Jorvik Viking Festival

Every year since I moved to York I have taken part in the Jorvik Viking Festival. Normally I don’t get a chance to take any photos of the event, being somewhat preoccupied with other things. Like fighting a horde of Vikings. But this year I managed to capture a few snapshots. (The photo above from last year’s festival is not mine, but you can see me marching along in the middle ground.)

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The markets are always one the most exciting parts of the festival. I didn’t do a great deal of shopping this year, but I got one or two nice things.

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The Merchant Adventurer’s hall makes a lovely setting for half of the market stalls. I normally spend most of the Friday shopping and looking around before the big battle on Saturday.

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This year there was a display set up on Parliament street showcasing different aspects of Viking life, including a small boat.

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On Saturday afternoon the armies form up outside the Minster before marching to the Eye of York by Clifford’s Tower for a series of three practice skirmishes. This year the festival commemorated the Battle of Assandun in 1016, and here the English army prepares to march under Edmund Ironside.

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Meanwhile the Viking army prepares to follow King Cnut into battle. I portrayed one of Cnut’s honour guard of Jomsvikings led by Thorkell the Tall.

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For reasons which I hope are obvious, I didn’t get any photos of the battle itself. But I did sneak a quick and slightly blurry shot of the Viking army about to march on for the big evening battle. As always, it was great fun and I look forward to next year.

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