Plans for an interactive Viking settlement in the north of the island have received unanimous support from the planning committee.
Chris Hall will build his settlement for education and entertainment purposes at Kattegat, Jurby Road, Sandygate.
The plans will offer visitors an opportunity to find out more the island’s history, with Mr Hall intending to run it as a non-profit project with self-employed craftspeople providing interactive workshops.
Speaking of approval being granted on his Facebook Page, ‘Sandygate Viking Project’, Mr Hall said: ‘We have 21 days to sit out and wait for it to become the final decision, but the board were extremely positive and supportive of the project so we do not foresee any more hoops on which we need to jump through.’
In his application he said that the craftspeople would include a trained blacksmith who would show how Viking created their tools and weapons, while a chieftain’s hall would be used as a classroom that can host indoor activities in the event of bad weather.
His plans expand to a wooded area where he intends to stage more interactive workshops and displays in keeping with the Viking theme, as well as a temple/church that would explore the Vikings’ relationship with their gods.
The final public section detailed in the application is an area called ‘FolkVangr’ (field of the people), Mr Hall explained was an ‘alternative heaven’ for those who didn’t wish to dine in Valhalla, ruled over by the Goddess Freyr. Here he hopes to re-create an authentic Viking farmstead with a store barn and small holding pen for animals.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Hall, who works in technology, said he has been dreaming of building such a settlement since 2012 and wants visitors to ‘step back over a thousand years’.
However, while approval has been granted, Mr Hall said he now hopes to attract sponsors and volunteers to help with building the attraction.
Vikings first reached the island at the end of the 8th century, originally to plunder it, before conquering the island by the end of the 9th century. During this period the island fell under the rule of the Scandinavian Kings of Dublin.
The island changed hands several times over the next century before being conquered by Godred Covan, legend refers to him by another name, King Orry.