The burned skeleton of a Viking longship in the River Wharfe, a giant wicker man on the village green and an unexpected craze for Viking chess are the only indications of the three days of wild barbarian fun enjoyed in Burnsall over the weekend.

From Friday to Sunday, the village was transported back in time as Nordic invaders descended for the third Vikings in Burnsall Festival.

The event celebrates the Nordic heritage of the village, which is home to an impressive collection of Viking stone crosses and hogback grave covers.

The festivities got under way with a feast in the village hall on Friday, when diners enjoyed Viking food before listening to Viking sagas and watching a leg wrestling competition.

Re-enactors from the Yorvik Viking Centre created an authentic-looking encampment for the three days of the festival and gave demonstrations of Viking battle drill and weapons.

A spectacular battle between Normans and Vikings was also staged, which culminated in a 20ft longship being launched and set alight.

There was also an appearance by Tim Miller, the world champion of Hnefatafl – a Viking board game similar to chess. Burnsall residents were so hooked by the game that the village is hoping to host the first-ever European championships next year.

Other attractions included coracle races, an illuminated wicker man, tug o’ war matches and a procession featuring Batala drummers and the ancient Viking stone cross.

Peter Weatherhead, one of the festival organisers, said the weekend had been a great success.

“Everyone really let go and gave over to their Viking side," he said.

“For me, the Viking ship was the greatest highlight of the festival. It was 20ft long and made by John Chapman from Hartlington Hall. It was a real sight to see when it was set on fire.”

* See today's Craven Herald for a Viking Festival Pictures Special.