Jorvik Viking Centre

Jorvik Viking Centre

Jorvik Viking Centre opened in 1984 on an original Viking site following a productive archaeological dig which produced over 40,000 objects over six years. The site had been so well preserved due to the moistness of the soil, which had protected many delicate items which might otherwise have been lost.

Wimpey Property in 1983 had started work building shops and flats on the site of the archaeological dig, whilst leaving the basement area where the dig was as a shell for the museum.The English Tourist Board gave a grant of £225,000 pounds towards the project to “get away from the stuffy image of museums”. The museum when it opened had cost £2.6 million to build.

Visitors to the museum ride through a recreated Viking settlement before visiting a small museum at the end. The Viking streets which have been recreated are based on the actual layout of the shops and houses in 975AD. The museum was reconstructed in 2001 and 2010 and over fifteen million visitors have visited Jorvik since opening.

The 2010 revamp saw a new glass-floored gallery, a new Viking age house and a display of exhibits which haven’t been seen before by visitors to the museum.

Early reviews of the museum, such as in the Guardian, questioned why visitors weren’t allowed to walk around the exhibits and recreations, given the amount of effort that had gone into the construction of the museum.

The official site for the museum can be found at