The Vikings are returning to Sunderland – but this time there’ll be no ransacking.
A medieval festival will celebrate the monastic heritage of St Peter’s Church in Monkwearmouth later this month.
It’d be hard to imagine just how terrifying it must have been to see a horde of Vikings descending on the church.Coun John Kelly
The turbulent period – spanning the 5th and 15th centuries – encompassed a period when the Monkwearmouth monastery was destroyed by Norse raiders in 866AD.
Now, re-enactor “raiders” will bring the era back to life as part of the festival during the weekend of June 27/28.
It is being held to mark the completion of a £1million Sunderland City Council-funded interpretation and landscaping project to help better tell the story of St Peter’s.
Members of Regia Anglorum – a living history group specialising in the re-creation of the Viking Age in England – will supply visiting marauders and Northumbrian fighters to fight for control of Monkwearmouth.
A host of lost crafts and techniques will also be demonstrated to visitors at the free event, from textiles to hunting and fishing, and from cooking to woodworking and even coin striking, all will be faithfully recreated by experts in their field wearing period costume.
Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “It’d be hard to imagine just how terrifying it must have been to see a horde of Vikings descending on the church.
“This gives us the chance to give the imagination more than a little helping hand.”
The St Peter’s Medieval Festival is between 10am and 4pm on both days, with the re-enacted battle at 2pm each day, and warrior training from 10-11.30am.