Norfolk’s links with Three Lions’ Scandinavian adversaries

The Götheborg (right) is one of Norfolk's many peculiar links with Sweden

The Götheborg (right) is one of Norfolk's many peculiar links with Sweden Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

On Saturday, England will lock horns with Sweden for a place in the World Cup semi-finals.

And while the county will be awash with England fans for the clash, Norfolk does in fact have a few peculiar links with Sweden:

• Jenny Lind Children's Hospital at the NNUH was founded with money raised from Jenny Lind's concerts. Known as the 'Swedish nightingale', she performed in Norwich three times in 1847 and twice in 1849. The infirmary admitted its first inpatients on April 3, 1854.

• A replica of the Gotheborg ship was displayed in Great Yarmouth's maritime festival in 2016. The original was built in Stockholm, Sweden in 1738, and was used for three voyages from China to Sweden.

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• Swedenborgian Chapel on Earlham Road, Norwich, was built by James Spilling, who was a devout follower of the Swedish philosopher Emmanuel Swedenborg of the 18th Century.

• Shaggy, a part-Swedish part-Norfolk band, was popular on the European music scene in the 1970s. They were a progressive hard rock band and recently got together to release new music.

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• St Mary's Church (NHER 553) has a round western tower, which is more common in Germany and southern Sweden and is a sign of the historical links between Sweden and Norfolk.

• Swedish company Vattenfalll has been a part of numerous windfarm projects in Norfolk.

• Swedish company Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES) opened a free school, IES Breckland, in Brandon.

Scandinavian heritage in Norfolk

Settlements of Vikings were present in Norfolk since 857, when Viking attacks began in Thetford.

Today, archaeologists operating in the county often find Scandinavian-style jewellery, harness mounts, and other metal artefacts.

The Vikings assimilated well, so it is hard to trace their cultural impact, but there is evidence that many East Anglians have Viking ancestry.

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