About Us

The Viking chief gazes over his battleline as it advances towards the enemy, banging thier shield with their weapons and yelling their war cries. Shields are round in shape and painted with bright colours. Warriors hold spears, swords, axes and long knives. Some where chailmail to protect them in the coming battle.

Life and Death in the Viking Age

With over 25 years of experience, Vikings of Middle England are able to offer a wide selection of complimentary services to bring to an event, whether we are the main attraction at an historical event, or part of a larger show.

We have an extensive and varied Living History Display which can include everything from the small tented encampment of the roving war band, to a more extensive "Village" incorporating our many crafts displays, have-a-go activities and information points, or even a full-size stockade, where its defenders are awaiting the onslaught of the forthcoming siege.

We are most famous for our frighteningly realistic, exciting and entertaining combat displays: the thunderous clash of steel as opposing forces meet, war cries mingling with the screams of the dying, the visual effect is visceral and stunning.

Amongst our services, we can also offer special effects, evening performances, linked scenarios throughout a day to add to a particular date or celebration, smaller dramatic pieces that seem to happen spontaneously as the audience wanders the camp, sound & PA support — and perhaps even more! Please don't hesitate to contact us to find out more!

The image shows the heat and sparks from the blacksmiths forge while air is being blown through the bellows.

Living History

Our Living History displays breathe, as the Viking-Age families and craftsmen go about their daily routines from cooking and weaving to blacksmithing and candle-making. Many of the craftsmen also produce goods for sale and this adds yet another dimension to the exhibits as the true feel of the Viking age market permeates. The audience is invited to wander into the living history area and see the various activities and artifacts at first hand, and in many cases to have a go themselves. There is always a member of the society on hand to answer any questions and there's a high chance for a dramatic scenario to play out in the camp: maybe a thief is caught and punished by the Jarl; the abbot delivers a fiery sermon; or perhaps the warband is called to war — the possibilities are endless!
 

The image shows a warrior being run through with a spear.

Combat Displays

Our fighting routines are a carefully balanced mix of flamboyant and rehearsed combats and unscripted "free fights", where the warriors gritty determination and extensive training in the use of the weapons of the Viking-age come to the fore. Combat displays can be sized to suit your event; a small number of highly skilled, trained and rehearsed warriors can provide much higher quality entertainment and suit your event better than would vast numbers of amateur participants. At larger events, Vikings Of Middle England may be able to erect a stockade or other fortification and use cavalry to add an extra dimension to the display. We take safety extremely seriously, and you can always be sure that your event will be approached with the professionalism and expertise it deserves.
 

Take a closer look at some of our Living History displays...

The image shows a replica Viking helmet made from steel that has extra eye protection. Based on a find from Gjermundbu Norway

Armoury

See and handle replica Viking weapons and armour: talk about how they were used, why they are designed this way, and where the pointy end is!

The image shows a bearded blacksmith forging a socket for an arrowhead, beating hte hot metal with his hammer.

Blacksmith

Watch as Yngvar the Smith makes all sorts of iron objects throughout the day: Arrow Heads, Knives, Axes, Locks — if it's made of iron he'll be making it.

The image shows a viking glass filled with red wine.

Brewer

Watch as Yngvar the Smith makes all sorts of iron objects throughout the day: Arrow Heads, Knives, Axes, Locks — if it's made of iron he'll be making it.

The image shows the heat and flame of a beeswax candle (right) and some rushlights erected in an iron pricket (left)

Chandler

Find out what Vikings and Saxons used for lighting,how candles were made, and what materials they used. (Hint: they're pretty smelly!).

The image shows a range of farming tools.

Farming

See and handle the tools used in Viking-age agriculture and find out what crops they grew and why.

The image shows a range of juicy fruit ready to be eaten by the feasters.

Feasting

Watch as Yngvar the Smith makes all sorts of iron objects throughout the day: Arrow Heads, Knives, Axes, Locks — if it's made of iron he'll be making it.

The image shows a replica Hnefatafl set, with the pieces made from glass. The player is moving a piece. Based ona  find from Birka, Sweden.

Games

Test you skill at games and puzzles! Can you beat the Vikings at Nine-mens-morris? At Hnefatafl? How about deciphering a riddle? Try all sorts of Viking games, and some you might already know!

The image shows silver and bronze jewellery on a patterned silk background.

Jewellery

Take a souvenir Viking pendant home with you as our whitesmith and trader is on hand to demonstrate how jewellery is made with precious metals and stones.

The image shows various food stuff ready for cooking. Eggs, Mushrooms, herbs and fruit.

Kitchen

Learn how food was made! Throughout the day, food is cooked, wood for the fire is chopped, and the Vikings eat — everything that you'd expect from a canteen!

The image shows coin making dyes made from iron, with the coin designs etched into them.

Mint

Everyone likes to make money, so visit the Mint and make your own coin! Find out how they were made, what could be bought and who by.

The image shows a musician playing a lyre.

Music

Listen to the notes and tones of Viking-age musical instruments at the music stall.

The image shows ink-stained quils

Scriptorium

See how to Illuminate a letter with authentic inks and a quill, learn how the Anglo-Saxons wrote and produced stunning calligraphy, how they made ink, and who could read and write.

The image shows the heat and sparks from the blacksmiths forge while air is being blown through the bellows.

Storytelling

Join the Scald in a story and hear tales of deeds worthy of great halls, and perhaps even Odin himself!

The image shows a copper wash basin

Surgeon

Talk to the Lach and discover the gruesome reality of Viking-age medicine. He'll cure you of all sorts of ailments but don't complain about his bedside manner!

The image shows a woman weaving woollen fabric on a warp-weighted loom.

Textiles

Visit the Spinner ans Weaver to see how the Vikings spun yarn, dyed colours, made cloth on a Warp Weighted Loom and wove colourful braid to decorate their clothes.

The image shows and icelandic horse and her Viking ridee.

Horses

Working with Oakfield Icelandics, members of the Icelandic Horse Society of Great Britain, we have been able to field truly authentic Viking horses on our battlefield, as well as displays of the famous tolt. In fact, Vikings of Middle England were the first society to replicate the reality of a Viking cavalry charge in 1000 years! Horses really add an extra dimension to the event.
 

The image shows a warrior being covered in burning hot oil as he atemppts to scale a stockade.

Siege

Over the years, Vikings of Middle England has been able to perform the siege warfare of the Vikings. The Saxons have built a stockades to try and thwart the Viking incursion, but often find themselves bombarded with arrows, jars of burning oil and full scale charges to get over the wall. Siege warfare is a truly memorable addition to a performance.
 

Drama and Pageant

A warrior lies bloodied and broken after a viking duel - holmganga

Bringing history to life

Over the years we have developed our own unique method of presenting history to the audience.

Using a rolling scenario format, we are able to combine dramatic scripts, formidable combat and improvisation in a professional and convincing blend of education, entertainment and excitement. This formula has proved most successful and in part accounts for the high profile and excellent reputation that the group enjoys. Threading events together and weaving a superb story is what adds extra value to our displays — no one else offers this polished and highly entertaining format.

In addition to our full day format, we can offer smaller-scale performances that are no less dramatic. A Viking Holmganga — a duel — is a great accompaniment to any event, especially at dusk with a torch-lit procession and bonfire. Contact us to see what we can do for your event.

Vikings of Middle England are renowned for our use of special effects and we attempt to present living history with as much realism as possible. War was, and is a vile, horrific and bloody spectacle. A Viking age battlefield would have been smelly, phenomenally noisy and reminiscent of a charnel house. Our special effects department offers more than just blood used in battle. The treatment of slashes and gashes to arms and legs, cauterisation and dentistry can all be recreated on the lach's (surgeon's) 'operating table'. Lepers and sore-infested beggars may also be seen on occasion. Among the rarer spectacles are hanging, disemboweling and tongue removal.

The ever-growing selection of props currently includes a full-size rotting corpse, (affectionately known as 'Kenny') often seen hanging from battlements or gibbet. The surgery has been augmented with an amputated hand and foot, removed because of the horrendous injuries sustained. A film-quality disembodied head may regularly be seen displayed atop of a spike or featured in a scenario. The reliquary box in the Saxon chapel contains a realistic mummified hand and head, whilst the Mint has displayed above it the decomposed hand of a former incumbent, who had struck debased coinage and suffered this punishment according to the 11th century laws of Cnut.

The group is not insensitive to the needs of the customer, and displays are always tailored to clients' wishes. If so instructed, Special Effects can be omitted. Contact us to see what we can do for your event.