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 2016:


Holy Rosery Catholic Primary School DE150JE

Our Lady's Bishop Eton Primary School L182EP

Excalibur Primary School ST72RQ

Barrowby CE Primary School NG321BX

Purbrook Junior School PO75NQ

Monkton Park Primary School SN153PN

St Hugh's School SN78PT

Empingham Primary School LE158PQ

Benchill Primary School M228EJ

St Faith and St Martin CE Junior School LN11LW

South Camberley Primary School GU152QB

Kirkby-la-Thorpe Primary School NG349NU

Weston Coyney Junior School ST36NG

Bardney Primary School LN35XJ

Bushy Hill Primary School GU12SG

Woodstone Community Primary School LE672AH

All Saints Primary School LE94FB

Navenby Primary School LN50EP

Pebble Brook Primary School CW26P

Ridgeway School SL63QE

St John's Junior School, Keynsham BS312NB

Harewood Junior School GL40SS

Juniper Hill Primary School HP109LA

Shipham First School BS251TX

Sherston Primary School SN160NJ

Portsdown Primary School PO63JL

Chestnut Street CE Primary School NG349DL

Poplar Street Primary School M345FE

Audenshaw Primary School M345NG

Skegness Junior Academy PE252QX

Audenshaw Primary School M345NG

Mayfield Primary School FY82HQ

Hannah More Primary School BS20LT

Gatcombe Park Primary School PO20UR

Elson Junior School PO124EX

Middleton Primary School DE44LQ

Court Lane Junior School PO62PP

St Lawrence Primary School GL73AU

Oakwood Primary School GL525HD

Boxgrove Primary School GU12TD

Mangotsfield Primary School BS167EY

Christian Malford School SN154BW

Haslingden Primary School BB44BJ

Tollerton Primary School NG124ET

Burscough Village Primary School L404LB

Sir John Moore Primary School DE127AH

Westgate Academy LN13BQ

Kingsley Primary School NN27EE

Leen Mills Primary School NG158B

Harewood Junior School GL40SS 

Gretton Primary School GL545EY

Spring Hill Community Primary School BB50JD

Longwell Green Primary School BS309BA

Wellesley Park Primary School TA219AJ

Ashton Vale Primary School BS32QG

Birstwith C of E Primary School HG32NJ

Simmondley Primary School SK136NN

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.