Fearsome Craftsmen | JORVIK Viking Centre

Explore the Jorvik Group


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The Vikings are often portrayed as fearsome, seagoing, pagan warriors. However, this is only half of the picture. They were also travellers, traders and crafters who lived a settled, urban life. Advances in boat technology led to the development of a thriving trade network. This provided access to materials that skilled craftspeople turned into complex objects, decorated with designs which revealed the true spirit of the Viking Age.

This exhibition allows you to discover how these Fearsome Craftsmen working over 1,000 years ago made everything they needed from natural materials. Antler could be turned into combs, wood was vital for everything from houses and furniture to spoons and bowls, and dyed and woven wool was transformed into colourful cloth. Our archaeological finds allow you to delve into ordinary aspects of Viking life and the whole family can immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the Viking Age with our replica boat, market stalls, workshops and house interior.

“The JORVIK Group was great to work with. They were professional, communicated clearly and regularly and were very helpful. The team seemed to understand our needs for them to provide, deliver and install all aspects of the exhibition without the need for us to provide additional resources and input. This worked really well for us and our experience shows that this is unusual for a touring exhibition provider. In our own evaluation of the exhibition, we identified three key strengths: the quality and use of the interactive elements, the multisensory nature of the exhibit and the professional delivery of the project.”

Mark Simmons, Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Viking Boat

We love including scenic centrepieces in our exhibitions, such as this replica boat, dressed as a trading vessel. (Shown here on display at the Harris Museum, Preston, 2019)

Archaeological finds

Our finds include raw materials that the Vikings would have acquired through sophisticated trade networks, such as amber that was imported from the Baltic to make rings and pendants.

Replica Market stalls

The replica items on our market stalls show the breadth of items that were crafted and traded in Viking-era Britain.

Replica Market stalls

Our market stalls include pottery, animal furs and skins, and items made from leather, bone and antler.

Viking boat

Our boat looks great from all angles. The cargo represents some of the items that would have been available in Viking-era Britain, including stockfish, furs and antler.

Forge close up

It is suggested that Viking metalworkers occupied a central place in the imagination of the Viking world and that their craft was invested with a certain amount of mystery and prestige.

Get hands-on!

You can have a go at being a Viking blacksmith in our replica forge!

Viking House

Take a seat inside our replica Viking house interior. (Shown here on display at the Harris Museum, Preston, 2019)