There was life in Wallingford before it became ‘Causton’ in Midsomer Murders you know… And the good folk at WallingSaxon Warriorford Museum are passionate about families and children learning all about the bustling market town’s past as one of the most important Saxon settlements.

On 30th July 2011, the museum will be hosting a Family Saxons and Vikings Day; a great chance to learn why King Alfred chose Wallingford as one of his 18 ‘new towns’ and fortified the place to repel vicious Viking invaders.

Wallingford was rebuilt so that it was as large as Winchester, the town which was England’s capital in Saxon times.
The museum’s Saxons Day includes a guided walk around the amazing ditches and ramparts which still survive from these times – you should be able to glimpse remains of the wet moat which repelled the Norse armies.

Back inside the museum a Saxon ‘warrior’ will be talking about the armour he had to wear and the weapons he wielded to such deadly effect to preserve his people’s way of life.

Experts will also be on hand to help museum visitors recreate some modern-day Saxon pottery and jewellery. Around lunchtime a storyteller will be narrating the ancient tale of how brave warrior Beowulf took on the grim monster Grendel. This haunting piece of folklore will inspire the kids to make some great art to add to the reception room’s version of the Bayeux tapestry.

If you’re still around Wallingford at 9pm you will hear the curfew bell ring out. Did you know that the Normans made the curfew hour 9pm and not 8pm as they liked the people of Wallingford so much?

Luckily, the curfew bell is now purely ceremonial and there is plenty to do in Wallingford after 9pm – be sure to check out the town’s great pubs and restaurants!