Jorvik Heroes exhibition lands at the Manx Museum

– Posted on Thursday 3rd December 2015


Manx National Heritage is continuing its partnership with York Archaeological Trust with an exciting Viking exhibition called Heroes, supported by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. The exhibition opens at the Manx Museum in Douglas on Sunday 6th December 2015 and runs until the end of Easter 2016.

The exhibition explores the Viking idea of a hero through the stories and myths that surround them by looking at archaeology, sagas, stone carvings and burials of the Viking Age. There will be a Viking Age skeleton displaying the battle injuries of a warrior, replica commemoration stones as well as AV projection. Visitors can explore how ‘Heroes’ were celebrated and commemorated and explore the personal stories of some of the most famous and influential Vikings, including Godred Crovan, one of the most powerful Viking Kings of Man and the Isles.

The exhibition defines Godred Crovan as ‘legendary ruler.’ Also known as King Orry, he made three attempts to capture the Isle of Man and bring it under his rule. When he finally did, Godred went on to reign for 16 years. A wise and powerful ruler, he extended his power beyond the Island, subduing Dublin and the east coast of Ireland, and so dominating the Irish Sea.

The exhibition features the stories of eight other ‘celebrities’ of the Viking world including the wonderfully-named Eric Bloodaxe, King Knut the Great, Harald Bluetooth and Leif the Lucky, and some famous Viking women including Aud the Deep-minded.

The exhibition delves into the world of Viking myth, uncovering the superpowers of the Viking gods such as Thor and Odin through story and play in an interactive area, which uses saga telling and games to encourage all ages to find out more.

Entry to Heroes is free.

As part of the Viking season, Manx National Heritage is running a series of events to coincide the exhibition. Visiting Canadian historian Professor Andrew McDonald returns to the Island on 4th December with an evening talk on ‘Heroes and Villains in the Kingdom of Man and the Isles’.  Andrew will explore the characterisation of individuals in the Chronicles of the Kings of Man and the Isles and will also discuss why there are so few females depicted in the Chronicles.

The exhibition’s grand opening day, Sunday 6th December, will see the local Viking re-enactment group The Vikings of Mann, appearing in the museum galleries as part of a ‘Viking Adventure Day’ as part of a special Sunday opening. As well as the first opportunity to see ‘Heroes’, the free event will encourage families to take part in ancient crafts and demonstrations.

The museum’s theatre will also play host to a special ‘Viking Saga’ concert at 2pm. Hear the Saga of Harvald Barefist in a unique production featuring music by The Manx Voices, a truly awesome tale for all the family to enjoy. Mead and mince pies are included in the £6 per person ticket price.

Tickets are available for all events from the Manx Museum Gallery Shop and online.


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