In Search of Valhalla

Life and Death in Viking-Age Britain

barrel lock and key

The York Collection in our care contains quantities of uniquely stunning individual Viking-Age objects from the City, that have enabled us to develop our current thinking about Jorvik and how people lived here over 1,000 years ago. This project continues this research by undertaking remedial work, research and photography as well as putting together new object collections for touring exhibitions.

An element of this project involved the secondment of two members of the Visitor Experience and Services Team within the JORVIK Group. Will Burnham and Faye Greer both undertook placements with the Collections Team to explore the collection and help catalogue and prepare it for display. Photographs and conservation reports were completed based on this material, which initially formed the collection for the Valhalla, Life and Death in Viking Britain exhibition shown at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery from 8th February to 5th June 2016, and later in the year at the House of Manannan on the Isle of Man. To assist in the preparation and install of the Shrewsbury exhibition, the Trust were able to use the skills of Jagoda Olender, the Curatorial team’s intern funded through the Arts Council England Museums Resilience programme.


Finds Images on display at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery

  • Amber jewellery including a finished pendant and a ring fragment.
  • Beads in yellow, red, green, blue-green and black glass.
  • Iron buckles.
  • Ice skates made from horse or cow leg bones.
  • Fragments of an alder wood cup and a maple wood bowl. Wooden core discarded from a  finished bowl.
  • Pottery lamps.
  • Single-sided antler combs.
  • Iron fish hook.
  • Iron suspension hook and fish hooks.
  • Iron key.
  • Iron keys for barrel padlocks and hollow stem keys for fixed chest locks.
  • Textile making implements: a loom weight fragment, two spindle whorls and a linen smoother.
  • Pin beater used in cloth production, and needles and pins.
  • Finger-rings of lead and copper alloy. A copper-alloy buckle and mount.
  • Leather turn shoe.
  • Copper alloy strap distributor from a horse harness.
  • Antler clamp, bone comb handle, antler ferrule, antler spacer and a decorated bone buckle-  plate with zoomorphic (animal- like) motif.

Images from Valhalla, Life and Death in Viking Britain