Video: Thousands throng to meet Viking army at Threekingham!

An amazing recreation of the 870 AD Battle of Stow took place over the Heritage Open Days weekend of September 16 and 17 in Threekingham, entertaining around 5,000 visitors.
Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Organised by The Aveland History Group, 250-plus Viking enactors set up a living history camp in a field suspected to be the location of the battle, at Threekingham.

As with all Aveland Odyssey events, this was free to enter and visitors could walk through the tented village, talking with knowledgeable craftspeople, from arrow makers, swordsmiths, shield makers, scalds and scribes, to spinners, weavers and dyers, and a shipwright – not to mention the mead makers!

In the centre of the field, there was a large arena where battles and archery displays took place and children were encouraged to join in, to learn how to be a Viking warrior.

Viking re-enactors do battle at Threekingham.Viking re-enactors do battle at Threekingham.
Viking re-enactors do battle at Threekingham.

Alongside the arena were two archaeological test pits and finds were brought to the surface on the first day. The pit was a hive of activity – after all, who would pass up the opportunity to dig for buried treasure?

Rich Chapman from Alpha Wolf Urban Axe Throwing of Grantham taught the public how to handle an axe and take aim at the target, while local historian Jim Snee and his Lindissi colleagues smelted pewter to make Mjolnir - Thor’s hammers – and glass beads, encouraging the public to have a go.

Traders ranged from selling Viking themed items to the Village Bee selling her honey, Snail Pottery providing beautiful pots to take home, Lincs Quilts with her colourful and practical fabrics and Wilsfords fudge - all reported bumper sales and were keen to return next year. The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reported that the event had been the most successful outdoor event that they have attended this summer, in terms of people joining them.

Food stalls offered a range of sumptuous food, from local hog roast and smoked meats, to Viking burgers and pizzas and a terrific local coffee waggon along with wonderful artisan ices.

In St Peter’s Church, a series of free lectures covered a diverse range of research into the lives of the people we call Vikings. As the church is in desperate need of funds for the damaged roof, a dedicated village team set up an array of cakes and offered teas and coffees, while other villagers managed the car parking. An extra event was held on the Friday night, with the resident archaeologist coming to talk about the latest research on Viking camps to a paying audience of over 40 people. Profits raised from that went towards the church roof fund and over the two days of lectures, generous donations were made in the collecting buckets.

Alison Carr, from Aveland History Group, said: “The feedback has been superb, with so many of the public stopping to tell the organisers what a fantastic day they have had, what they learnt in the camp talking to enactors and that they hope it becomes an annual event. The welcome given by the village of Threekingham to everyone who attended – enactors and visitors alike – is called out time and again in comments on our social media and written feedback.

"The Aveland History Group is delighted with the results of the show and will build on this for next September, when we will mark 80 years since our local airstrip at Folkingham was used by the US Army Air Force to send troops for Operation Overlord (D-Day) and Operation Market Garden (Arnhem – famous from A Bridge Too Far). Watch out for advertising with our Viking sailing ship as we launch our next part of The Aveland Odyssey!”

She explained: “Our focus is on igniting a spark in kids and adults, to help them recognise the amazing wealth of history that we have around us in this corner of Lincolnshire and hopefully to help them see their place in the ongoing story of the Aveland!”