Wordsmithcrafts will soon be visiting schools, running educational events, and setting up on the high street under the name of "Cluaran Living History Interpretation Project" or simply, Cluaran, for everyday use.

A new pricing structure will hopefully take visits to difficult to reach places making the experience affordable for both schools and visitors. We are aiming for Carbon neutral options, outdoor working, (Primary School Level) Experimental Archaeology, and of course still making it "The best day, ever!" for the pupils. More details will be available here - and Dumfries and Galloway secondary schools will be first in Scotland. We will be able to provide Iron Age, Roman, Viking and Medieaval visits.

Tales from the Longhouse

While we are working out what Covid will mean for Schools - why not visit this event to relax after work?

More Details about Services to Schools a Viking leans on his long axe

Time travel is my art form, and I use my experience as a craftsman and historical knowledge to bring history to life for the class. My specialty is the early medieval "Viking" period. I focus on what it was like to live in Scotland at the time and help pupils think about the contribution various cultures have made to what we now call "Scottish".

I visit the school as a character from Scotland's past, complete with clothing and equipment, and give the pupils a chance to experience an encounter with their history. A visit from Wordsmithcrafts is not the same as someone popping in to talk about their hobby. I have visited schools from Hamwick in the south of England to Mossbank in the Shetland Isles as Cathbad the Craftsman or Somerled the trader, using crafts, storytelling and even a Viking boat to make ongoing academic research available at a primary school level.

I hold public liability insurance through the Scottish Artists Union, and am a PVG scheme member in respect of regulated work with children.

What the Experience offers...

I use experiences like living in the Gudvangen Viking Market in Norway to provide a rich imaginative experience within which pupils can develop their critical skills and learn how to interpret good history. Get a flavour of the market by watching this video clip (Norwegian at first, then a very tired Scot thinking on the spot.)

click here to view some sample timetable ideas



I know that budgets are tight, and that quite often it is the PTA who have to ask parents to pay for this sort of visit. I therefore offer a small rural schools discount to try to keep the cost of the experience to around £8 a pupil - and I offer a full days interactive experience. Support funding may be available through the Cluaran project If you can coordinate with other school in your area to link multiple visits on consecutive days then that cuts down on the cost per pupil - and is better for the environment too!

Teachers Choices

Part of the reason why I design and make things is because people spent time teaching me and encouraging me when I was younger. I love history, culture and finding out about other people because I grew up with people who are proud of who they are and where they have come from.

I can tailor my visit to emphasis the elements of the experience you want your pupils to learn from. The curriculum for excellence encourages pupils to be able to use evidence to recreate the story of an individual or a place of local historical interest. This is what I have done and so I can provide an example which will fuel their imagination, and help them do it to.

Cathbad takes a break to eat his meal

If you want to focus on everyday life for the majority of the people of Scotland at the time, I can visit as Cathbad the craftsman and bring examples of the sorts of things I make and trade as a sail around the western Isles. Cathbad is rich enough to own his own farm and successful enough to be able to leave his sons to run it for a while. His father was a Norse Viking who married a Scottish lass and settled on the Isle of Arran. Mainly working in leather and Iron he has a love for understanding nature and working out how to make useful objects from things which live and grow, or can be dug out of the ground.

Sommerled the Trader surveys the sceneIf you prefer to explore the lifestyle of the more wealthy warrior class, you will meet Somerled the trader. He sails the seas courting favour and winning honour with the leaders of countries along the whale road. He buys and sells goods from as far away as Miklagard (the city of the Greeks on the black sea). He is, of course, well armed and able to defend himself and his property. In his travels he has heard many stories and uses the Islands of the west coast of Scotland as a winter base from which to earn his place in the sagas during his summer wanderings.

Click here to download a selection of activities which I offer.

Contact me to book a visit!

Longer and Larger Visits

If you have a cluster of schools, or are based outside of the central belt which makes a day visit difficult, why not get together and arrange for a group of Vikings to visit your area for a week or so? Together with The Viking Timeslip Experience I have been engaged to visit schools on the Isle of Man and Shetland. This was partly funded by the schools and partly by Shetland Arts Council.

With a little co-operation it becomes financially viable for us to visit and bring the experience of Viking life to those who don't usually access services available in the central belt. We are willing to put in the work required to help make such projects happen.

Look out for new developments in this for 2019/20 !

all content and images © Wordsmithcrafts - last update 10-aug-20