THOUSANDS of people took a trip back in time as Viking enthusiasts recreated a historic battle that is thought to have been fought near Bolton.

Following on from the success of a mediaeval event earlier this summer, history buffs organised a similar event themed on the Nordic explorers.

More than 2,000 people flocked to the event at the Last Drop Village in Bromley Cross to watch a re-enactment of the 937AD Battle of Brunanburh, which is believed to have taken place somewhere nearby.

In the first century battle, the King of England, Athelstan, and his brother Edmund, defeated the combined invading Nordic forces from Scotland and Ireland, inspiring numerous poems which recorded the great victory. The recreationist action, which included the formation of a huge Viking camp, juggling performers and a music show, got underway on Saturday — and the fun is set to continue today.

Organiser John Hurst said: “There were a few nervous moments early on when the heavens opened, but the sun has brought lots of people out. People have come from all over to see the reenactment and those taking part are from the Northumbria Viking Group, whose members come from as far afield as Scotland and the Home Counties.

“We’ve had about 500 performers and people have been blown away by it, especially at how authentic their chain mail, pikes and swords are.”

Andrew Thompson, aged 36, of Bromley Cross, said: “We loved the mediaeval event and this has been even bigger and better. I’d definitely come back.”