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Professor will explore whether Vikings brought Herdwick Sheep to the Lakes

The Cultural Heritage of the Lake District will be brought to life by Professor Angus Winchester on Wednesday 4th March as he takes us on a journey through the landscape of the Lake District in a Public Lecture.

Entitled Vikings, Statesmen and Herdwicks he will address established “truths” about invaders, settlers and the iconic breed of sheep, the Herdwick.

Places gather stories, creating narratives which merge with specific locations. These produce conceptions of the past which form a large part of the cultural meaning of the Lake District National Park. But are these based in fact?

This lecture takes three elements of the Lake District story and uses them to explore the relationship between popular myth and historical reality.

  • Was it the Vikings who first settled the Lakeland valleys?
  • How much truth is there in Wordsworth’s vision of the ‘otherness’ of the ‘statesmen’ farmers of his day?
  • Were Herdwick sheep really brought here by the Vikings?

In each case, the historical truth is more complex than popular ideas of Lakeland heritage would suggest.

Professor Winchester was professor of history at Lancaster University for many years and is highly regarded for his studies of local history, of landscape and of the management of our land through manorial courts. He has recently published a book ‘The Language of Landscape, A Journey into Lake District History’.

Professor Winchester’s talk, Vikings, Statesmen and Herdwicks, will be held at UoC’s Percival Theatre, Ambleside campus, on 4th March 2020, starting at 6pm and is open to all.

This is the second in a series of lectures on behalf of the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas.

Places cost £3 including refreshment and can be booked via:

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