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Stonham Barns stages a Saxon and Viking Festival this weekend to celebrate start of half term

PUBLISHED: 18:08 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:09 17 October 2019

The Saxon and Viking Festival at Stonham Barns

The Saxon and Viking Festival at Stonham Barns

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Suffolk has a long association with the Saxons and this weekend Stonham Barns is staging a living history event which will allow visitors to get up and close and personal with these larger-than-life raiders

Stonham Barns' Saxon and Viking festival includes a spectacular torchlit parade and boat burning display Picture: CAMERON MOORCROFTStonham Barns' Saxon and Viking festival includes a spectacular torchlit parade and boat burning display Picture: CAMERON MOORCROFT

The legends of Asgard and the spirit of Beowulf will be much in evidence at Stonham Barns this weekend as they host a Saxon and Viking Festival stuffed full of tall tales of exploration, battles and conquest.

There will be over 15 different re-enactment groups from around the country which will descend on the Stonham Barns Showground creating a living history camp devoted to the Viking and Saxon period - referred to as The Dark Ages.

These different groups will give an insight into the way of life of Viking and Saxon culture. You will come across cooking, weaving, leathercraft, woodwork, blacksmithing, herbalists, Saga storytelling and rune reading.

Visitors will be able to try some 'have a go sessions' such as archery and axe throwing. All handled under supervision by certified instructors. There will also be a Holmgang - a Norse duelling tournament, Glima - Viking wrestling, fire dancing and a hawk flying display by The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.

Stonham Barns' Saxon and Viking festival includes a spectacular torchlit parade and boat burning display Picture: CAMERON MOORCROFTStonham Barns' Saxon and Viking festival includes a spectacular torchlit parade and boat burning display Picture: CAMERON MOORCROFT

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Re-enactment displays and battles will take place in the show ring from noon finishing with a Big Battle from 5.30pm.

The big outside finale of the day will take place at 6.30pm with a torchlight parade followed by the fantastic spectacle of a Viking ceremonial boat burning at 6.45pm.

In The Barn there will be activities taking place throughout the day including screenings of classic Hollywood films The Vikings with Kirk Douglas and The Longships with Richard Widmark, local interest Dark Age films, talks on weaving, way of life, demos and crafts, live folk music and children's activities including face painting and shield, sword and helmet making with cardboard.

Battle reenactment at the Saxon and Viking festival at Stonham Barns  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBattle reenactment at the Saxon and Viking festival at Stonham Barns Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The bar will be open from noon through to the event finish at 8pm.

Refreshments, barbeque, hot food and drinks will be available throughout the day.

The Saxon and Viking Festival is at Stonham Barns, near Stowmarket, on Saturday from noon until 8pm. Entrance tickets are £10.

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