Handling Collections

Our Handling Collections are crammed with reproduction artefacts just waiting to be explored, below is just a sample and we are always adding to it so don't forget to check back and see what's new!

Many of these pieces are made in-house, but we also have items made by other talented friends like Blue Axe Reproductions, Wieland Forge, Tillerman Beads, Jackhammer Forge and many more.

Have a scroll through each of the galleries and read the descriptions of each item for more information, and if there's anything you'd particularly like to see at a visit or event, please let us know!

Warfare & Weapons

Vikings are perhaps best known as raiders and warriors, but what sort of weapons did they use and what can this tell us about Viking Age Societies?

Viking Age Sword, Repton
Viking Age Sword, Repton

In 875 The Great Heathen Army camped at Repton, Derbyshire, having raided extensively through what is now Scotland

Late Viking Age Sword
Late Viking Age Sword

Dating from 950-1180, this sword belongs to a period where independent Viking Armies gave way to the Medieval Kingdoms of Europe & Scandinavia. The sword belt is based on fragments from Late 11th Century York

A Late Viking Age Helmet
A Late Viking Age Helmet

Helmets are quite rare in archaeology, but abundant in literature and art from the period. This is a late example, we hope to include earlier examples very soon!

Viking Age Sword, Repton
Viking Age Sword, Repton

In 875 The Great Heathen Army camped at Repton, Derbyshire, having raided extensively through what is now Scotland

1/6

From Raiders to Traders

Whilst Viking Age economies were largely based on produce, coinage did exist.  Money wasn't valuable in itself, but because it was made of silver which could be traded as coins, ingots or even arm-rings

Rings
Rings

Rings were often used as payment in the Viking Age. In the poem 'Beowulf' lords are sometimes described as 'ring-givers', and rings often feature in Viking Myths

Coins, Hacksilver & Ingots
Coins, Hacksilver & Ingots

As well as coins minted in trading centres like York & Dublin, silver was also traded in the form of arm-rings and ingots

Viking Age Scales & Weights
Viking Age Scales & Weights

Viking Age people used balances and weights like these. Weights were sometime made from Irish Sea Metalwork like brooches and reliquaries set into lead (don't worry, these are pewter!)

Rings
Rings

Rings were often used as payment in the Viking Age. In the poem 'Beowulf' lords are sometimes described as 'ring-givers', and rings often feature in Viking Myths

1/3

Textiles

Whilst there is evidence some women may have joined men in warfare, their greatest contribution to the Viking Age was in the field of textiles.  Waving spears and shields around is all well and good, but Viking Warriors would have looked very silly with no clothes on and they wouldn't get very far with no sails for their ships!

Needle Case & Needles
Needle Case & Needles

Needles were made of iron, copper-alloys and bone, and came in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on what they were used for. Smaller needles could be kept in needle cases, good examples of these have been found on the Isle of Lewis, Islay and Caithness

Shears and Scissors
Shears and Scissors

Scissors are known from the Viking Age, but more common are iron shears which have been found in burials

Tablet Woven Braid
Tablet Woven Braid

Made using weaving tablets, braids like this were used to decorate very fancy clothes. This one is made from silk brocaded with gold & silver thread and is similar to and example from Dublin

Needle Case & Needles
Needle Case & Needles

Needles were made of iron, copper-alloys and bone, and came in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on what they were used for. Smaller needles could be kept in needle cases, good examples of these have been found on the Isle of Lewis, Islay and Caithness

1/5

How to Look Good Viking

Vikings are well known for weapons and warfare, but they also had a reputation for looking good and this is certainly an area where girls thoroughly beat boys!

Oval Brooches
Oval Brooches

Used to fasten a Scandinavian Style Dress, these brooches are highly decorated and this makes it easy for archaeologist to date them. A good example of this particular type was found in Pierowall, Orkney

More Brooches!
More Brooches!

Other brooches were used to fasten cloaks, and whilst the nicest ones were usually made from copper alloys, some simpler ones were made from lead alloys (ours a pewter!)

Belt Set from Cnip, Lewis
Belt Set from Cnip, Lewis

Belts are generally associated with males in the Viking Age, but in Northern Britain some women seem to have worn them

Oval Brooches
Oval Brooches

Used to fasten a Scandinavian Style Dress, these brooches are highly decorated and this makes it easy for archaeologist to date them. A good example of this particular type was found in Pierowall, Orkney

1/10