A Big Weekend of Activities
15–16 July 2017



Heritage Lottery Fund logo

A big weekend exploring one of the most fascinating ages in Britain’s history.

Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 July 2017, 11am–4pm, FREE

We got to grips with life as an Anglo-Saxon in object handling sessions, and sat back and were transported by live music, storytelling and riddles. We also heard from experts in a programme of talks, including the finder of our recent acquisition, the Watlington Viking Hoard, then experienced the production methods of these ancient treasures.

The weekend was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.



Taking place on both days. No booking required.
  • Wulfheodenas
Bringing to life the warriors and mead-halls Beowulf himself would recognize, Wulfheodenas are a living history society who recreate the military aristocracy, warrior retinues and traditions of the 6–7th century Anglo-Saxons and their contemporary Northern European cultures.
  • Saxon Tales and Music – Of Gods, Myths and Monsters
With Dave Tonge, The Yarnsmith of Norwich, Storyteller, and Trevor James, Musician
Gather close and hear some spell-binding music and wondrous tales from over a thousand years ago. Enjoy stories of fire-breathing dragons and the heroic Beowulf, Wayland the Smith and his swan wife Herva, the cruel and heartless King Nidod, and lots more!
  • Grunal Moneta the Moneyer
See the coinage techniques used in the Anglo-Saxon and Viking times. Grunal Moneta is an acknowledged authority on ancient coins and will demonstrate early production methods, working in period costume and using tools based upon original examples.
  • Anglo-Saxon Crafts
With Tanya Bentham, Historian, Silversmith, Embroiderer
Have a go at making an Anglo-Saxon style finger ring, and a chance to see Anglo-Saxon and Viking tools, crafts and everyday utensils.
  • Hidden Treasure
With Francesca Shakespeare, Oxford artist
Make your own treasure to bury in a hoard.
All in the Lecture Theatre. No booking required.
  • Anglo-Saxon Riddles and the Man-Made World
With Andy Orchard, Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor, University of Oxford
Saturday 15 July, 11am–12pm
Examining Latin and Old English riddles of Anglo-Saxon England, which so often refer to pieces of material culture.
  • The Watlington Hoard: King Alfred’s Coins and Treasures
With James Mather, Finder of the Watlington Hoard, and John Naylor, Portable Antiquities Scheme, National Finds Advisor for Medieval & Post-Medieval coinage
Saturday 15 July, 2–3pm
The Watlington Hoard was recently acquired by the Ashmolean. This talk will explore the story of the hoard, the coins and objects it contains and why it is such an important find.
  • King Alfred, England’s first original thinker
With Professor M.J. Toswell, University of Western Ontario
Sunday 16 July, 11am–12pm
Alfred the Great, king of Wessex (871–899), remains famous today for the story of the burnt cakes, but he innovated massively in law, the military, the navy, administration, learning and pedagogy, Christmas, and even theology
  • Money in the Age of Alfred the Great?
With Dr Rory Naismith Lecturer in Medieval British History, King's College London
Sunday 16 July, 2–3pm
This talk addresses the distinct forms of money which intersect in the Watlington hoard – silver pennies from Mercia and Wessex, and silver bullion more characteristic of the Vikings – as well as other kinds and ideas of money which contemporaries would have known.
This is a change to the scheduled event. The talk 'Win Some Lose Some: Beowulf and Treasure', as advertised in our What's On leaflet, will not be going ahead.
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