Viking History

Do you have Viking blood? Initially led by the Norwegian Viking Ingimund, experts believe that the Vikings landed in their longboats along our coastline somewhere between Hoylake/Meols (Melr), West Kirby (Vestry Kirkjubyr) and Thurstaton (Thorsteinn’s tun).

Between 850-1000 AD the Vikings explored many different countries including, France, Spain, Italy, North Atlantic and the British Isles, it is at this time they came to the Wirral.

Vikings were amazing at building ships. The most famous and iconic ships were the long ships. Longships were the Vikings largest and fastest sips. They were used for exploration, pirating and combat. A Viking Longship measured approximately 25-30 metres in length and could carry up to 60 men. Have your own Longship adventure on Hole 16.

The end of July is an important time in Viking Heritage in the Wirral, it is St. Olavs Day and this day marks the start of annual pilgrimage “Olsok” walk linking the two Viking churches of St Bridget’s in West Kirby and St Olav’s in Chester, along the Wirral Way.

Viking homes were known as Longhouses. They were just one long room that had a central fireplace and a smoke hole in the ceiling. It was very common for families and animals, including cows, goats and sheep to live in the Viking home together. Hole 14 homes our very own Viking Quest Longhouse.

Merseyside has some extraordinary Viking archaeology. On the Wirral there were the remains of an old Viking ship at the Railway Inn in Meols, In 1930s a clinker boat was discovered in the rebuilding of the Railway Inn public house. After using radar equipment in 2007 it was confirmed that the vessel lies approximately 6ft to 10ft below clay. There are two Viking hogback tombstones at West Kirby and Bidston. In Neston, remnants of a cross can be found.

It is thought that nearly half of Old Wirral family’s DNA showed a strong Scandinavian influence with nearly half having their strongest matches with modern Scandinavians.

Tranmere Rovers is the only team in the English football league with a Norwegian Viking name. Tranmere Rovers (Trani meld means cranebirds’sandbank)

The Battle of Brunanburh in 937 AD was the first battle where England united with Vikings against the combined forces of the Norsemen and the Scots. This battle confirmed England as an Anglo-Saxon Kingdom; thus, historians consider it the birthplace of England.

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