Monday, 25 February 2013

A Viking Hall

Photo from Ribe Vikinge Center, Ribe, Denmark by Marianne Whiting.

The above longhouse or chieftain's hall is rather grand but I imagine this to be something like Jarl Sigurd's hall at Lade. Inside there are rooms partitioned off for the chieftain and his family and a great hall.

Photo as above.

The family had beds with curtains to keepout the cold and to give some privacy. I'm never quite sure whether they had sheets. Icelandic sagas speak of bed linen but they were written up 300 years or so after the event and may well reflect life in that time. Woven blankets, cured skins and fleeces are certain as were bolsters filled with straw. In the picture someone has put up a wooden pole to do some tablet weaving from.

photo as above.

This is part of the main hall. a raised hearth in the centre, pots and pans and meat and fish drying out above the fire. On the right hand side are the raised platforms that serve as seating and beds for servants, housekarls and guests. There were also store rooms but in this type of house the byre and stables would be in separate buildings. So imagine the Jarl, his royal guest and his family at the table on the dais to the left, the rest of the household on the seating along the walls with trestle tables full of food and drink.

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