Irish & Medieval Web Sites of Interest
Because of the worldwide interest in Vikings, there is extremely extensive material available on the web and this is growing all the time. In addition to sites designed particularly for schools, there is also a growing involvement by Living History groups who investigate the past through reconstruction and use of ancient materials and artefacts.
Many of these groups have blogs and web-sites where you can find extensive information and discussions of a type not normally found in textbooks, the specific sword-fighting techniques of Scandinavian warriors through to their metal-casting and clothes-dying activities. The following list is a short summary of some of the better known and resourced sites but in all probability you will find many more.
This is an extremely useful website and perhaps the best available on Vikings in a specifically Irish context. It was designed by Michael Farry for NCTE and focuses on the excavated evidence particularly from Dublin but also has pages on evidence from Waterford and Wexford. For evidence of Viking excavations in Cork see corkheritage.ie. A video from Dublin library illustrate the story of perhaps the earliest Viking warrior to have been found to date in Ireland – see www.dublinheritage.ie/media/skeletons_tale.html.
A site with quizzes, crossword, dress templates, reenactment photos, worksheets, themes and games. It is worth noting, however, that almost all of the material cited here is British (especially English) and Scandinavian in origin so there is relatively little which focuses on the history of Vikings in Ireland.
There is a very wide range of information, activities and links on this site, much of it written by leading experts in British universities and museums. There is also an excellent interactive game about how to plan a raid entitled Viking Quest game. There is no section on Ireland but there is some extremely useful material associated with Scotland: www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/education/sysm/vikings. The Welsh site www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/themes/periods/dark_ages04.shtml discusses the history of Vikings in Wales but is less relevant to schools.
||www.Viking.no, ‘the Viking Network’
This is a Norwegian site in English and Norwegian with extensive coverage. It has quizzes and many activities including maths and cooking. Much of the settlement information is based on Jorvik, but there is also a very good section on Ireland with lesson plans and links.
||An American site is www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/vikings. It has film clips walking through Viking villages, an interactive map of Viking travels, a see-your-own-name-in-runes site, and much more.
||For the most up to date research on Viking longships, see the website of the Viking Ships’ Museum at Roskilde in Denmark. In addition to a number of articles about different replicas there is also material on the Sea Stallion replica of the Irish longship under movie.clips – see www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk or go to the blog “intheboatshed.net” and enter Sea Stallion in their search engine. The best footage comes towards the end.
||An American re-enactment society which focuses specifically on Viking age history has an extremely detailed website with extensive coverage of Viking life at www.hurstwic.org.
||An unusual website is www.vikinganswerlady.com with information on nearly anything to do with the Viking world including hair styles and clothes as well as many other subjects. (Try out her recipes for cooking!) There is a commercial aspect to this website but the academic information shows considerable research.
||Woodlands Junior School has a section called ‘Homework Help’ which can be found by googling ‘woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk’. Go to >History>Vikings for many exciting activities and entries onto other websites.