Viking Talks

Between 25 November 2017 and 8 April 2018, Nottingham Lakeside Arts was invaded by Vikings with two unique exhibitions exploring Britain's Viking past. These talks were part of a series workshops, lectures and other events accompanying both exhibitions – allowing audiences to delve deeper into the world of the Vikings and uncover the legacy of the Vikings on our doorstep. Catch up on the talks you missed or watch the series again with our video recordings. You can also read along to each talk by downloading the accompanying transcript.

Assembling Vikings: Thinking Through Things in the East Midlands
Dr John Baker
Wednesday 6 December 2017

A feature of the Viking diaspora was the establishment of Thing sites, places of regular popular gatherings, where disputes were settled and justice was done. As well as the famous examples of the Icelandic Althing, Tinganes in the Faroe Islands, and Tynwald on the Isle of Man, other examples are known from regions of northern Europe settled by Scandinavians, including examples in the east midlands, such as Thynghowe in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. This tradition of public assembly was shared by the Anglo-Saxons, who sometimes used the same word to describe such meetings. Using place-names and field-work, we can learn more about these important sites of local governance.

Transcript available soon

Viking Hoards and the Making of England
Dr Gareth Williams
Monday 11 December 2017

The conventional history of the unification of England is largely derived from records written at the West Saxon court. According to this version of events, the people of Mercia and Northumbria gratefully accepted the rule of Alfred the Great of Wessex and his descendants as saviours against the hated Vikings. Viking hoards, and the coins within them, suggest a more complex situation.  This lecture re-evaluates the process of unification in the light of new hoard evidence, including the important hoards from Watlington and the Vale of York, on display together for the first time.

Transcript available soon

Holme from Home? East Midland Place-Names and the Story of Viking Settlement
Dr Rebecca Gregory
Wednesday 20 December 2017

What can place-names tell us about Vikings in the East Midlands?

A transcript of this talk is also available to download by clicking here

Invasion, Immigration, Integration - or Diaspora? New Ways of Looking at the Viking Phenomenon
Professor Judith Jesch
Friday 5 January 2018

Find out about some new ways of looking at the Viking phenomenon.

A transcript of this talk is also available to download by clicking here.

Vikings in Your Vocabulary
Dr Richard Dance
Wednesday 10 January 2018

Language and dialect are indicators of identity. Before the Vikings settled in the East Midlands, the locals spoke their own dialects of Old English that marked them out from the other inhabitants of England. These dialects changed with the adoption of Old Norse words into the language. Dr Richard Dance of the University of Cambridge will explore and explain how Midlands dialects were influenced by the arrival of the Vikings.

A transcript of this talk is also available to download by clicking here

From Roman Bribes to Pictish Treasures - Early Silver in Scotland and Beyond
Dr Fraser Hunter
Wednesday 17 January 2018

The talk will present some of the results of the Glenmorangie Research Project into Scotland’s early silver. It is a tale of the unexpected, starting with Roman bribery, running through local adaptation of silver, including some remarkable Pictish treasures, and finishing with a brief look at some new Viking finds. Focussing on Scotland but with a European-wide perspective, it’ll lead you to look at silver in a new way.

A transcript of this talk is also available to download by clicking here

Touring the Vikings
Dr Andrew Woods
Wednesday 31 January 2018

Hear about the national touring exhibition ‘Viking: Rediscover the Legend’. This talk will discuss the inspiration for and development of the exhibition; showcasing a range of iconic objects from across the UK and detailing some of the challenges and successes of this momentous project.

A transcript of this talk is also available by clicking here

Distinctiveness and Assimilation: Rediscovering Viking Age Stone Sculpture in the East Midlands
Paul Everson
Wednesday 7 February 2018

Stone sculpture provides evidence for the assimilation of the Vikings into Anglo-Saxon society, where Anglo-Saxon motifs are combined with Norse motifs to produce hybrid forms. In this talk, Paul Everson of the University of Keele will explore Viking Age stone sculpture in the East Midlands showing its characteristic elements and how hybrid forms emerged.

Transcript available soon

The Gleam of Silver: Vikings, Coins and Hoards
Dr Andrew Woods
Wednesday 14 February 2018

Hoards are some of the clearest and most spectacular remnants of the Viking presence in Britain. A group of seven hoards will be displayed in the exhibition ‘Viking: Rediscover the Legend’, one of the largest collections of Viking silver ever displayed. This talk will interpret the silver and coinage that they contain, using them to argue that the Vikings transformed Britain.

Transcript available soon

From Poetry to Reality: The Gold-Trimmed Sword Hilt in the Bedal Hoard
Dr Sue Brunning
Wednesday 21 February 2018

The Bedale Hoard is a late ninth or early tenth-century hoard that was found in 2012. It includes necklaces, arm rings, hacksilver, ingots, and fittings from a sword hilt. The hilt included gold bands, gold rivets and a pommel inlaid with gold foil. Dr Sue Brunning of the British Museum will discuss the gold-trimmed sword hilt, and explain what ownership of such an item might have meant in Viking Age England.

A transcript of this talk is also available by clicking here.

Repton and the Legacy of the Viking Great Army
Cat Jarman
​Wednesday 28 February 2018

In 873 the Viking Great Army attacked the monastery in Repton, forcing the Mercian king to flee the country and installing a puppet king in his place. 1100 years later, excavations uncovered a large defensive ditch, several distinctly Scandinavian graves, and a mound containing the remains of nearly 300 people. This talk presents new scientific analyses of the burials at Repton, bringing us closer to uncovering the identities of those buried there. In addition, results of new excavations have provided a better understanding of the Viking winter camp. Put together, this new evidence allows for a reassessment of the Viking presence in Repton and the legacy the Great Army left behind.

A transcript of this talk is also available by clicking here.