The Sea Connects Events

Ever wanted to find out what happened after the book finished? Or do you get so immersed in reading that you ‘see’ the events you have read about ‘written’ in the landscape?

You are not alone!

Throughout the summer groups around the world bring history to life through reenactment of events and recreation of clothing and equipment based on archaeological finds. They are also people who create environments where you can immerse yourself in fantasy worlds, play games,  and walk around inside a story.

Wordsmithcrafts projects anchor themselves in research, and steer away from the excesses of wild fantasy. This is out of respect for the power of imagination, rather than suspicion or fear of it though!

Would you like to get involved? Here are some of the activities this summer that by next summer you could be participating in…

Whithorn- Viking Weekend

Watch Galloway Longfhada doing their thing in Whithorn

Avaldsnes Viking Festival

Medieval Bruce in Dumfries


Sorry for the short notice, but events have converged to offer rowing on the Nith on Thursday evening, the 27th of June.

Meet at the wordsmithcrafts workshop (3 James Avenue) at 7pm

Or 7.30 at the slip by the Loreburn centre/White sands (please let us know you will meet us there).

Assume you will get wet. Bring your own lifejacket/flotation device if you have one.

There will be more opportunities later in July.


Summer 2024/924

The show season has well and truly started. School visiting overlaps with weekend events, so it is a busy time of year!

The essential Viking era Cathbad?

Cathbad and Wulfgar have just returned from a market in Norway. These markets are international melting pots of ideas, interpretations, and places to learn skills. This market is held annually near Avaldsnes, on the island of Bukkøy.

Three swords set in stone to remember the acheivement of Harald Fairhair.

Soon they will be travelling to the south  and a ‘Thing’ gathering on the Isle of Man.

They also took the opportunity to visit a bronze age gathering place for ships.

A small glimpse


Not strictly Cluaran! But very related.

The cluaran boat was in Whithorn last weekend for some naughtical heritage. It wasn’t on the water, but there was the launching of a brand new færing. This has been a Whithorn ReBuild project with Gail McGarva and it is great to see it completed.

Working away in the camp

Galloway Longfhada Vikings set up a camp where sails were being woven, food preserved for provisions – and some acting too.

In a crossover with Quartz type activities, some filming was taking place for a BBC programme exploring the connections between Faith and Re-enactment. It will be interesting to see what the final programme looks like!

Stories food and fish

Rope and Boat Launch

This article introduces some of the many finds of nautical interest from Birka

A very interesting length of rope that would have been tied round a stone to anchor ships in place.

and if you are interested in a boat to go with tou anchor – Whithorn Rebuild with Gail McGarva will be launching this one in a few weeks time. Get yourself along to Whithorn!

If you can’t make it for the Launch on fridag, there is a whole weekend of fun at the Whithorn trust where you will be able to get close to the boats.


Ancient Bands

Well, the design of these armbands isn’t quite as old as antiquity, but they are an example of local heritage that is older than the names of some of the hills.

We will be making them with young people as part of the Whithorn Trust activities. This gives them a hands on encounter with history, craft skills, and something they can wear and be proud of.

We will also give the opportunity to play with pattern welding techniques using plasticine.


Crafts for the King

Cluaran members have been volunteering at Summerhill youthgroup. We are helping them learn to make things which will be useful for medieval costumes to us in the town celebrations of “Good Neighbours” day.

The next stage of the plan will be for them to pick tasks they are we best at, and try making things to sell. These can then be sold at a medieval market in the summer in Dumfries. Income raised from this will go towards subsidising a medieval harvest feast.

Who is the king though? There is a king of the UK now. Dumfries is celebrating 750 years since the birth of King Robert the Bruce. The kingdom of heaven is both here now and will come to be…

What qualities do you look for in a king? Which king would you craft for?

Arts Installations

Star Charts

We love maps. But how about a map of the stars that is almost 2000 years old. This one was found underneath writing on a reused manuscript, but is now readable using some fancy technology.

This page has photos and a description of the discovery

a report in the press with links to find out more

more info from the India times



When things are quiet online, that usually means that they have not been quiet in the workshop!

Easter takes up a lot of Wordsmith Crafts time. You can read about that on the Quartz website. Now is the time to prepare for a Summer of activities though!

The Whithorn Trust has supported the building of a Faering. This will be launched the day before a weekend of Viking Activity fri 24th to Sun 26th). Visit the Whithorn ReBuild pages to find out more.

“Making Space” on Thursday evenings is starting up again! This isn’t a craft club. Since it is 750 years since the Birth of Robert the Bruce we are going to move a few blocks over and make things with the Summerhill youth group. The project is called “Crafts for the King” more details to follow.

Proof that hands on work was carried out.

More Schools

Did I mention that it is school visiting season? The requests for Viking visits have been flooding in this year.

Every visit is different, because every class approaches the topic in a different way. Hopefully we help them learn about the people who contributed to the Scotland we live in today.


Kirkbean School