Vikings: Raiders and Traders
In the late 800s, a band of Danish explorers in longboats sailed across the North Sea. They made their way up the Yare River in search of new territory, finally setting foot in a small Anglo-Saxon settlement that subsequently became known as Norwich. These were the Vikings, formidable warriors in search of land and loot. These terrifying traders eventually made peace with the local inhabitants and Norwich became an Anglo-Scandinavian community, leaving behind a trail of archaeology. What was it about the land of Norfolk and its people that seduced these fearsome folk?
In this study day led by renowned expert Brian Ayers, we explore Norwich on foot, hunting for the clues that reveal Norwich’s tumultuous Viking past, from the first settlers, to the 1004 invasion from King Swein of Denmark. During the day we also explore the Viking Age port, see churches founded in the 10th and 11th centuries, walk through the Cathedral Close which removed part of the Anglo-Scandinavian town, and visit a 12th-century vaulted hall. An opportunity will also be taken to look at Dragon Hall, a magnificent 15th century cloth trading warehouse. We finish the day with Dr Tim Pestell, with an exciting opportunity to handle Viking objects and to undertake an optional private visit of Norwich castle keep.
9.45 Meet at Fye Bridge, NR3 1LJ.
10.00 Walk around the borough looking at evidence for the Viking age town. Our tour will include Fishergate, Magdalen Street, Colegate, Rosemary Lane, Oak Street, Coslany Bridge, St Benedicts Street and St Gregory where we will stop for coffee.
12.45 We enjoy a buffet lunch at Kings of Heart Cafe.
13.45 We walk to Quayside, St Martin-at-Palace, Cathedral Close, Anglia TV and Castle Museum. We then move on to Shirehall for a handling session with Tim Pestell. There is also the option for private tour of late 11th-/early 12th-century Norman Keep.
17.00 Concluding remarks and finish
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Fact Sheet - Including background information about your Guide Lecturer, historical context for the Day, detailed itinerary, a suggested reading list and directions to the venue
Brian Ayers constant stream of information. He kept it up all day. It was easy to understand, entertaining and never boring.
Brian Ayers' expert knowledge about the Viking history and heritage of Norwich, and his enthusiasm in sharing it. I appreciated his constant ability and willingness to answer searching questions throughout the day!
Interested in seeing a little more of the ancient world? We run over 100 tours explore history, archaeology and culture all over the world including... See suggestions below:
See something old in a new way
Andante Study Days offer rare, often unique, insights into the world of working archaeology. All are led by expert guides, and are designed to give guests access to some of the best of British Archaeology...
What to expect
- An expert guide to accompany you throughout the Day
- A mixture of lectures, practical demonstrations, handling sessions, guided tours and walks
- Special access to museums, sites and galleries otherwise closed to the general public (where specified)
- Small Groups 12-25 guests
- The company of like-minded people!