VIKING WEEK

The Orkney Viking Week will take place from 17-23 August 2019. If you have an event that you want included on the programme, email info@brodgar.co.uk

Programme

More events will be added when they are confirmed

Saturday 17 Aug

Falconry in the Viking Age

1.00 pm at Skaill House Falconry, Sandwick,

£10 adults, £8 child/concession

Meet Odin the eagle owl and the other birds of prey at Skaill House, and learn about how the Vikings used trained birds for hunting. The display will consist of a talk about the folklore involving owl, hawks and falcons. A demonstration of how the Norsemen used hawks and falcons to hunt in their every day life as Falconry is mentioned in the Sagas numerous times. Includes owl handling.

For more details and booking, see Skaill House Falconry’s web page.

Shapinsay Viking Exhibition

12.00 midday – 4.00 pm

Free, donations welcome

The Smithy, Balfour Village, Shapinsay

Shapinsay Heritage Arts and Crafts will host a Viking exhibition in the Smithy Centre 5 mins walk from the ferry, from 1200 to 1600 each afternoon between the 17th and 23rd, and in addition on Tuesday the 20th there will be talks about Viking Shapinsay in the Smithy, one at 1 p.m. and one at 3 p.m. both covering the same topics, followed by discussion.

The exhibition will have various ‘artefacts’ and photos from a number of dramatic productions held in the past, celebrating Shapinsay’s Norse history. These include the 25 foot replica galley built by Ivan Hourston for the Community Play ‘A Saga of Shapinsay’ in 2000, replica jewellery for the same play made by Billy Miller, a genuine UpHellya outfit, and a music stand inspired by the Scar Plaque. Some costumes from the plays will be available for dressing up to get a feel for being a Viking!

Shapinsay Arts and Crafts will be for sale upstairs, tea and coffee available downstairs for donation.

No entrance fee, but contributions to running costs gratefully received.

Getting there by ferry: Leave Kirkwall 1130 for the 1 p.m. talk returning 3.15 or 4.45, leave 2.15 for the 3 p.m. talk returning at 4.45.

Contact: Louise Hollinrake

Sunday 18 Aug

Vikings invade the Ness of Brodgar Open Day!

11.00 am – 4.00 pm at the Ness of Brodgar

Free event

Lots of activities and fun through the day, one of them being our Viking corner, Havardsteig!

12.00 midday and 1.00 pm: Viking poetry workshop

12.30 and 1.30: Rune writing workshop

Ongoing: Viking crafts

Falconry in the Viking Age

1.00 pm at Skaill House Falconry, Sandwick,

£10 adults, £8 child/concession

See Saturday’s listing for details.

For more info and booking, see Skaill House Falconry’s web page.

Shapinsay Viking Exhibition

12.00 midday – 4.00 pm

Free, donations welcome

The Smithy, Balfour Village, Shapinsay

Shapinsay Heritage Arts and Crafts will host a Viking exhibition in the Smithy Centre 5 mins walk from the ferry.

The exhibition will have various ‘artefacts’ and photos from a number of dramatic productions held in the past, celebrating Shapinsay’s Norse history.

See Saturday’s listing for more details.

No entrance fee, but contributions to running costs gratefully received.

Getting there by ferry: Leave Kirkwall 1130 for the 1 p.m. talk returning 3.15 or 4.45, leave 2.15 for the 3 p.m. talk returning at 4.45.

Contact: Louise Hollinrake

Monday 19 Aug

Falconry in the Viking Age

1.00 pm at Skaill House Falconry, Sandwick,

£10 adults, £8 child/concession

See Saturday’s listing for details

Evening guided tour of Viking Kirkwall

7.00 – 8.00 pm

Meet at Kirkwall Tourist Information Centre at 7.00 pm

Free, but tips/donations welcome

Dr Ragnhild Ljosland, academic, guide and storyteller, gives a guided walking tour of Kirkwall, Orkney’s Norse capital.

We will see the Norse harbour, the site of the Norse assembly, the remains of St Olaf’s church, and hear the exciting stories of life in the Norse town of Kirkwall from the Orkneyinga Saga.

(NB: St Magnus Cathedral and Palaces view from outside only)

Shapinsay Viking Exhibition

12.00 midday – 4.00 pm

Free, donations welcome

The Smithy, Balfour Village, Shapinsay

Shapinsay Heritage Arts and Crafts will host a Viking exhibition in the Smithy Centre 5 mins walk from the ferry.

The exhibition will have various ‘artefacts’ and photos from a number of dramatic productions held in the past, celebrating Shapinsay’s Norse history.

See Saturday’s listing for more details.

No entrance fee, but contributions to running costs gratefully received.

Getting there by ferry: Leave Kirkwall 1130 for the 1 p.m. talk returning 3.15 or 4.45, leave 2.15 for the 3 p.m. talk returning at 4.45.

Contact: Louise Hollinrake

Tuesday 20 Aug

Viking Sheep Experience, Talk & Demonstration

with Jane Cooper

10.30 am (1 hour)

£6

Booking essential: Visits can be booked using the contact page, by emailing boreray@runbox.com or telephoning 01856 761331

See more info on Orkney Boreray Sheep’s website

As part of Orkney Viking Week we invite you to visit our flock of Boreray sheep in West Mainland.  These little short-tailed sheep were vital for Viking life and exploration. For the Vikings, the Short-Tailed sheep were extremely important.  Their unique double coated fleece had properties essential for the sails that powered their boats and longships, as well as providing clothing that could withstand the wet and cold.  Work reproducing woollen sails has shown other qualities of the wool of these tough little sheep that made it possible to have woollen sails.  Calculations of the work involved in making these sails and the number of sheep required give insights into Viking life.

Viking Shapinsay

Talk by Shapinsay Heritage, Arts and Crafts

1.00 pm & again at 3.00 pm

The Smithy, Balfour Village, Shapinsay

Free, donations welcome

Shapinsay Heritage Arts and Crafts welcomes you to two talks about Viking Shapinsay in the Smithy, one at 1 p.m. and one at 3 p.m. both covering the same topics, followed by discussion.

In addition, you can view the exhibition in The Smithy, which will have various ‘artefacts’ and photos from a number of dramatic productions held in the past, celebrating Shapinsay’s Norse history, including a 25 foot replica galley built by Ivan Hourston No entrance fee, but contributions to running costs gratefully received.

Getting there by ferry: Leave Kirkwall 1130 for the 1 p.m. talk returning 3.15 or 4.45, leave 2.15 for the 3 p.m. talk returning at 4.45.

Contact: Louise Hollinrake

Viking Music & Book launch: The Orkney Book of Runes

7.00 pm – 9.00 pm

St Magnus Centre, Kirkwall

Free/donations/raffle – booking not necessary, all welcome.

7.00 – 7.30 pm: Viking Age music by Kate Fletcher and Corwen Broch

Book signing by Dr Ragnhild Ljosland

The Orkney Book of Runes explores the exciting stories of the more than fifty runic inscriptions found in the Orkney Islands. Norwegian territory until AD 1468, to the Norse people of Orkney runes were the natural medium of expressing in writing anything from pious prayers and memorials to beloved family members, to magic amulets and humorous graffiti. Today these runic inscriptions form an exciting and eclectic collection of glimpses into life around a millennium ago. But just as exciting are also the stories of their discoveries and how they have stirred our emotions, awoken our interest, sparked debates and shaped how Orcadians today understand their history and identity.

Published by: Orkney Archaeology Society

The book will be for sale at the event (£7/£6 for OAS members) and can also be ordered from Orkney Archaeology Society by contacting

publications@orkneyarchaeologysociety.org.uk

The bear’s tooth amulet from Birsay and other runic inscriptions with magical purposes.

Orkney Archaeology Society public talk: Dr Ragnhild Ljosland

This talk is part of the book launch event above.

19.30 – 21.00

St Magnus Centre, Kirkwall

This talk explores the runic inscriptions found in Orkney which seem to have been made with a ‘magical’ purpose in mind: A runic amulet made from a bear’s tooth, and two inscribed pieces of metal. These will be explained in the light of other similar finds from Scandinavia, and we get a glimpse into the beliefs and superstitions among the medieval Norse.

Wednesday 21 Aug

Shapinsay Viking Exhibition

12.00 midday – 4.00 pm

Free, donations welcome

The Smithy, Balfour Village, Shapinsay

Shapinsay Heritage Arts and Crafts will host a Viking exhibition in the Smithy Centre 5 mins walk from the ferry.

The exhibition will have various ‘artefacts’ and photos from a number of dramatic productions held in the past, celebrating Shapinsay’s Norse history.

See Saturday’s listing for more details.

No entrance fee, but contributions to running costs gratefully received.

Getting there by ferry: Leave Kirkwall 1130 for the 1 p.m. talk returning 3.15 or 4.45, leave 2.15 for the 3 p.m. talk returning at 4.45.

Contact: Louise Hollinrake

Viking Voyage to Hoy!

9.30 am – 5.00 pm

£60 / £40

A full day guided adventure to the island of Hoy. We walk though the roadless valley between the famous Hills of Hoy,  until we reach the secluded valley of Rackwick.

Once inhabited by the Vikings, Rackwick now lies undisturbed, like a green bowl surrounded by imposing cliffs in old red sandstone. We stop on the beach, where we experience the Viking way of life:

We cook over open fire and share an authentic Viking meal and enjoy storytelling by the campfire. We play games, hear Viking songs and try a Viking dance, and listen to ancient stories passed down from the Vikings in the sagas and through local tradition in Orkney.

You will have a go at practical skills such as weaving and braiding techniques and nettle rope making.

Booking is essential – book by lunchtime Tuesday, please.

www.brodgar.co.uk/vikinghiking

Falconry in the Viking Age

1.00 pm at Skaill House Falconry, Sandwick,

£10 adults, £8 child/concession

See Saturday’s listing for details

The Men in Maeshowe: Why did they break in?

7.00 pm – 8.00 pm

Venue: Maeshowe Visitor Centre, Stenness

Free, with raffe. Space limited, so booking is essential. Book your place here. 

Who broke in to Maeshowe in the 12th century and carved runes on
the walls – and why did they do it? Dr Ragnhild Ljosland looks at clues from the Norse period in this talk which links the Maeshowe runes with Norse beliefs and folklore of Orkney and Scandinavia.

Repeat of the Orkney International Science Festival John D. Mackay lecture, 2017.

Did you know? Historic Environment Scotland offers evening tours of Maeshowe. Anyone wishing to join the tour at 8.00 pm, directly after the talk, should contact Maeshowe Visitor Centre directly about this.

Thursday 22 Aug

Viking Sheep Experience, Talk & Demonstration

with Jane Cooper

10.30 am (1 hour)

£6

Booking essential: Visits can be booked using the contact page, by emailing boreray@runbox.com or telephoning 01856 761331

See more info on Orkney Boreray Sheep’s website

As part of Orkney Viking Week we invite you to visit our flock of Boreray sheep in West Mainland.  These little short-tailed sheep were vital for Viking life and exploration. For the Vikings, the Short-Tailed sheep were extremely important.  Their unique double coated fleece had properties essential for the sails that powered their boats and longships, as well as providing clothing that could withstand the wet and cold.  Work reproducing woollen sails has shown other qualities of the wool of these tough little sheep that made it possible to have woollen sails.  Calculations of the work involved in making these sails and the number of sheep required give insights into Viking life.

Shapinsay Viking Exhibition

12.00 midday – 4.00 pm

Free, donations welcome

The Smithy, Balfour Village, Shapinsay

Shapinsay Heritage Arts and Crafts will host a Viking exhibition in the Smithy Centre 5 mins walk from the ferry.

The exhibition will have various ‘artefacts’ and photos from a number of dramatic productions held in the past, celebrating Shapinsay’s Norse history.

See Saturday’s listing for more details.

No entrance fee, but contributions to running costs gratefully received.

Getting there by ferry: Leave Kirkwall 1130 for the 1 p.m. talk returning 3.15 or 4.45, leave 2.15 for the 3 p.m. talk returning at 4.45.

Contact: Louise Hollinrake

Falconry in the Viking Age

1.00 pm at Skaill House Falconry, Sandwick,

£10 adults, £8 child/concession

See Saturday’s listing for details

 

Author event: Lexie Conyngham, “Tomb for an Eagle” and “A Wolf at the Gate”

6.00 pm at The Orkney Library, Kirkwall

Free event

Tomb for an Eagle:

A man lies under the tawny earth, hands still clutching the knife that killed him.
Thorfinn Sigurdarson, Earl of all Orkney and Caithness, has made a mistake, and he won’t let himself forget it.

Now rumours have started in the Norse lands that he might be getting a second chance – but should he take it, when it means that dead men are walking?

A Wolf at the Gate

Ketil had not intended to return to Orkney, but when you work for Thorfinn Sigurdarson, you obey orders. Thorfinn wants him back to help with a visiting Abbot from Saxony, escorted by an old colleague of Ketil’s. Then people who know the Abbot start dying, and Ketil must once again work with his friend Sigrid to find out why – and to face dark memories from his own past.

Find out more at Amazon

Friday 23 Aug

Viking Sheep Experience, Talk & Demonstration

with Jane Cooper

10.30 am (1 hour)

£6

Booking essential: Visits can be booked using the contact page, by emailing boreray@runbox.com or telephoning 01856 761331

See more info on Orkney Boreray Sheep’s website

As part of Orkney Viking Week we invite you to visit our flock of Boreray sheep in West Mainland.  These little short-tailed sheep were vital for Viking life and exploration. For the Vikings, the Short-Tailed sheep were extremely important.  Their unique double coated fleece had properties essential for the sails that powered their boats and longships, as well as providing clothing that could withstand the wet and cold.  Work reproducing woollen sails has shown other qualities of the wool of these tough little sheep that made it possible to have woollen sails.  Calculations of the work involved in making these sails and the number of sheep required give insights into Viking life.

Falconry in the Viking Age

1.00 pm at Skaill House Falconry, Sandwick,

£10 adults, £8 child/concession

See Saturday’s listing for details

Viking Feast on the Beach!

6.00 pm – 8.00 pm

£20/£10/£5 – booking essential

Book here by Thursday evening

The 2019 Viking Week ends spectacularly with a Viking Feast on the Beach at Scapa near Kirkwall.

We enjoy storytelling and authentic food around the campfire, play a Viking game, and learn Viking skills such as baking, butter making and tablet weaving.

And drink from a drinking horn, naturally.

Giant human game of Hnefatafl

8.00 pm – 9.00 pm Friday

Free event

Scapa Beach

Hnefatafl is a Viking board game, where a team of attacking pieces attempts to trap the King, while the defending pieces assist the King in escaping to one of his castles.

In the spectacular finale to the Viking Week, we will do this on a grand scale at Scapa Beach with human pieces!

No booking, just turn up to play or watch.

Also happening ...

Viking stuff!

Did you know that Blue Joe’s on Victoria Street, Kirkwall, has lots of cool Viking stuff for sale?

Drinking horns, helmets, swords, jewellery, Thor’s hammers, runic stuff.

Open Monday – Saturday 10-ish to 5-ish (yes, that’s what it actually says on their sign!)