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Brace yourself for a Viking invasion at the Royal Armouries this October

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Harald Hardrada character

On the 13 and 14 October the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds will be hosting an action-packed themed weekend spotlighting the last great Viking king.

The event will explore the story of Harald Hardrada, the King of Norway who fought for the English throne in 1066. Harald famously battled against Harold Godwinson’s army at Stamford Bridge, ultimately admitting defeat and suffering a warrior’s death on the battlefield. But Harold Godwinson’s glory would not last; he himself was defeated at the Battle of Hastings by the army of the Norman, William the Conqueror.

The weekend is part of the museum’s wider Legends series of events, exploring mighty and mysterious warrior legends from cultures around the world through storytelling, performances, combat demonstrations, objects in the Royal Armouries collections, music, film and activities for all ages.

Visitors will be able to get up close and explore the famous Battle of Stamford Bridge tapestry display, see live combats between the Vikings and Saxons, hear stories of legendary battles, and even get battle ready by trying their hand at Danish axe-throwing and shield painting. There will also be a special afternoon talk about the Battle of Fulford Gate with expert Charles Jones.

Other upcoming events in the Legends series include weekends inspired by fierce Celtic Queen Boudicca (24 & 25 November) and legendary leader of medieval myth King Arthur (29 – 31 December).

Commenting on Legends: Harald Hardrada, Mark Jackson, Events and Informal Learning Manager, said: “Many of us are familiar with the year 1066 from our school books, but we aim to bring the historic characters and battles out of the books and give visitors a real sense of life in Harald Hardrada’s time. Harald is often referred to as the last great Viking king, with his life and expeditions steeped in myth and legend. We hope visitors will feel immersed in his fascinating story through our dramatic performances, action-packed combats and have-a-go activities. It is guaranteed be great entertainment for all of the family!”


About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.