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Viking Bead Making Workshops at the House of Manannan 24 January 2008

This February, Viking bead making will be the subject of Manx National Heritage’s half term activities for children. Everyday between Monday 11th February and Friday 15th February, Manx National Heritage will host a special series of ‘Viking Bead Making’ Pagan Lady Necklaceworkshops at the House of Manannan in Peel.

The workshops are inspired by a visually stunning, accessory from the Viking period – a Viking Lady’s glass bead necklace found during excavations in Peel Castle. Over a thousand years ago on St Patrick’s Isle (before most of Peel Castle was built), a female was buried with some of her worldly goods. Amongst these was a collection of 50 beads. The beads were plain glass, coloured glass, patterned glass, amber and jet - some were over 200 years old even when they were worn in the Viking age.

The original necklace can be seen on display in the new Viking Gallery at the Manx Museum and prior to opening the new gallery a finely crafted replica necklace was created by the internationally renowned Manx born artist Julie Anne Denton.

Glass MakerJulie Anne was eager to take up the challenge of recreating the necklace and after an extensive study of the original, her remarkable replica necklace is now on display in the Manx Museum.

Anthea Young, Education Services Officer for Manx National Heritage said:

“Children will learn about the differences between modern glass making and ancient glass, how Julie studied each bead on the Viking Lady’s necklace in fine detail and how by mixing from scratch the colours needed, a remarkable replica of the necklace was created.

Each child participating in the workshops will see glass beads being made by Julie and will make their very own pouch bag to take their bead home”.

The week long series of both morning and afternoon workshops promise to be extremely popular. Early pre-booking is essential to secure a space for your child.

Bookings can be made by telephoning Manx National Heritage on 648000 and tickets cost £2.80, which is payable on the day of the workshop at the House of Manannan and also entitles participating children to free admission to the House of Manannan after the workshop, providing they are accompanied by a paying adult.

Prior to participating in the workshop, parents are encouraged to take their children to the Viking Gallery at the Manx Museum, where children can learn more about Viking accessories, see the Viking Lady’s necklace and learn more about Viking treasure and trade.

More about the Island’s Viking past can be discovered at the House of Manannan in Peel where you can experience how the Vikings lived by stepping inside a Viking longhouse, hear the fascinating stories carved into stone crosses and see the specially built Odin’s Raven Viking longship, which was sailed from Norway to the Isle of Man.

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