About the Project

Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands

Professor Judith Jesch and Dr Roderick Dale from the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age at the University of Nottingham led this research project promoting awareness and knowledge of Viking heritage in the East Midlands. The project ran from 1 February 2017 to 31 July 2018 and was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the University of Nottingham’s British Identities Research Priority Area. The project involved two exhibitions with associated activities, a series of public lectures, a book on Viking Nottinghamshire, and many other public engagement activities, including this website.


Viking: Rediscover the Legend was a touring exhibition curated by York Museums Trust and the British Museum, visiting four other venues (York, Southport, Norwich and Aberdeen) in addition to its stint at the Djanogly Gallery, University of Nottingham (25 November 2017 – 4 March 2018). The exhibition clocked up over 22,000 visitors during its time at Nottingham. Professor Judith Jesch supported the curators and Dr Clare Pickersgill of the University Museum in devising the exhibition. Dr Roderick Dale of the project organised a series of activity days to support public engagement with the exhibition, including craft and handling sessions with reproduction artefacts made by Adam Parsons of Blueaxe Reproductions.

Danelaw Saga: Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands was an additional exhibition, available only at Nottingham. Curated by Dr Dale and Professor Jesch in collaboration with Hayley Cotterill and Ursula Ackrill of the University’s Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, the exhibition ran from 15 December 2017 to 8 April 2018. In the exhibition, visitors could view a range of manuscripts, books and artefacts illustrating the arrival, settlement and legacy of the Vikings in the East Midlands. This exhibition had over 10,000 visitors.

Lecture series

In collaboration with the University Museum, the project organised a series of public lectures to complement both exhibitions. The lecturers were all distinguished experts in Viking and early medieval studies and many of the lectures focused on the East Midlands in the context of the broader Viking Age. These lectures can be viewed on this website in our Viking Talks collection. Some of the lecturers also contributed to the project’s blog.

Other activities

Professor Jesch and Dr Dale gave a series of private tours of Danelaw Saga. Dr Dale was (and remains) in great demand as a speaker at local and regional historical and archaeological societies. The project was pleased to call on Dr Rebecca Gregory of the Institute for Name-Studies, University of Nottingham, to write a short popular book on Viking Nottinghamshire. The book was published by Five Leaves Press to coincide with the Danelaw Saga exhibition.


We were pleased to work with the following organisations in the course of this project:

University Museum, University of Nottingham

Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham

Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham

Blueaxe Reproductions

Five Leaves Publications

Derby Museum and Art Gallery

Leicestershire County Council

The Collection Museum, Lincoln


We are grateful to Dr Dayanna Knight for designing our logo and other artistic services, and to all the folk at the University of Nottingham’s IT Services who made this website possible.

Thanks are also due to PhD students Cassidy Croci, Lauren O Brien and William Pidzamecky who helped build this website.