Jorvik is back in Coppergate! First look at new Vikings exhibition

Vikings invade St Mary's. Photograph: Richard McDougall
24 Jun 2016 @ 3.37 pm
| History
New home… the Jorvik Vikings arrive in St Mary's. Photographs: Richard McDougall
New home… the Jorvik Vikings arrive in St Mary’s. Rachel Cutler is Viking Oddly and Adam Seymour is Yngvar – Photographs: Richard McDougall

Abruptly thrown out of their Coppergate home at the end of last year, Jorvik’s Vikings have invaded their next-door neighbours.

The Viking hordes have set up home in St Mary’s, the redundant church just along the way from the Jorvik Viking Centre in Coppergate.After the centre was flooded on Boxing Day, putting it out of order till next year, Jorvik has gone on tour.

This new exhibition, in association with York Museums Trust, which owns St Mary’s, opens on Saturday with free entry for residents as part of the open weekend.

Jorvik: Home and Abroad

York St Marys, Coppergate

Daily from Sat Jun 25 @ 10am-5pm


More details

After that it will cost visitors £3-£5.

Ship at the centre

The exhibition is set around an impressive Viking ship centrepiece, surrounded by replica trade stalls and daily Viking activities, providing a taste of what Viking life was like.

The director of attractions Sarah Maltby said that “Jorvik isn’t a run of the mill museum experience” and there is something special about this exhibition.

“We aimed to create lots of interaction, providing plenty to do as well as see,” Sarah said.

Weaving was an important Viking skill
Weaving was an important Viking skill
St Mary's centrepiece
St Mary’s centrepiece

Visitors will be invited to interact with many parts of the exhibition: to smell and taste samples of dried fish, to watch intricate weaving and to talk with the Vikings roaming the scenes.

The new location for the Jorvik Vikings is also very fitting. Sarah comments that the Church has a “foundation in Viking times, and so it is valid that the exhibition be located here, bringing the building and artefacts together”.

With the perfect mix of information and interaction, it’s a fun and educational experience for children and families. Here’s what to see.

What to see

Replica Viking trade ship

The Viking equivalent of Boaty McBoatface
The Viking equivalent of Boaty McBoatface

This impressive centrepiece stands in the middle of the beautiful church building. Displayed with objects used in sailing and trading, come and view the vessel up close.

Discover York’s maritime history and the importance of the River Ouse.

Weaving and coin striking

A room with a loom
A room with a loom

Newly built sets will recreate Viking trade stalls and crafts, including a traditional loom where Vikings will be weaving intricate and painstaking designs.

Other characters will be coin striking right before your eyes. Watch the demonstrations and find out more about the activities.

Rare remains and intriguing artefacts

Beautiful setting: York St Mary's
Beautiful setting: York St Mary’s

Although rare to get skeletal remains in exhibitions, two skeletons found in the city will be on display as part of this experience. Become a budding archaeologist and learn how to look at remains with the helpful and informative signs.

Back on display after the Boxing Day floods, a selection of Jorvik artefacts can now be viewed in natural light, placed in beautiful cabinets in the middle of the church.

What to do

Viking traders
Viking traders

Hear the Vikings’ stories

A host of costumed characters will be there to guide you throughout the day. They will share stories and answer questions about life in Viking times. Engage with them to find out more about human life in the era.

Fish tasting

As a full multisensory exhibition, you will get the chance to taste and smell the food of a Viking trade market. See examples of the cloth, fish and fruits that would be on offer in Viking times while tasting the dried fish.

Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts tables will be arranged for children to try their hand at ring making or beading under the watchful eye of a resident Viking.

Viking play

A small Viking tent with books and toys will also be on display for children to explore.