The Dark Ages - Saxons & Vikings

The year is 878, and the Vikings under King Guthrum have taken over England. The Saxon King Alfred has gone into hiding and wants his kingdom back. Which side will prevail?

Off the Page’s Dark Ages Day puts your children in the midst of the action as either Vikings or Saxons, based on your preference. They take on everyday tasks in a 9th century village — including weaving, pottery, metal working and candlemaking — as rumours swirl of the coming battle between Alfred and Guthrum.

(View our risk assessments for our separate Viking and Saxon days in a new tab.)

The afternoon looks at the Dark Ages from a historical perspective, with the children using archaeology to understand how we have learned about the historical tasks they performed in the morning.

How You Contribute to the Day

To make the most of your children’s day, please help us with the following:

  • Adult helpers: The number of children participating determines how many work stations our Teacher brings. Please recruit a corresponding number of adults (teachers, TAs, parents) to oversee the activities and the afternoon session. (Your booking form lists the exact number needed.)
  • The school hall: Please reserve the school hall for the full day (it is not a problem if it is used for lunch).
  • Costumes: Please encourage the children to dress up in simple costumes. It helps them feel the part.


What to Wear

Costumes need not be complicated — we suggest the following “homemade” alternatives:

  • Boys: A simple belted tunic, with or without sleeves; a cloak fastened on a right shoulder with a brooch (optional); trousers, either tucked into long socks or with sting or braid crossed round the lower legs; boots or old leather laced shoes.
  • Girls: AA long dress, skirt and blouse or tabard; headscarf; A cloak (mantle), fastened on the right shoulder with a brooch (optional).

For those who prefer, we offer a bespoke costume service through History Off the Peg. We sell inexpensive costumes for both children and adults.

View costume options and pricing on our website, Place an order by sending an e-mail containing your name, your school, the date of the event, the topic, your child’s age and your child’s size to

Photos of the Day: