The fourth Orkney Viking Week will be held on 10-17 September 2023. It will be a blended online and face-to-face outdoor festival, jointly organised by Orkney Time Travel and Orkney Archaeology Society.

Please keep checking this page for updates, as the programme will be finalised as we approach the festival.

Online programme

Remarkable textiles in a Viking Age hoard

Where – online

When – Thursday 14th September, 7.30 pm

Cost – free, donations to Orkney Archaeology Society

Registration link

It is rare and exciting to discover textiles preserved in a Viking Age Hoard. This talk will explore the textiles preserved in the Galloway Hoard. A stunning assemblage of Viking Age objects, the Galloway Hoard was buried in southwest Scotland around 900 CE. It contains quantities of silver and objects of other durable materials of notable value. Unusually, wrapping and covering the metal objects, are preserved textiles. Alongside plant fibre and wool textiles used to wrap the outside of a silver gilt vessel, there are also silks and leather inside a silver-gilt vessel that bundle, connect and contain the objects inside the vessel. Here we will investigate the archaeological analysis of the textiles in the Galloway hoard and consider the significance of these rarely preserved materials for interpreting and understanding a Viking Age hoard assemblage.


Speaker biography

Dr Susanna Harris is Lecturer in Archaeology at the School of Humanities, University of Glasgow. She completed her PhD at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL), and has worked as an academic researcher in Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. Her research focuses on the technical, scientific and experimental analysis, and interpretation of archaeological textiles. Susanna Harris currently leads the fibre and fabric analysis of Must Farm, Bronze Age pile-dwelling settlement and is co-investigator of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project, ‘Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard’: a Viking Age hoard with exceptional preservation of ancient wool, linen and silk textiles.


Register on Eventbrite to receive joining link.

Please note, this talk will not be recorded.

Textile found in the Galloway Hoard, c. 900 CE. Photo: Susanna Harris.
Textile found in the Galloway Hoard, c. 900 CE. Photo: Susanna Harris.

In-person programme

Crafty Characters – Weaving Crafts into Viking Fiction

When: Friday 15th September, 7 pm

Where: St Magnus Centre, Friends room

Author Lexie Conyngham talks about her Orkneyinga Murders series and how trying to learn Viking crafts inspires her writing.

Free event, all welcome. Donations to Orkney Archaeology Society at door.

Lexie Conyngham portrait

Family Day

Sunday 10th September will be a family day, with activities and fun for all ages.

Where – The Earl’s Bu by Orkneyinga Saga Centre, Orphir

When – 10 am to 2 pm

Cost: Free entry, sale of snacks and drinks, some activities may have a small charge.

Mini axe throwing, storytelling, tablet weaving, butter making, make your own runic charm, create your Viking name, Hnefatafl Viking board game, and more.

Craft day in King Street Hall

Saturday 16th September will be a day of craft workshops, where you can choose to attend one or more workshops. Some are drop-in, while others require booking. Soup & rolls, tea and coffee.

NB – keep checking this website for updates, as the craft programme will be finalised as the date approaches.

Where – King Street Hall, Kirkwall

When – Saturday 16th September

Morning 10 am – 1pm

Afternoon 1 pm – 4 pm

Cost – Free to browse, come and try. Donations to Orkney Archaeology Society at door.

Individual workshops have separate costs.


Needle felting of runic designs (morning)

Spinning on a hand-held spindle whorl (afternoon)

Tablet weaving (afternoon)

Decorative braiding (morning and afternoon)

Make a wooden keyring decorated with Viking art (to be confirmed)

Decorate a t-shirt with Norse art, using templates and painting with bleach (morning and afternoon, adults only) – Charge for t-shirt £7 on the day

Demonstration of peg loom weaving

Booking required

Make your own Viking shoes (full day workshop) £35 – Book your place on Eventbrite

Viking Jewellery making with Andrew Baikie £40

From Lint & Yarn workshop 2021

The Power of Viking Wool

Saturday evening 16th September Jane Cooper will give a talk on Boreray sheep, wool, and wool working in the Viking Age.

Where – King Street Hall, upper room.

When – Saturday 16th September, 7 pm

Cost – Free, donations to OAS welcome. Opportunity to purchase signed copies of Jane Cooper’s new book, The Lost Flock.

Discovering the place of the ancestors of the Orkney Boreray sheep in the lives of the Vikings, as told in the book, The Lost Flock.  How Viking women worked with wool to produce a range of sophisticated textiles which played a crucial role in the lives and travels of the Vikings.  How the sheep that provided this wool were an integral part of Viking life.

Starlit stories

When: Saturday 16th September, 9 pm – 9.45 pm

Where: King Street Hall upper room, Kirkwall

Join Raggie Ljosland on a cosmic journey of Norse stories from Ginnungagap to Ragnarok. Hear how the world began, according to the Vikings, of the cosmic ash tree that carries all realms, and how the world will end. Hear the story of how Orkney was created, and how it was named.

The Eagle God

Where: Skaill House Falconry, Sandwick

When: Sunday 17th September, 1 pm

Cost: £8.50 adults; £7.50 children, pay at door

Storytelling and falconry are woven together in this flight with Odin and Freyja. Meet Odin the Eagle Owl, his falcon friend, and the other birds at Skaill House Falconry, while hearing tales from Norse mythology where gods shape-shift into birds in dramatic twists of tale, performed by Raggie Ljosland.

Skaill House Falconry was awarded Best Hands-On Experience 2022 by Destination Orkney.

Keith demonstrates falconry in the Viking Age. Skaill House Falconry.

Meet the sheep

When: Sunday 17th September

  • 11 am
  • 3 pm

A chance to meet Jane Cooper’s flock of Boreray sheep for real! As well as seeing the sheep who star in The Lost Flock, you can also see the display and learn more about Viking sheep and wool.

For further details and directions to the farm, see Jane’s website http://www.visitburnside.co.uk/VikingWeek