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Back to the Beer-Hall: More Anglo-Saxon poetry
Dr Matthew Townend, University of York

  • Thursday 11 June 2015, 8.00PM
  • Free admission
    No booking required
  • Duke of York, King’s Square (map)


No wheelchair access

Event details

University of York

Leeds Brewery logo

Following the great success of last year’s ‘Beer and Beowulf’ event, we invite you back to the beor-sele or beer-hall of the Duke of York pub for another evening of Anglo-Saxon poetry and Anglo-Saxon ale. A retinue of reciters, led by Dr Matthew Townend (University of York), will perform a selection of Anglo-Saxon poetry, both in translation and in the original, with this year an emphasis on poems associated with the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria.  As last year, refreshment will be available in the welcome form of ‘Eoforwic Ale’, a beer brewed specially for the Festival of Ideas, from an old Anglo-Saxon recipe, by the Leeds Brewery.

Speaker biography

Matthew Townend’s research interests are in the language, literature, and history of Viking Age England; Old Norse poetry; and late Anglo-Saxon literary culture. He is also interested in Anglo-Saxon and Norse medievalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the relationship between philology and literature.

He is the author of English Place-Names in Skaldic Verse (English Place-Name Society, 1998), Language and History in Viking Age England (Brepols, 2002), The Vikings and Victorian Lakeland: the Norse medievalism of W.G. Collingwood and his contemporaries (Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2009), and Viking Age Yorkshire (Blackthorn Press, 2014); he is also the editor of Wulfstan, Archbishop of York (Brepols, 2004).

Eoforwic Ale

Using an authentic Anglo-Saxon recipe, Leeds Brewery is brewing some beer – Eoforwic Ale – for York Festival of Ideas. It will be on sale throughout the Festival at the Duke of York pub on King’s Square, York, and will also be available at the Back to the Beer-Hall: More Anglo-Saxon Poetry evening taking place in the pub on Thursday 11 June.

Guerilla Signs: In search of Anglian York

Eoforwic was the name for York during the four and a half centuries between Roman York and the Viking city. This period, the Anglian (or Anglo-Saxon) era was long, yet there are few visible reminders of it in the modern city. Guerilla signs made by the Friends of York’s Anglian Era will appear along the city walls and elsewhere near the city centre, to highlight the buried evidence and lost treasures of that time.

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