The 'Viking Ship' Hugin - on permanent display on the Pegwell Bay cliff top at Ramsgate - is a replica of a re-constructed Viking Longship which sailed from Denmark to Thanet in 1949. This was to commemorate the 1,500th anniversary of the A.D. 449 landing of Anglo-Saxon chieftains Hengist and Horsa at Ebbsfleet, and the betrothal of Hengist's daughter, Rowena, to King Vortigen of Kent.
The re-constructed Longship was modelled on a 9th century Gokstad vessel, as no earlier Longships remained. Viking sailing conditions were faithfully observed by the crew of 53 Danes, and the only instrument carried was a sextant.
The ship's arrival in 1949 was met by huge crowds, and documented in a British Pathe newsreel, entitled 'Kent Welcomes Viking Invaders.' Some of this footage was later used in a 1965 Doctor Who episode (The Time Meddler) to represent an 11th century Viking raiding party.
Although the original ship returned to Denmark, a replica was made and presented in 1950, by King Georg of Denmark, as a gift from the Danish government to the towns of Broadstairs and Ramsgate. It was later sited at Pegwell Bay.
More recently, in 2005, the Hugin was restored by Thanet District Council (assisted by European funding) and returned to its current site. It is now covered and protected from the weather over the winter months.
Free (external viewing only)