950th anniversary of key battle

Up to 100 Viking and Saxon warriors will reenact the battle over the bridge next month.
Up to 100 Viking and Saxon warriors will reenact the battle over the bridge next month.

The Battle of Stamford Bridge Heritage Society is holding its 950th Anniversary Battle Weekend Show in Stamford Bridge over the weekend of the 24 and 25 of September.

This is the fifth public re-enactment show they have organised and it is going to be the biggest and best so far, with a packed weekend of battles, living history, craft and trade tents and activities for all the family including archery and falconry.

With up to 100 Viking and Saxon warriors reenacting the battle over the bridge and a new, larger field right on the riverbank next to the viaduct, it will be the largest event in Stamford Bridge since the very first show in 1966 when more than 10,000 people attended.

Commemorating the historic battle that took place in the very vicinity of the show, the society exists to promote, research and educate people about the battle which helped to change British history.

Special invited guests attending on Saturday 24 September will be Mr Charles Forbes Adam, East Riding deputy lieutenant, who will officially open the show; and in the afternoon, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu will say a short speech and then meet the rival Saxon and Viking Kings who will then give him a guided tour of the site.

On Sunday 25 September, the actual battle anniversary, there will be the Chairman of East Riding Council who along with the Vikings Society and BOSBHS will attend a special service at 10am at the memorial in the village and lay wreaths in remembrance.

The Vikings Society who are commissioned to field the re-enactment and living history over the weekend include members from all over the UK, and also groups from as far as Finland, Norway and even Iceland. Gunnar Sigurdsson, from Reykjavik, can trace his ancestry back to King Harald ‘Hardraada’ the Norwegian King who died at Stamford Bridge in 1066.

He is proud to come along and play the part of his most famous ancestor again on the fields of Stamford Bridge, although he will be careful not to ‘hurt’ any Saxons this time.

The spectacular finale of the weekend on the Sunday evening includes a march from York to Stamford Bridge by costumed reenactors, some on horseback, who will then lay to rest the body of the slain Viking King Harard Hardraada in a Viking boat burning as the sun goes down.

Full programme details, updates and reduced price advance tickets are available now on the new website, www.stamfordbridge1066.org.uk

The organisers are also appealing for volunteers to help run the show and manage the public, if you are over 16 and able to offer a few hours over the weekend we would like to hear from you, no experience is necessary as you will be under team leaders. Hi visibility vests will be available, there is no need to wear period costume. Email: info@stamfordbridge1066.org.uk.
There is a new email address, info@stamfordbridge1066.org.uk for traders and crafts who may want to attend.

All day parking is available. Show opens at 10.30am each day and closes at 4.30pm with the free finale on Sunday at around 7pm.