The myth that Vikings were just marauding and pillaging thugs was dismissed when living history character, Ragnar, visited Embsay school.

He arrived armed to the teeth in Viking dress and staged a mock attack with children brandishing shields and spears.

But he went on to show the youngsters that the Vikings were basically settlers who set up farms and traded.

Year three teacher, Denise Cartman said: “The children learned about the broader picture by handling artifacts brought into school by Ragnar and listening to his stories.”

At the end of the session the children made thumb pots, vessels from which they drank mead.

“Needless to say, we didn’t have any mead, ” explained Mrs Cartman.

Ragnar arrived at Embsay School from the Danelaw Centre for Living History at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, near York.