The National Botanic Gardens is marking the millennial anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf on Good Friday 1014 by displaying the replica Viking ship Gro for the next 3 weeks.

In 2005 the Irish National Heritage Park at Ferrycarrig in County Wexford had a Viking ship built by master shipwrights from Roskilde Viking Ship Museum in Denamrk. They have generously lent us the ship to display alongside our Viking House.

The boat was built by Rasmus Budde Jensen, Jacob Schroll and Sorren Nielsen of the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark. The Boat is named after Rasmus Jensen’s Wife Gro. Viking tradition requires that boats are named after women, and launched by them, a tradition that has spread across Europe.

The boat is built by carving the stepped prows which are joined to the keel. The hull is then clinker built, that is the oak planks are overlapping and joined using iron rivets. Lastly the internal braces and frames are added.

The tiller isheld in place with a hazel rod that has a natural wooden boss at its base, above this the timber is split into narrow splices effectively forming a rope made from a single piece of wood (right).

The tiller can be raised or lowered and is held in place by a leather strap.

We are grateful to the Irish National Heritage Park for so generously lending us Gro for the next 3 weeks.

The vikings decorated all their woodwork from houses, boats and everyday utensils.
The bailer, for emptying water that splashes into the boat, has been carved from a single piece of alder by Eoin Donnelly.