A fluidly modelled bronze statue of a Viking warrior about to land from a longboat. The warrior stands with his sword raised above his head and his back against the prow as if in the act of summoning companions. The longboat has a horsehead prow (facing east) and is cut away at the front. The statue surmounts a tapering ashlar stone pedestal which stands on a slightly raised brick platform in the forecourt of the 1979 red-brick County Hall.
Before it was re-erected at Morpeth, the work stood at Doxford Hall, the north Northumberland home of the Liberal politician, Walter Runciman (1870-1949). The son of a Tyneside shipowner, Runciman held a number of ministerial posts during a long parliamentary career, including President of the Board of Education 1908-11, of Agriculture 1911-14 and Trade 1914-16. In 1937 he was made a viscount and the following year he was appointed mediator between the Sudeten Germans and the Czech government.(1)
(1) Waitt, E, John Morley, Joseph Cowen and Robet Spence Watson: Liberal Divisions in Newcastle Politics, 1873-1895, unpublshed thesis, University of Manchester, 1972, p.470.
Raised Roman letters on bronze plaque on west face of pedestal: THE VIKING LANDING ON THE NORTHUMBERLAND COAST / SCULPTED BY MARGARET WRIGHTSON F.R.B.S. IN 1925 / TRANSFERRED FROM DOXFORD HALL AND UNVEILED BY / LT. COL. R.A. BARRETT M.C.,T.D., D.L., CHAIRMAN OF THE NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL / ON APRIL 3RD, 1981
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