After months of preparations we have started to raise our Viking house at the seafront of neighbouring town Sandefjord.
It is a so-called frame building, the name describing a building method used in Viking times. The method has much in common with the typical Norwegian stave church, but are simpler constructions frequently used for workshops, smithies etc. A typical feature is the fact that the buildings are raised without the use of rivets or nails, held together by inlaid supports and wooden pegs. The method demands intricate precision, as each part is pre-fabricated before the building is put together.
The work is led by our chief boat builder Jan Vogt Knutsen, and Tore Forsberg. They are aided by our other boat builders, and a number of volunteers. Needless to say perhaps, but we are greatly impressed by the work being done this far!
The new building has at least three functions: to raise attention for our unique project, to store building materials, and – not least – to provide some shelter for our builders during the winter season.
Now, in mid-June, the floor and the four main frames are in place, so presently the building looks more like a Greek temple than a Viking house. When ready however, the likeness to a stave church will become much more apparent.
Most parts for our archaeological replica of the Gokstad ship will be pre-fabricated in Sandefjord before being shipped to Tønsberg for assembly by local Viking ship GAIA and our own Saga Farmann. There has been some doubt as to weather there is enough water for GAIA to call at the building site. This was effectively disproved during a test-call a few days ago. So, Sandefjord and Tønsberg – prepare yourself. The Vikings are coming!