Museum Makers: The Vikings are Coming!

Museum Makers: Cast and Crew during the final dress rehearsal for The Vikings are Coming!

Cast and Crew during the final dress rehearsal for The Vikings are Coming!

Cast and Crew during the final dress rehearsal for The Vikings are Coming!

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Museum Makers: Working on Scene 1 of The Vikings are Coming!


A Viking Longhouse somewhere in Scandinavia. It’s the middle of winter, and provisions are running very low. The Chief is struggling to keep his people’s spirits up, and the snow gets ever deeper.

The Frost hardens, and YMIR, the frost giant, enters the Longhouse and freezes all the inhabitants. Even the chief eventually succumbs to his icy touch. Then ODIN and FREYA, accompanied by the young dragon FIREDANCER, enter the Longhouse. FIREDANCER and FREYA chase out YMIR with heat and warmth, and the chief and all his people are thawed by the dragon’s breath.

The chief and his wife thank ODIN and FREYA, and in the true spirit of VIKING hospitality, offer food and shelter. Unfortunately there is very little food, and the only thing to do is to get the chief’s wife to prepare yet another batch of STONE SOUP!

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Museum Makers: The Vikings are Coming!

With funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, the Museum Makers have been using the museum’s archaeology collection and exploring the Ancient Dorset Gallery to find out about the Viking connection with Dorset for the first part of their project.

Our play this year is inspired by the discovery of a large number of decapitated skeletons in a mass grave on the Ridgeway during the construction of the new Dorchester to Weymouth Road.

Archaeologists excavate mass grave of executed Vikings

Archaeologists excavate mass grave of executed Vikings

Who were these strangers that came to such a miserable end on a Dorset Hilltop? Why did they leave the safety of the own country to travel across the North Sea?

The Vikings had a vibrant and distinctive culture, and were renowned for their hospitality and storytelling. We have explored the history of the Vikings, and borrowed some of the heroes and gods of Norse mythology to populate our play. We invite you to come back in time, and to join us on a journey of discovery across the sea in a Longship!

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Family Activity: Anglo-Saxon Art

Anglo-Saxon-ArtOn Wednesday 28th October at the Dorset County Museum children are being invited to come along and discover for themselves how the Anglo-Saxons produced their art and what inspired their creativity. There will be an opportunity for children to make and take home their own piece of Anglo-Saxon artwork.

This activity takes place between 10.30am – 12.30pm. There’s no need to book as this activity is FREE thanks to generous sponsorship from Battens Solicitors. Up to two accompanied children aged 4 -12 will be admitted per adult.

For further information about this event contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Spend a Night in the Museum with the Vikings

Viking Sleepover at Dorset County MuseumYes, it’s Halloween, but if you fancy doing something a little bit different on Saturday 31st October with your kids, come and join us for an activity packed night to remember in Dorset County Museum.

There are a whole host of activities planned for the night around a central theme, ‘The Vikings’, to coincide with the opening of our new Ancient Dorset Gallery in early November (this will be open for viewing on the night).

Viking at the Dorset County MuseumNot only will you be able to see real Viking skeletons over 1,000 years old, but Re-enactment Group Hrafnslith will be telling interactive stories of Viking adventure and derring-do, and giving weaponry demonstrations. On top of this, you can help professional artist Darrell Wakelam to build a huge Viking long-boat, and make your own long-boat model to take home with you. Then after hot chocolate and biscuits, nestle down for a night’s sleep before a complimentary light breakfast the following morning in the Museum’s beautiful Victorian Hall. We will be showing the film ‘How to Train your Dragon’ in the morning to end this Viking sleepover. A very popular event in previous years, this really will be a night to remember!

The Sleepover is on Saturday 31st October 2015 6.00pm, until 9.30am the next morning. Tickets are limited to 100, and are on sale now from the Museum shop on High West Street, Dorchester or by telephone on 01305 756827. This event is for children aged 7 – 13, with a maximum of 2 children per adult (who must stay overnight with the children). Ticket prices: children £15, adults £12 to include evening refreshments and light breakfast.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on or follow us on Facebook and Twitter


Science Fiction Sleepover at Dorset County Museum

SciFi Sleepover at Dorset County MuseumDig out your sleeping bags and roll mats – the seventh annual family sleepover at Dorset County Museum is coming soon! It’s being held on Saturday 26th October, the first weekend of half term, and this year the theme is ‘Science Fiction’.

The sleepover is aimed at children between 7 and 12 and tickets are available now.  Activities on the night will include 3-D model-making with the ever-popular Darrell Wakelam, alien masks, rockets and flying saucers.  As usual all the materials are provided and there will be plenty of things to take home.  In addition there will be a prize for the child wearing the best fancy dress Sci-Fi costume. A display of props and costumes from your favourite Sci-Fi films and TV series will also take centre stage to provide lots of inspiration for the evening’s activities.

The first task of the evening is always finding somewhere exciting to sleep – some galleries are kept quieter for younger children while others are suitable for larger groups, just remember to bring a feast to eat later in the evening.

Free tea, coffee and soft drinks will be served all evening, and breakfast for everyone is provided on the Sunday morning. Each child must be accompanied by an adult parent or carer, but each adult can bring up to three children – why not reserve your ticket now to avoid disappointment?

You can also buy an ‘I survived a sleepover at Dorset County Museum’ badge in the Museum Shop.

Annual family sleepover is on Saturday 26th October 2013 from 5.30pm onwards. Tickets cost just £12.00 for children and £10.00 for adults and are available now from the Museum shop.  Just pop in, or telephone the museum on 01305 756827 or alternatively email for further information.