The Dark Ages: An Age of Light

The Men of the North

Series 1 - Episode 4 The Men of the North



After last week’s dizzying tour of the delights of Middle-Eastern mosques, tonight Waldemar Januszczak visits… an unassuming semi in Bolton. He’s there to meet skilled forger Sean Greenhalgh, who gives him a demonstration of how to make intricate Anglo-Saxon jewellery.

The episode has the air of an evening class as Januszczak, with his “insensitive, stubby fingers”, shows how to make Viking runes and Celtic interlacing. But fear not, he’s still eloquent and humorous as he argues that, while we live in a world in which Louis Vuitton luggage and Jimmy Choo shoes may seem precious, in the Dark Ages they knew better.


In the final programme, Waldemar Januszczak turns his attention to the north of Europe, examining how Vikings marked their territory with rune stones, and decorated their long ships with intricate embellishment. He also investigates the jewellery and manuscript illumination created by the Irish and Anglo-Saxons, and examines how the Carolingians forecast their future as successors to Rome in the art they left behind.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Waldemar Januszczak
Director Waldemar Januszczak
Producer Lidia Ciszewska