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Viking 'killing' to mark Hougue Bie anniversary

Viking 'killing' to mark Hougue Bie anniversary

Saturday 11 May 2019

Viking 'killing' to mark Hougue Bie anniversary


Islanders are being invited to witness the killing of a Viking pirate who wreaked havoc in Jersey and gorge on a hog roast to mark a special anniversary for La Hougue Bie.

To commemorate 100 years since the neolithic site was purchased by the Société Jersiaise, the historical group will be hosting a day of celebrations, including a Viking feast complete with traditional crafts, runes and myths on 26 May.

Visitors will get to watch the re-enacted story of Lord Hambye killing the Viking pirate who was wreaking havoc in Jersey. However, after slaying the pirate with his mighty sword, Lord Hambye was deceived by his own servant.  

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Pictured: Vikings crafts, clothing, jewellery, and leather work will be on display during the festival.

Vikings will be at La Hougue Bie to talk about their way of life, from their crafts, clothing, jewellery, and leather work, to their runes, myths, medicine, raiding and long ships.

There will also be traditional music played on authentic instruments.

The celebrations mark 100 years since La Société Jersiaise took on La Hougue Bie. Founded in 1873 by a small number of antiquarians, the Société bought many of the island's historic sites and still owns some of them today, including La Hougue Bie and La Cotte de St Brelade, which where respectively purchased in 1919 and 1955.

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Pictured: The Viking Festival will take place on 26 May.

When the Société purchased La Hougue Bie, it was only a mound with a chapel and tower on top. Experience had shown that mounds usually contained Neolithic tombs, and the Société were keen to carry out an excavation.

Having surveyed the chapel, they were however concerned the tower would collapse, so it had to be taken down, depriving Jersey of a stunning view across to France.

However, in 1924 the archaeologists unearthed an intact Neolithic tomb, which today makes La Hougue Bie a site of enormous visitor interest. Not only does it have the tomb and chapel, but a German bunker, and many other attractions including the world famous coin hoard exhibition.  

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Pictured: Islanders will have the chance to dine alongside Vikings in a special feast.

Jersey Heritage now manages La Hougue Bie, leaving the members of the Société free to pursue their many interests within its 14 different sections, which include History, Archaeology and Geology, which continue to be the backbone of their activities.

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