Canute’s Crossing

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Tree of Life
Yggdrasil: The Tree of Life

Yggdrasil: The Tree of Life

In Norse Mythology folklore Yggdrasil, the tree of life, grows in the middle of Asgard, home of the gods. Its branches stretch out over all of the nine worlds, and extend up and above the heavens.

As part of the Knutsford Promenades’ Heritage Open Days celebrations, we are inviting people to cross the River Lily as Canute did 1,000 years ago. And we want to record that achievement both in our Legacy Book and on our ‘Knutsford Tree of Life’ – the aim is to record 1,000 people; one for each year.

We are asking all participants to write their name, in Danish Runes, on to lengths of fabric to create 1,000 small vertical banners.

Example of a banner with the name Russell written in Danish Runes

These banners should be approximately 500mm x 100mm, or 20” x 4” with your name written on one side in black waterproof paint or indelible marker pens. Please write clearly and as large as possible starting close to one end. Light coloured natural fabrics such as calico or heavy cotton sheet would be ideal.

See the translation table below.

When you’ve made your banner please deliver it to Knutsford Library, Toft Road, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 0PG. Don’t forget to send a photo of you making your crossing carrying your banner to, tweet us @KnutsfordProms or post to our Facebook page – including your name!

translation tableYour banner will then be used on Saturday 10 September as part of a large collaborative public art installation when all the names, written in Viking runes, will be hung on suspended circles around a tree on the Moor.

Canute’s Crossing is a free-to-all community event, celebrating the legend that in 1016 King Canute ‘forded the Lily’ and gave rise to the town’s name, recorded as Canutesford in the Domesday Book.

Led by artist Russell Kirk and the Chester Vikings, this event will celebrate famous Knutsfordians.

The Lily can be crossed on foot via the pedestrian or road bridges. Residents and visitors are encouraged to attend wearing fancy dress to represent their favourite historical Knutsford character.

Participants will be invited to help to assemble a piece of community artwork made by 1,000 hands, designed by the artist Russell Kirk, and record their names in a Legacy Book that has been created for the occasion.

The fun begins at 2.00pm and the crossing will end at 4.30pm. There will be lots to do on the Moor as we need you to help assemble the community art as well as enjoy music from Spitting Feathers and the Roberts Bakery Band. Refreshments are being provided by 5th Knutsford Scout Group.

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