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News release - Issued by JORVIK

Getting Serious About Vikings: Jorvik Viking Festival Lecture Programme

York, 20 – 26 February 2016

Whilst parades of hundreds of Vikings through the city streets draw tens of thousands of people to York every February during the JORVIK Viking Festival, a series of talks and lectures are also proving incredibly popular, with tickets selling out for a number of key presentations this year.

“One of the reasons JORVIK Viking Centre is so successful and recognised as a world-authority of Viking life is because everything inside the attraction is underpinned by real archaeological discoveries, many of which have been revealed by York Archaeological Trust,” comments director of attractions, Sarah Maltby. “Our team is incredibly skilled at not just making these discoveries, but also presenting them in a way that engages the public, whether you are an archaeological scholar or a primary school student. This is reflected in the Festival programme, where one minute you can be standing amidst a horde of rampaging warriors, and another, listening to world-renowned experts like Dawn Hadley, Gareth Williams and Hakon Glorstad.”

Indeed, Sarah will chair the bank of speakers in a special presentation at York Methodist Church at 7.00pm on Wednesday 22 February, when she will be joined by special guests involved in the development and evolution of JORVIK. “The key public events of this year’s festival act as a prequel to the Viking city visitors will experience when JORVIK reopens on 8 April, but the story behind the attraction itself – from the initial concepts to our vision for the future – is just as fascinating, so we’ll be sharing this story, including some secrets about the new displays, at this presentation,” explains Sarah.

Another keynote presentation during the Festival is the Helen Thirsa Addyman lecture, this year presented by Dawn Hadley from the University of Sheffield, looking at the evolution of the Norse inhabitants of the British Isles, from nomadic raiders to settled urban dwellers.

Following the grand finale event on the evening of Saturday 25 February, when Eric Bloodaxe will be sent on his way to Valhalla, academics from around the world will gather on Sunday 26 February at York St John University for the Richard Hall Symposium, this year looking at Vikings on Display. “2017 is the Year of the Viking for York, with the long anticipated reopening of JORVIK including brand new galleries and displays, and a major Viking exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum opening in May. We will be drawing on the collective experiences of the UK, Norway and Sweden, for this symposium looking at best practice and how we can continue to engage audiences in the future with all things Viking,” says Sarah.

Other talks and workshops this year include three events by author Justin Hill. On Friday 24 February, Justin is hosting two lively talks at the Central Methodist Church – the first at 10am looking at Harald Hardrada – the Norwegian king who was defeated and killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge – and at 3.00pm, looking at the Danish Conquest of 1016. Justin will also be sharing his writing know-how in a historical writing masterclass on Thursday 23 February, sharing his experiences of writing award-winning books.

Tickets for all of the lectures, and indeed all of the other events in this year’s JORVIK Viking Festival, can be bought online at or by calling 01904 615505.


For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins
Pyper York Limited
Tel: 01904 500698