YORK Minster is due to embrace its Viking roots with a series of events this half term.

Between Tuesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 20, Viking-themed family events are running at the cathedral, when young visitors can create their own Viking shields and find out about the Minster during Viking times as part of the city's Jorvik Viking Festival.

The cathedral stands on lands given to the Chapter of York by Viking lord Jarl Ulph in the 11th century.

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The Viking leader marked the transfer of ownership by donating an ornately carved elephant’s tusk – the Horn of Ulph – which is now 1,000 years old and on display in the Revealing York Minster display in the Minster’s undercroft.

Kate Whitworth, learning manager for York Minster said the Christian cathedral had a strong Norse influence throughout its early years.

She said: “In fact, York provided a unique melting pot for Norse and Christian beliefs, with old Scandinavian traditions gradually replaced by Christian ones during the 200 years of Viking settlement – from coins minted with St Peter’s name and Thor’s hammer, to burial traditions which were uncovered during archaeological digs within the Minster walls.”

Other activities will be available throughout the half term week for younger visitors, including history trails and the loan of Little Explorer Backpacks which can be borrowed free of charge from the admissions desk.