The Save Viking Waterford Action Group was formed in September 2004.
The group was formed to campaign for the preservation
of the Woodstown Viking Site, just outside Waterford City,
the discovery of which was made public in early 2004. At that time it was envisaged that the motorway would go over the site as planned - preserving it in situ without further excavation.
With a core committee of fifteen regular volunteers the action group met weekly and organised monthly information evenings, addressing concerns and developing local awareness of the importance of the discovery. The lecture series was made possible by the generosity of the guest speakers. Online and local petitions increased awareness and support for the campaign internationally. Dr Cathy Swift presented a series of workshops to local primary and secondary school students and teachers in Waterford City and County, and South Kilkenny. Local businesses and musicians supported fund raising events. Viking memorablia, cards and mugs, were donated by a Scotish company in advance of the Tall Ships Race 2005. The printing of information leaflets was sponsored by the local ATGWU branch. Information about the campaign was included on the vikingwaterford.com web site.
Since 2006 the committee have been looking forward to the publication of reports by experts studying data and artefacts from the 2004 and 2006 excavations.
The aims of the group (as agreed at a public meeting attended by over one hundred people in September 2004) are:
1. The Minister for the Environment orders the full excavation
of the entire Woodstown Viking Site and not a partial or rescue
2. The excavation to be done by hand
without the use of heavy machinery.
3. If necessary - the route of the Waterford
bypass to be excavated first with the surrounding areas excavated
after, facilitating the construction of the bypass without
re-routing or significant delay.
4. The state to bear the cost of the
5. Once the site has been fully excavated
and artefacts removed, an interpretative centre/education
facility to be constructed near the site utilising the knowledge
gained from the excavation and acting as a tourist attraction
for the region.
Facts (that were available at that time)
- what we know so far ...
- what the newspapers tell us ...
- the historical implications ...
- what next ...
If you have information that may be of interest to those calling for a full excavation email email@example.com
Woodstown - the historical questions
Apart from Woodstown, we have no evidence of a large ninth-century Viking settlement from anywhere in western Europe so European scholars seek answers here to many questions which have long puzzled them.
- How many Vikings lived at Woodstown?
- Did they live there all year around or go home in the winter?
- How much wealth did they bring with them?
- Or did they grow rich simply by raiding the Irish?
- Did the Vikings chose to settle at Woodstown because it was already occupied by a Déise lord?
- If so, what sort of houses were the Déise living in at that time?
- Did the lords live surrounded by their tenants and servants or did everyone live in 'one-off' housing scattered through the countryside?
- Alternatively, did the Vikings set up camp in the middle of a church?
- Did the Church run the local economy?