Viking Voyagers Invade the Opening of new exhibition at National Maritime Museum Cornwall

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The Vikings have landed at National Maritime Museum Cornwall with last night’s opening of the highly anticipated Viking Voyagers exhibition.

Vikings invade the National Maritime Museum Cornwall

There is nowhere better placed than National Maritime Museum Cornwall to tell this story.

Exploring the story of why the Vikings are one of the most iconic cultures of all time, the two year exhibition reveals the secret to the Vikings’ success.

Inviting visitors to take a journey into the Viking world and explore the truth behind the popular myth of the bloodthirsty raiders it offers the opportunity to get up close to rare antiquities on loan from the British Museum, National Museum of Ireland, National Museum of Denmark and Manx National Heritage.

Dr Tehmina Goskar, Exhibitions Registrar at National Maritime Museum Cornwall says: “The Maritime Museum is now guardian to ancient artefacts from national and international collections, the like of which have never been seen in Cornwall and rarely seen outside of London and the UK’s other metropolitan centres before. Cornish audiences are remote from these blockbuster exhibitions and do not often get the opportunity to enjoy the world’s cultural heritage on their doorstep and so the loans to the Viking Voyagers exhibition take on even more significance for our local visitors.”

Treasured artefacts from the Viking world sit alongside a 14m climb aboard full scale replica cargo ship. Raiding and trading, navigation and seamanship, Viking beliefs and rituals and Cnut’s empire of the sea are all explored alongside the history of Vikings in Cornwall. The legacy of Norse men and women in popular culture, a Viking boatyard complete with an iconic 6m Viking boat and hands on weapons and tools add to the epic experience of Viking life 1000 years ago.

Dr Gareth Williams, co-curator on the exhibition and the British Museum’s world-leading Viking historian says: “The Vikings raided Cornwall, but they also allied with the Cornish against West Saxon expansion and Cornwall was an important point on a sailing route from Scandinavia round Scotland to the Irish Sea and on to Brittany. To a great extent the history of the Vikings is the history of their ships and boats and there is nowhere better placed than National Maritime Museum Cornwall to tell this story.”

Richard Doughty, Director of National Maritime Museum Cornwall concludes: “Viking Voyagers offers us the opportunity to display the cultural heritage of four nations in the Museum for the next two years. It is an honour and a privilege to host these rare treasures and confirms that National Maritime Museum Cornwall has truly developed over the past decade into a highly respected museum, sitting alongside industry giants.”

“This is our most ambitious exhibition to date and launches our plans to develop new partnership projects with more national and international museums in the future, bringing new connections with world cultures to Cornwall.”

Lectures, family themed make and take activities, Viking sleepovers, a Nordic café menu, dedicated Viking school workshops and Viking battle re-enactments on ‘Thorsdays’, every Thursday of the school holidays, as well as a host of other supportive Viking themed activities add to an extraordinary journey into the Viking world.

Viking Voyagers is open from 20 March 2015 to 22 February 2017.

  • ENDS -


Further images of the launch event can be downloaded here.

Click here to watch the Vikings invading the exhibtion launch.

National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Founded in 2003, the multi-award winning Museum in Falmouth has 15 galleries, over five floors beautifully illustrating the past, present and future of this island nation. Winner of the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum of the Year award 2014, Cornwall’s best museum 2014 as and silver winner of the UK Heritage Attraction of the Year at the 2014 British Travel Awards, the Museum features a number of stunning exhibitions dedicated to the sea, boats and Cornwall. It is not government funded and is supported through 100% voluntary donations and commercial activities.

For more information and images please contact Tamsin Loveless or Michael Sweeney on +44 (0) 1326 214536/215558 tamsinloveless(at)nmmc(dot)co(dot)uk, michaelsweeney(at)nmmc(dot)co(dot)uk

British Museum
The British Museum was founded in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. From the outset its mission was to be a “museum of the world for the world”. This ambition still lies at the heart of the Museum today. The collection tells the story of cultural achievement throughout the world, from the dawn of human history over two million years ago, until the present day. The Museum is committed to lending its collection as widely as possible across the UK and internationally.

The British Museum’s National programme works with museums across the UK to engage with audiences throughout the country. It includes single loans, touring exhibitions, Partnership Galleries and skills exchange. The Museum works with venues of all sizes to share its collection and expertise as widely as possible across the UK.

For further information, please contact the Press Office on 020 7323 8583 / 8394 or communications(at)britishmuseum(dot)org

The National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland is a premier cultural institution and home to the greatest collections of Irish material heritage, culture and natural history in the world. It has 4 locations:

  • National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology - situated in Kildare Street, Dublin 2, houses the national archaeological collections including world famous examples of early historic period and medieval art including the Ardagh Chalice and Tara Brooch. It also holds the finest collection of prehistoric gold artefacts in Europe.
  • National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History - was opened in 1997 and is located at Collins Barracks, Dublin 7. It has a wide range of collections including silver, furniture, costume, jewellery, coins, medals, ceramics and glass in a series of themed exhibitions. The Museum presents a perspective of Ireland over the last four centuries with particular emphasis on the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, Merrion Street, Dublin 2 - contains an impressive collection of zoological specimens from both Ireland and the wider world. The building is a museum in the Victorian ‘cabinet style’ built to house a wide range and comprehensive collection from the later nineteenth century and has changed little over centuries.
  • National Museum of Ireland –Country Life opened in September 2001 and is situated at Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. It houses the national folklife collection and is the only branch of the National Museum outside the capital. It tells the story of people in rural Ireland, emphasising the continuity of traditions of lifestyles, established for several hundred years and lasting well into the 20th century

Further information can be found on our website

The National Museum of Denmark
The National Museum is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history. The museum's main building is an 18th century classical mansion, just a stone's throw from "Strøget" in the centre of Copenhagen.

The National Museum is the museum for Denmark, where you can follow the history of the Danes right up until the present day. You can also take a trip around the world, from Greenland to South America.
(+45) 33 13 44 11

Manx National Heritage
Manx National Heritage is the Isle of Man’s statutory heritage agency. It manages a significant proportion of the island’s physical heritage including 3000 acres of coastline and landscape. It holds property, archives, artwork, library and museum collections in trust for the nation. +44 (0) 1624 648000

Falmouth Marine School
Falmouth Marine School provides a comprehensive selection of courses from introduction to degrees in partnership with Plymouth University. We specialise in Boatbuilding, Leisure & Watersports, Marine Engineering and Marine Science & Biology.

We have an excellent international reputation for our marine courses with superb facilities including boatbuilding and engineering workshops, a dedicated marine science lab and a well-equipped watersports centre. Our tutors combine industry experience with academic expertise and are active in their field through research and personal interest in their subjects. +44 (0) 1326 310310

Heritage Lottery Fund
From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections of rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.

Tamsin Loveless, Head of Communications & Development on 01326 214536 Email tamsinloveless(at)nmmc(dot)co(dot)uk
Michael Sweeney, Communications Manager on 01326 214588 Email michaelsweeney(at)nmmc(dot)co(dot)uk

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Tamsin Loveless

Michael Sweeney
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National Maritime Museum Cornwall
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