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Return of the Wirral Vikings
A "RECYCLED" Viking Village will be created in Wirral close to the contested site of one of the most defining and bloodiest battles in the history of the British Isles when a Viking legion was routed by the Anglo Saxons.
There is compelling evidence that the Battle of Brunanburh in AD 937 took place in medieval Bromborough although sites in Scotland, Yorkshire, Northampton and Lancashire also lay claim to location of the conflict.
Now the social enterprise Big Heritage plan to build a replica 10th century Viking settlement on 10 acres of land in Bebington with the aim of attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Big heritage founder archaeologist Dean Paton pledged: "We won’t chop one single tree down. Every single piece of material will be saved from landfill."
Wallasey-based recycling social enterprise Recipro will be heavily involved in the venture which will be self-financed by Big Heritage..
Dean explained: "It's not about a Disneyland – it a community project to basically engender pride in Wirral’s history and allow people to reconnect with the land.
"We plan to use it as a tool to bring the community together and get them to understand how, as humans, we have detached ourselves from the land and its natural resources."
Among the attractions envisaged is an annual Viking festival at the site culminating in part of the village being burned to the ground - reflecting the Battle of Brunanburh when an army under the banner of King Athelstan put the Vikings to the sword.
Legend says the Norsemen were forced to retreat in disarray across Wirral before boarding boats that took them to the safety of Ireland.
Wirral Council regeneration chief Cllr Pat Hackett said: "I think it's a great scheme. It could rival the Jorvik Centre in York in terms of its tourism potential for Wirral.
"Given the historic significance of the Viking’s connections with Wirral it would be a great attraction."
Dean Paton said: "We’re going to make it as authentic as possible to the villages of that period when Vikings started to settle in Wirral after moving over from Ireland.
"We think this will become a real tourist attraction."
The venture will feature the first ever reconstructed medieval church in the UK. There will also be a group of wooden homes, a great hall, graveyard, and Viking law court.
Long-term there are plans for a visitors centre, cafe and exhibition centre featuring Viking artefacts loaned by museums.
Mr Paton said: "We want to recreate York’s Jorvick Centre in Wirral but with far more emphasis on ecology and comkunity involvement. We want volunteers to become involved with the construction.
"We're going to be reconstructing a native Viking-age village habitat with a medieval bread over so we can sell bread and honey at the farm shop."
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