Towns - The Vikings for Kids and Teachers Illustration

The Vikings

As the Norse population grew, some villages became towns. In town, houses were crowded together in rows, facing narrow streets. Most homes were about 15 feet wide and about 30 feet long. Some had a loft for sleeping.

Usually, the ground floor had a shop in the front, and living space in the back. People in town kept animals for milk and food. Shops included bakeries, shoemakers, jewellers, potters, woodworkers, blacksmiths, and other skilled craftsmen. Craftsmen worked long hours. Goods were bartered and traded. Some goods were paid for with silver coins. Each clan had its own coin design, but since they were all made of silver, weighs were used to assign a coin a value. 

The Vikings had a reputation for cleanliness, but that was not always true in town. Things were so crowded that it was hard to keep streets and homes clean,  although they tried.

As towns grew, so did their marketplace. Every town had a marketplace. The larger towns had, of course, the largest marketplaces. Traders came by boat carrying amber and spices and all kinds of items and luxury goods. Farmers hauled in grain and vegetables to sell. Craftsmen set up stalls, in addition to their shops. Everyone looked forward to market days.

Explore a Viking Village (video)

A Living Viking Town (Fotevikens Museum)