A commissioned illustration done for the NRA (National Roads Authority) of a Hiberno Norse man found in a Viking grave near the townland of Woodstown, just outside Waterford city. This is I believe is the only grave found in Ireland where all 4 weapons were in a single grave, i.e. sword, shield, spear and axe. As long as I remember, there is only 2 graves with all four found in Britain, so whoever this person was, he was a Viking of quite high status. Also I have been told that this is the first illustration of a Hiberno Norseman based on archaeological evidence!

To start I would just like to thank Dave Swift for taking the time to give me some initial advice in regards Hiberno Norse clothing and weaponry and Stephen Harrison who was brought in by the NRA to give expert advice on the the grave, weaponry & costume and the period, as well as James Eogan(Jeogan Archaeol) of the NRA for taking the time to guide the whole process. Cheers lads, couldnt have done it without ye!

For more detail in regards the grave and find, ill just copy and paste the NRA's writeup:

"The first of numerous Viking raids recorded in the Irish annals was in AD 795 on Rathlin Island, but what did these heathen warriors look like? Using evidence from a grave excavated at the ninth-century Viking settlement site at Woodstown, Co. Waterford, artist J G O’Donoghue has visualised a Viking warrior with advice from Viking expert Dr Stephen Harrison. This is the first time a visualisation has been created of a Viking using evidence from Ireland.

As you would expect this warrior is a strong, well-built man, probably aged in his mid-thirties. He is not a thug, however, his eyes betray the intelligence that made the Vikings so successful in indentifying and exploiting opportunities for trade and settlement in the lands to which they ventured in the eighth and ninth centuries. His clothes and belongings indicate his wealth and status, his hair is groomed and his beard trimmed. He wears a woollen cloak. This is fastened at the shoulder with a ringed pin, a native Irish form of dress ornament that Viking men adopted and spread across north-west Europe. His tunic is decorated with tablet-woven bands.

The weapons and other belongings deposited in the Woodstown grave demonstrate the extensive contacts that Vikings had. These were prized possessions and, of course, were the basis of the ‘terror’ that the Vikings spread outside their homelands. However, the weapons also demonstrate the far flung Viking trading networks and how the Vikings were adept at adopting ‘technology’ from other cultures. Dr Stephen Harrison who has studied the weapons and other grave goods believes that the sword originated in the Carolingian world or was based on a prototype from there. In contrast the spearhead and axehead are of Scandinavian origin. The conical shield boss is different to the hemispherical shield bosses typical in Scandinavia; this design probably reflects Viking contacts with the Anglo-Saxon world. The sword is suspended from a leather belt. The other items suspended from the belt (from left to right) are a knife, a whetstone (made of a type of stone that probably originated in Norway) and a small purse. The purse could have contained a set of lead weights that would have been used for trading; the Woodstown site is notable for the large number of Viking lead weights that have been found. This reflects the importance of trading as a significant motivation for the ninth-century Viking raiding and settlement activity in Ireland.

A large selection of the artefacts from Woodstown, including all of the weapons, is on permanent display in the Waterford Treasures at Reginald’s Tower, Waterford City. For further information about Woodstown see Issue 1 and Issue 2 of Seanda magazine. "

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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