Lock up your gold, the Vikings are coming back to the Mid West

The Viking Invasion of Craggaunowen takes place at Craggaunowen, County Clare, during the May Bank Holiday Weekend. Photo: Eamon Ward.

LOCK up your gold – the Vikings are coming. Norse warriors will descend on Craggaunowen this May Bank Holiday Weekend (May 4-5) when the County Clare visitor attraction is transformed into a Viking village.

The highlight of the ‘Viking invasion of Craggaunowen’ will be the battle recreations on the Castle Green at 11.00am, 12.30pm, 2.00pm, and 3.30pm daily, when warring warriors demonstrate their fierce battle skills.

After each battle, children will be offered a unique opportunity to participate in shield drills and learn about the infamous ‘Viking shield wall’, the battle formation used by Norse warriors during combat.

Visitors will learn also about how the pagan warriors lived by exploring historically accurate workshop tents where crafters will demonstrate trading, silversmithing, leather working, pottery, armoury, fibre crafts, and hunting and fishing skills.

There also will be cooking demonstrations over open fires featuring the use of authentic ingredients Vikings would have used, as well as a replica Viking vessel.

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The Brendan Boat was built in 1976 by explorer Tim Severin, who successfully completed a 4,500-mile transatlantic crossing and is on permanent display at Craggaunowen.

Visitors will also discover the origins of coins and how they were introduced to Ireland by the Vikings.

Managed by Clare County Council, Craggaunowen this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foundation by John Hunt, of The Hunt Collection. The attraction features a 16th-century castle and a reconstructed “cranníg” showing how Celts lived, worked, and defended themselves. More information and tickets on craggaunowen.ie.