Monday, 2 September 2013

Viking Sunday

It may be September outside but here in blogland, I'm still in August. The middle of August to be exact when we headed to Tatton Park for Viking Sunday which was being held in the grounds of the Old Hall.

Just after we arrived, the day's entertainment began with a bit of fighting between Vikings and peasants. They were all members of the Vikings of Middle England, a re-enactment society.

As well as fighting, they had set up lots of tents in the grounds to demonstrate various crafts and aspects of Viking life. It did get busier than this!

A young man explained all about the different kinds of arrows that might have been used during that period. I almost used this photo for 'sharp' in the August Scavenger Hunt.

On another stand they explained the use of herbs for medicine.

And at another one, a lady was demonstrating weaving.

There was also a replica ship though I think the real ones were probably much bigger.

We'd just finished looking round the stalls when it was time for the next event in the arena: a birds of prey demonstration by Gauntlet Birds of Prey. We were expecting the usual hawks and owls but were pleasantly surprised to see some more unusual birds like Spike, the seriema. Our favourite bit was watching him attack the rubber snake and bash it on the ground!

I didn't catch the name of this Hooded Vulture but we also saw Kit-Kat, the American vulture.

Entry to the Old Hall was included in the ticket price. We've done the tour a few times but it's always worth a visit. This is actually the exit but was a prettier view with the cottage garden along the wall.

Inside the rooms are laid out in different periods with the rooms downstairs mainly showing what it was like when it was still a farmhouse. When I was pre-school age (1970-ish), I remember watching my Mum doing the laundry in a washing tub with a mangle - thank goodness for 'proper' washing machines now!

As always it was the little details which caught my eye. I knitted a purple and white tea cosy in the same ribbed pattern as the one on the table. The crockery was lovely and particularly the cup and saucer in the photo at bottom right.

This is what I would have loved to have taken home though.

Having seen everything there was to see at the Viking event, we decided to head out to explore the park.

Lots of wide open spaces.

And at the end of the track, the mill pond. There were lots of damselflies darting around and I spent ages creeping around trying to get close enough to photograph one.

Finally I got lucky and was later able to identify this one as a Common Blue.

Next we headed over to Millennium Wood where they've planted over 30 native trees and shrubs. We particularly enjoyed the folklore on some of the information boards such as: if you suffer from gout, collect your fingernail pairings and leg hair, place them in a hole bored in an oak tree, seal up with cow dung and your cure is guaranteed!

I also loved that they'd planted so many bushes and trees with berries.

On the way out I noticed this tiny blue beauty. There was just a single flower and so far I've been unable to identify it.

We really enjoyed our day out. Tatton Park is one of our favourite places to visit and I'm sure we'll be back again very soon. x


  1. What a fad bay, it looks very interesting! Your little flowers looks like speedwell, but perhaps missing a petal? There's common and germander speedwell, and maybe other types I don't know of.

  2. This is a beautiful series of photographs! I'm guessing a mangle is like our wringer washers in Canada. I was always afraid of getting my hand caught between the rollers when I was little. The Viking reenactment was fun to see.

  3. OH what a day - such interesting things to see. Loved the tour of the house. We had a wringer washer (the wringer part was attached to a non-automatic washing machine) when I was a kid - in the 50s - what a delight it must have been to get the first automatic washing machine. d

    Fabulous photos.

  4. That looks like such an interesting day out, with lots of things to see.
    M x

  5. You go on such interesting outings! I really need to plan a few for my family -- it's been a long time since we've done anything like this.

  6. You always go on the best days out! I bet it was fascinating stuff, I'm always amazed at the care and detail that goes into these reenactment days, those people truly love their craft. x