School Visits

Vikings for all occasions, no story too long

Manaraefan Herred

Diselfra and school girlTwo school children playing characters in one of Hrothgar's storiesHrothgar and two school children during on of his storiesMo Swinhoesson leading school children on a raidHrothgar and Mo Swinhosson talking to school childrenHrothgar and Mo Swinhosson explaining a Viking funeral to school childrenHrothgar talking to school children before taking them to raid the school kitchen for their lunchHrothgar asking school children if they can guess what he is about to take out of the small box he has in his hand, it was a folding scales

Manaraefan Herrred has several school visitors within it’s ranks who have been visiting schools for many years.  Each visitor brings his or her individual skills to  the task of interpreting and brining to life the history of the Viking age.

The aim is to make history enjoyable, we believe that if the children have fun they will better remember what we are telling them.

Some schools ask the children to dress up but this is not a requirement and is entirely the decision of the teaching staff.  Class sizes vary and the larger schools may have more than one class studying the subject, we leave it up to the school to decide how many children we work with at a time.  The largest single group we have worked with so far is 93 children.

We allow the children to handle many of the objects we bring into the school but cannot allow the children to handle the weapons, this is cause for great disappointment to some of the children!

When telling stories we encourage the children to take part as the characters, dressing them up or giving them a prop to indicate who they are.

Question and answer sessions give the children a chance to ask us what  ever they want about the Vikings and can be a source of great amusement once the adults have retreated to the Staff Room.  For example one child asked “Do Vikings mate?”, the answer had to be carefully framed by the Viking and it was left to the teacher to establish whether or not there was some misunderstanding later!

Visits are usually for the whole day and can be outside if the weather permits or in the hall or classroom.  Most activities can be carried out inside or outside but clearly there is more space and scope if we can set up in the fresh air.  Lighting fires is usually best done outdoors!

Visits can be tailored to the requirements of the school, there may be a topic the teachers want us to emphasise or conversely they may wish us to avoid something.  It may be that a child has suffered a recent bereavement and talking of Viking funerals may be too upsetting for them.

Hrothgar demonstrating how to hold a spear and shieldDagfiend demonstrating spinning wool

Comments on this site should be sent to Roger Barry

To arrange a school visit please contact Hrothgar.  Please remember to tell us where your school is when you email us and which half term you would like the visit.  If we feel you are too far away or we do not have a suitable date available we will pass you on the Schools Liaison Officer of the Vikings who will try to find you an alternative visitor.

Hrothgar explaining the rules of Hnefatafl to school children

Viking games are  popular with the children and Hrothgar usually teaches the children Hnefetafl.  This game helps the children to understand viking society, particularly gender rolls and the hierarchy of Viking society. Click on the link to learn more. Hnefetafl

Hrothgar lighting a small fireHrothgar holding javelins and shield in classroom

Hrothgar brings Viking life to Harmans Water Primary

By Julie Spencer
October 06, 2011

A Viking blowing a horn and waving an axe invaded a primary classroom to take the children back in time to the days of Norsemen.

Hrothgar – also known as Roger Barry – brought the Viking Age to life for Year Three pupils at Harmans Water Primary on Monday.

He told traditional tales of gods and goddesses and had some fascinating anecdotes about everyday life.

The children spent the day at a Viking encampment in the grounds of their school in Wellington Drive. Hrothgar set up a tent and spread out baskets with clothes and weapons.

“We passed the weapons and clothes around so the children can feel – and smell – the items,” he said. “It was very hot and sweaty being a Viking warrior and it gets hot wearing my helmet for a couple of hours.

“I told them a story which they acted out about a goddess who is proud of her hair and a god who wants to cut it off.”

Mr Barry, a member of Viking re-enactment and history group Manaraefan, travels to schools around the country. It was his seventh trip to Harmans Water.

Year Three leader Alex Holland said the children had an amazing day and would use the information for their project on Europe.

“They have done some written work in the Runic alphabet and we will be doing artwork and making brooches next,” she added.

And finally some press cuttings:

Bratton school invaded by Vikings

Tuesday 1st June 2010

By James Williams »


Children from a primary school near Westbury got the shock of their lives when they were unexpectedly invaded by Vikings.

Year 3 pupils at Bratton Primary School have been learning about Vikings this term.

The classroom was invaded by a scary Viking called Rothgar aka Roger Barry from local Viking re-enactment society, Manaraefan.

All 27 pupils, including teacher Steve Gumm, dressed up and got into character.

Mr Gumm, who joined the school in September and became the new deputy headteacher, said: “We’re very near Edington so we’ve been learning all about the Battle of Ethandune.

“The children have really loved it because there’s so much local viking history and we’ve been doing a lot of story telling.

“The children loved the tent and artefacts. They all made their own costumes and the shields and broaches were made at Devizes library.”

Mr Barry also set up a dramatic re-enactment of the local battle of Ethandune.

Viking invades Breamore School

Tuesday 6th October 2009

By Therasa Paul »


CHILDREN at Breamore School became Vikings for the day on Tuesday when Viking Rothgar, aka Roger Barry, invaded their school.

Rothgar, who was camped out in the school field, showed the youngsters his weapons and demonstrated the effectiveness of them by stabbing a spear into his chain mail. He also threw a javelin for the children and showed them how the Vikings lit fires.

The children, who were fully dressed in their Norse clothes, acted out a Viking story, playing many colourful characters, including Viking Gods.

Headteacher Ruth Conway said that every half term the youngsters have a “wow day” when they visit somewhere or someone visits the school to make a project come alive.

She said: “It really captures the children’s imagination and gets them involved in their current project.”

Class teacher Sandra Heath added: “The day went really well and the children learnt a great deal.”

Schools Visited in 2017:


Frenchay C of E Primary School BS161NB

St Thomas' Primary School WN48PQ

Havelock Junior School NN142LU

London Meed Primary School RH159YQ

Our Lady of Peace Primary School WR24EN

Stonyholme Primary School BB120BN

Fir Ends Primary School CA66AY

Midhurst Primary School GU299JX

Branscombe Primary School EX123DA

Picklenash Junior School GL181DG

Corpus Christy Primary School PO29AX

Weston All Saints Primary School BA14JR

Greenside Primary School M437RA

St Paul's Primary School SN151DU

St Nicholas Primary School CV82PE

Chestnut Street CE Primary School NG349DL

Appley Bridge All Saints C of E Primary School WN69DT

Rishton Methodist Primary School BB14JF

Castle Park Primary School LA96BE

Beckermet CE Primary School CA212YD

Eldersfield Lawn C of E Primary School GL194LZ

St Sampson's C of E Primary School SN66AX

St Andrew's VA Primay School SP1 1QX

Oak Hill First School B987JU

Calton Primary School GL15ET

Sharpness Primary School GL139NU

St Thomas Becket RC Primary School SE255BN

Eastington Primary School GL103SB

Stanford in the Vale Primary School SN78LH

Bilbury CE Primary School GL75NR

Brimscombe Primary School GL52QR

Purbrook Junior School PO75NQ

Ermine Primary Academy LN22HG

Our Lady's Bishop Eton Primary School L182EP

Whitefield Primary School L62HZ

St Hugh's School SN78PT

Excalibur Primary School ST72RQ

Parkside Junior School DE61ER

Eastbrook Primary Accademy BN424NF

South Camberley Primary School GU152QB

St Faith and St Martin CE Junior School LN11LW

Barrowby CE Primary School NG321BX

Shankhill C of E Primary School CA66JA

Bushy Hill Primary School GU12SG

Heron Hill Primary School LA97JH

Whitefield Primary School L62HZ

Colne Primary School BB87JR

Dinglewell Junior School GL33HS

Ridgeway School SL63QE

St John's Junior School BS312NB

Portsdown Primary School PO63JL

Navenby Primary School LN50EP

St Anne's RC Primary School M85AB

Langley Fitzurse Primary SN155NN

Skegness Junior Academy PE252QX

Edgewood Primary & Nursery School NG156SP

Arundle Court Primary School PO11JE

Boxgrove Primary School GU12TD

New Marston Primary School OX30AY

Court Lane Junior School PO62PP

St Lawrence Primary School GL73AU

Calton Primary School GL15ET

Kingham Primary School OX76YD

Dinglewell Junior School GL33HS

Gatcombe Park Primary School PO20UR

Hannah More Primary School BS20LT

Kingsley Primary School NN27EE

Mangotsfield Primary School BS167EY

Elson Junior School PO124EX

Longcot & Fernham Primary School SN77SY

Bishops Tatchbrook Primary School CV339RY

Tollerton Primary School NG124ET

Stonyholme Primary School BB120BN

Haslingden Primary School BB44BJ

Selside Endowed CE Primary School LA89LB

Ashton Vale Primary School BS32QG

Audenshaw Primary School M345NG

Empingham Primary School LE158PQ

Great Doddington Primary School NN297TR

Harewood Junior School GL40SS 

John Blow Primary School NG237PT

Leen Mills Primary School NG158BZ

Ellistown Primary School LE671EN

St Paul's Primary School BA45LA

Wellesley Park Primary School TA219AJ

The Meadows Primary School CW39JX

Cropredy C of E Primary School OX171PU

Longwell Green Primary School BS309BA

Scampton CE Primary School LN12SD

Reepham Primary School LN34DP

Spring Hill Community School BB50JD

Ancaster CE Primary School NG323QQ

Haxey C of E Primary School DN92JQ

Watlington Primary School OX495RB

Stanton Harcourt School OX295RJ

Rykneld Primary School DE143HX

St Maxentius CE Primary School BL24AE

South Hykeham Primary School LN69PG

Valley Road Primary School RG91RR

Some quotes from teachers:

Hensingham Primary School CA288QZ.

I just wanted to thank you once again for a wonderful day of learning. You kept my class on the edge of their seats and they all thoroughly enjoyed the day, I have to say that I found out quite a lot myself. It was great to see the children getting involved in the stories you told, we'll be doing a lot more of that because they responded so well to the interaction. 

Thank you once again and I'll be in touch later on in the year to organise another visit.

Many thanks,

Sir John Moore Primary School DE127AH.

Thank you so much for coming to Sir John Moore to teach my class all about the Vikings. They learnt loads (and I learnt some things too which I will incorporate into my lessons! ), and they have all gone home really enthusiastic about the day. Some of them have been writing about the day on the class blog.

Thanks so much again, I will definitely be recommending you to other teachers and schools.

Maidwell Primary School NN69JF.


Just a quick note to say thank you again for your time and efforts at Maidwell today.  The children were clearly engaged for the entire day as you literally showered them with amazing facts and stories. I hope your journey home wasn't too arduous and you have a peaceful weekend.

All the best,

Below: R L Hughs Primary School, photos from their Twitter account.