Vikings raid at Alnmouth

An unusual sight greeted early risers – a Viking invasion at Alnmouth.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 3:24 pm
Updated Monday, 28th June 2021, 9:53 pm
The Vikings, from left, Dave Foote, Pete Downes, Ewan Paton, John Ellis and Warren Manley. Picture by Jane Coltman

The raiders came in from the sea along the Aln estuary as part of the celebration for Bailiffgate’s big summer exhibition, ‘Viking : Fact and Fiction’.

Over 1,200 years since the Vikings attacked the monastery at Lindisfarne, Alnmouth Rowing Club staged their own raid of Northumberland from the sea at dawn.

The raid at Lindisfarne in 793 is often taken as the beginning of the Viking Age.

In Vikings: Fact and Fiction, visitors will be able to explore who the Vikings really were: from the clothes they wore to the activities they did for fun.

The myth-busting exhibition, in a unique collaboration with the JORVIK Group, the people behind JORVIK Viking Centre in York, brings the Vikings to life.

As well as being able to see original Viking artefacts first hand, visitors can explore the Viking Village; visit the saga tent; sit around the Viking firepit; find their Viking name; seek out the Viking Mice in the prize-winning Mouse Hunt; and see the ghost of a Viking longboat.

Jane Mann, volunteer, said: "It was great fun working with Alnmouth Community Rowing on this mock invasion.

"The rowers really looked like Vikings with their fantastic beards grown during lockdown in preparation for this event.

"The sea fret that came in made the scene even more evocative – I could imagine the Vikings using the mist to surprise an unwary population of monks with riches for the taking.”

The Vikings: Fact and Fiction exhibition opens runs until October 3.