THE VIKINGS INVADE… NEXT DOOR – New JORVIK Exhibition Opens in York St Mary’s
“Jorvik: Home and Abroad” Opens Saturday 25 June 2016
York’s Vikings will have a new temporary home from this Saturday (25 June 2016) when many of the costumed hosts normally based at the JORVIK Viking Centre in Coppergate move next door into York St Mary’s for a new exhibition focusing on domestic life and trade in the Viking period.
The new exhibition will feature many of the world-class artefacts that were rescued from JORVIK Viking Centre when flood waters started to infiltrate the basement last December, from some of the best preserved Viking leather shoes to horn combs and jewellery which were all discovered during the Coppergate Dig of the late 1970s. The exhibition will all be set around a replica Viking boat centrepiece, loaded with the kinds of goods that would have been traded in and from the city during the 200-year period of Norse settlement in the city.
“It was always crucial to us to keep the Viking story alive in York whilst the redevelopment and re-imaging of JORVIK Viking Centre takes place behind the scenes, and we’re grateful to York Museums Trust for offering York St Mary’s to us,” comments director of attractions, Sarah Maltby. “This is the largest of the three exhibitions we’ll be staging in York between now and next year, and gives us a great opportunity to talk about the crucial role that the city played as a centre of commerce during the Viking age, attracting traders from around the world.”
Jorvik: Home and Abroad features a number of the Viking models that featured in the underground recreation of Viking-age Coppergate that were fortunately above water level – a wonderful opportunity for visitors to see these characters up close and in natural light – with newly-built sets to recreate Viking trading stalls and crafts, including a traditional Viking loom which will be demonstrated by historic interpreters.
“This exhibition gives our team of costumed interpreters a superb opportunity to interact with the public, sharing stories and answering questions about life in Viking times, so we are expecting this to be a superbly engaging and entertaining experience that will quench the thirst for Viking knowledge of the thousands of visitors who come to York over the next few months,” adds Sarah.
Other parts of the exhibition include a display of two skeletons found in the city – a woman found in Swinegate, and the skeleton of a man thought to be of African descent – and a crafting area for children, where they can try their hand at ring making or beading under the watchful eye of one of JORVIK’s resident Vikings.
The exhibition is set to run until February 2017, when the artefacts will be returned to JORVIK Viking Centre itself ahead of its spring relaunch. Jorvik: Home and Abroad will be open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm, with admission prices of £5.00 for adults, £3.00 for concessions and free for children 16 and under. For further information, please visit www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk/ontour.