Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Viking Game a Hit at Local Arts Festival

Damian Walker plays hnefatafl with a visitor
Damian Walker plays hnefatafl with a visitor
Photograph by Carol Merino-Carress.

Tuesday, 26th August 2014

Hnefatafl, the Game of the Vikings, proved popular at the Princes Avenue Festival held in Hull on Saturday. The stall was kept busy all afternoon, with festival visitors discussing, playing and buying the game. Pronounced "neffa-taffle", the hnefatafl was invented by the Vikings and played all over Northern Europe.

The stall was the idea of Damian Walker, a local enthusiast of the game. Hnefatafl sets were on display, and passers-by were invited to play a game or two. The stall had leaflets to take away, and for those truly hooked, games were on sale too.

"Hnefatafl was popular here a thousand years ago," explains Damian. "The Vikings brought it here and the Anglo-Saxons played it too; there are some hnefatafl pieces in the Hull & East Riding Museum that show it was played locally."

The Princes Avenue Festival attracted a large number of visitors despite the poor weather forecast. With the interest shown in the game, Damian has high hopes for hnefatafl in the Hull area. "It would be great to form a local club where people can play face-to-face," he said, adding "If we can build up a good local following over the next few years, hnefatafl could feature in Hull's City of Culture year in 2017."

More information on the game is available from the web site, Those wishing to know more about hnefatafl can email Damian at .


Great article! Good work, spreading the hnefatafl meme.

Tim Millar - 08:13, 29/08/2014

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