Jorvik and the Vikings

York was once a thriving Viking city called Jorvik. Archaeologists in the 70s and 80s discovered the houses, workshops and backyards of these Vikings as they were 1000 years ago. They are now on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York. I took the kids there to have a look and it was fascinating for all of us. For instance, the water quality was so poor in the city during this time that everyone drank beer, including the children!

In some respects, I even envied them their lifestyle. Not the lack of running water or flushing toilets and generally filthy living conditions but Jorvik looked to be a thriving city with people trading the things they had made themselves like jewellery, combs, woven cloth, skins, shoes, utensils, cups and bowls. It’s very satisfying to be able to make something with your own hands. Anyone who knits or crochets can understand this. But it’s very hard, almost impossible, to make a living out of doing these things in our society.

Some photos from our visit. Here’s Daniel and Elizabeth trying on some Viking clothing.


It’s very hard to get Daniel to stand still for photos

I crocheted this Viking hat myself before we left Auckland. I knew about York’s Viking history and so I made it especially for our trip. Apparently though, the Vikings never actually wore horned helmets but this is such a widely accepted and popular myth and the hats do look good with horns….




3 responses to “Jorvik and the Vikings”

  1. Ah, I really enjoyed this post. I love York (interestingly my mother was born there but didn’t live there for long!) and I remember taking my kids there for a visit when they were much younger, and visiting the Jorvik Viking Centre. We had a great time too,just as your children so obviously did 🙂 My boys would have been older as I do also remember going to the York Dungeon (not my daughter, too young!) and that was quite something!
    Love the hat Rachel, you are obviously very creative! I used to do a lot of knitting and sewing, once upon a time!

    • We haven’t been to the York Dungeon yet but I’ve walked past it many times already and Daniel is very keen to go in. Anything to do with dungeons and weapons and he’s sold. Typical boy!

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