Vikings descend on town for re-enactment weekend

Viking and Dark Age Festival, at Woodgreen Animal Shelter,

Viking and Dark Age Festival, at Woodgreen Animal Shelter, - Credit: Archant

A horde of Vikings set up camp at Wood Green Animal Centre in Godmanchester over the weekend.

Viking and Dark Age Festival, at Woodgreen Animal Shelter, Sophie Teague, and daughter Sapphire,

Viking and Dark Age Festival, at Woodgreen Animal Shelter, Sophie Teague, and daughter Sapphire, - Credit: Archant

Claimed to be the largest event of its type in the UK, the Viking Festival’s living history encampment filled the showground at the well known animal sanctuary.

Re-enacment groups and societies from all over the country made a beeline for the village, which is said to have boasted a river port in Viking times.

There were re-enactments of battles among the various groups, such as The Noble House of Bloodaxe, The Bilfrost Guard and The Age of Penda, on both evenings

“The show itself was phenomenal,” said organiser David Smith. “Saturday was a little quiet, but Sunday was much busier. And anyone I spoke to said they were enjoying it. The public seemed to be having a fantastic time.”


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It wasn’t all about battles, though. There were 50 traders in the temporary encampment, as well as professional jugglers and entertainers. One group even had a raven and a jack daw.

Folk rockers Serpentine stopped off on their way to the Montreux Jazz Festival to entertain showgoers after scores were settled on the battlefield.

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There was also a chance for the public to get hands-on with some blacksmithing and there were two have-a-go archery ranges, the target at one of which was someone wearing a suit of armour.

“The festival will happen again, but perhaps later in the month, so it doesn’t clash with the village’s gala day,” said David. “Wood Green was a fantastic venue with excellent facilities.”

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