From 'Jelling Dragon' to 'The Viking Dragon', our new website 'The Viking Dragon' is a fresh design that has been created due to customer demand and showcases all of our best and most popular products from The Jelling Dragon.
In 1996 / 1997 Rob Taylor (aka Rob Wildwood) created The Jelling Dragon website by using his creative and computer skills in an age where the internet was still in its infancy. It was done in a basic form of html to create web pages to showcase the amazing handmade Viking crafts that he had picked up whilst travelling, trading & battling his way through re-enactment events across Europe with a ragtag band of like-minded compadres.
As he had a keen interest in history, especially in dark age & medieval times, then his passion for all things ancient grew. He noticed that these re-enactment events were becoming more popular and every time he went back he saw an increase in the array of traders & craftsmen attending. Like a kid in a sweetshop he became bewildered by the fascinating Nordic, Saxon, Germanic, Hiberno-Norse & other dark age crafts and picked out as many pieces of jewellery, accessories & re-enactment equipment he could afford.
As a trader himself he travelled around with his Saxon / Viking tent and offered his wares around most of the Viking & Medieval markets in the UK & Europe and spending most summers in Norway, Sweden & Denmark. He became well known on the re-enactment scene and gained a name of 'Ruald The Wad', due to the fact he always had a huge wad of cash from many successful markets & trades!
He was also a founder member of The Jomsvikings international warrior brotherhood and helped to pioneer the expansion of the hobby beyond the borders of the UK by taking part in the first ever Viking re-enactment combat events in countries such as Norway, Poland, Iceland and The Netherlands.
For years Rob, travelled traded and battled and the Viking re-enactment scene grew forever larger. Meanwhile the Jelling Dragon website was growing too! Lots of new products, new categories and new ideas. Rob started making all the leatherwork goods that you see on the site today and used authentic Viking designs & templates to recreate our Viking pouches, drinking horn straps & holders, Viking belts, knife & seax sheaths and even the snips sheaths.
As well as making many of the products himself he found some talented and mostly reliable crafts people that made a multitude of other items, such as Viking jewellery, Viking protection gear, Viking clothing & Viking accessories. The more he travelled then the greater the network of solid, reliable trades folk he met and so in turn the larger the website grew. He noticed that not only there were very few websites at the time, but also no one really offered the full plethora of Viking goods as every person seemed to specialise in one or two particular crafts. This is why The Jelling Dragon grew in popularity so much and became known as the 'one-stop shop' for all that is Viking.
Rob was also very interested in photography and noticed that very few websites actually displayed clear pictures of their goods, with some websites not even showing any photos for some, if not all of their products. All items listed on The Jelling Dragon website had to have at least one really great image so that people perusing the internet could see what amazing products were on offer and get a feel of exactly what this was they were looking at.
The website evolved and changed frequently over time and the freshness of it was one of the reasons that is became so popular worldwide. As the business grew then Rob needed help in sending out orders and moved the base of the business to where helping hands were required. At one point we had a physical shop in Denmark and in the UK, with a more recent branch in Oregon in the US. As the business was still quite a niche market then a physical storefront turned out to be not a great path for The Jelling Dragon and so it was resumed to trading at markets and online only with Rob running the business from a remote part of northern Sweden at one point.
Rob is a Yorkshire lad and he felt that a good base for the business would be near to where it all began and found a space in York, where we are today! As Rob had such a wanderlust for travel and discovery he needed someone to look after things in York and who better than his brother Brian, who was residing in York at the time.
As technology has increased at an alarming rate, the internet has too and so the old format of the Jelling Dragon had to be updated so that it could be as easily viewed on your smartphone, as well as your tablet, desktop, laptop, notebook or Mac. We took the radical step of changing the website to a 'mobile friendly' version but still keeping most of the original design, colours and feel of the old website. In February 2018 we launched the new version of the Jelling Dragon that you see today.
Not initially realising though we had still created a website that was still technically 'behind the times' as it is using internet language that is now being superseded by better, more efficient computer languages that have endless apps & add-ons to make them future proof and much easier to keep up to date with an ever-increasing technology demand. So, after much deliberation we decided to bite the bullet and create not only another new website, but a hugely radical decision to change the name of the Jelling Dragon to 'The Viking Dragon'. Although the Jelling Dragon has been hugely popular it has always been a bugbear of Rob’s that 'Jelling' (pronounced 'Yelling') has been a difficult word to say with some people even calling us 'Jelly Dragon'?!
Our new website 'The Viking Dragon' is a new crisp, clean look and has been designed so that you, the customer, can have a much better experience on our site with simple menus, better product descriptions, newer & better images and a much easier checkout process. On The Viking Dragon you will never have to leave our site and you can view all of our products in whichever currency you choose and share your experiences with ease on any social media platform that you wish. You can view and buy any of our products on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and soon we will offer even more channels for you to view us on, as well as many more informative stories about us, our products and our interests.
The Viking Dragon is the future for us and we hope that you will follow us on our journey….