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Burning boat to light up the sky at Suffolk’s first Saxon and Viking show

PUBLISHED: 09:51 17 October 2018

The ceremonial boat burning will take place at dusk Picture: WUFFA

The ceremonial boat burning will take place at dusk Picture: WUFFA


Invading hoards of Dark Ages tribes have called on the modern day Suffolk population to join them in celebrating the crafts, traditions, wars and superstitions of the era at the county’s first Saxon and Viking festival.

Standing shoulder to shoulder in the shield wall will be a number of fierce re-enactment groups Picture: WUFFAStanding shoulder to shoulder in the shield wall will be a number of fierce re-enactment groups Picture: WUFFA

A Dark Ages fashion show, torchlit parade and ceremonial boat burning will be just some of the attractions on offer at the brand new show at Stonham Barns, near Stowmarket, on October 20.

The festival will offer visitors the chance to get up close and personal with bloodthirsty warriors and experience a taste of what life was like in Dark Ages East Anglia, complete with epic battles and a live hawk display.

Event organiser David Bracey said: “This action-packed festival will offer people the chance to see what life was really like in Britain in the fifth to ninth century.

“We are thrilled to have Dark Age re-enactment groups from all over the country joining us for the day to show off their exciting living history skills, crafts and fighting demonstrations, before an epic final battle between the invading Vikings and the settled Saxons.”

Standing shoulder to shoulder in the shield wall will be the re-enactment groups Wuffa, Ormsguard, Herigeas Hundas, the Wolves of Midguard and Oden’s Aett.

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary will also be hosting a live hawk display.

Alongside the outdoor fighting demonstrations, the festival will play host to presentations from experts and historians on everything from ‘Anglo Saxon Heathens’ to Rune Lore, as well as traditional music from Dark Age musicians.

Visitors will even have the chance to try their hand at archery and axe throwing.

Herigeas Hundas group leader, Rich Bonner, said: “We are very excited to attend this year’s Saxon and Viking Festival and experiencing the special boat burning ceremony.

“Our Saxon warriors are looking forward to taking on the Vikings and showing off their fighting skill to visitors.”

The festival will finish at dusk with a ceremonial torchlight parade and boat burning, led by historian Peter Seymour.

Gates open at 11am and the event will finish at 8pm at the Stonham Barns Showground near Stowmarket on October 20, 2018.

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