day, when organisers hoped the children would be able to relate what they had learned to what they would see in the "Vikings: Life and Legend" exhibition at the British Museum.

Read a more detailed account of three days with the Vikings >>

Find out why we went to West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village >>

Read more about Civilizations in Contact >>

Meet our collaborators >>

View our photographs and videos to see the Vikings in action!



Photograph of Lord Thorkild, who has been injured and is leaning on a crutch.

"Lord Thorkild" is one of a number of fictional historical characters created by Civilizations in Contact to help children understand different aspects of Viking life.

He represents Viking conflicts, and was attacked on his way to the village of Vestenby with news of the war King Guthrum was waging against Alfred, the exiled king of the Saxons.