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WakeHereward Project presents..

An evening celebrating the folklore hero of the Fenlands

 Hereward the Wake

Forgotten Hero - Freedom Fighter - Legend

A 'Heritage Open Days' very special event in association with Baldock's Mill Heritage Centre and courtesy of the Bourne Civic Society

At Baldock's Mill Heritage Centre, BOURNE, Linc's PE10 9LY - Thursday 7th Sept' 7pm - Free Entry

Hereward by HC Selous (1870) 

950th Anniversary of Hereward's return from exile 1067-2017

Hereward 'the Outlaw' said by some to be the son of Leofric the 'Lord of Bourne' was exiled at the age of 18 and according to legend forged an illustrious career as a mercenary soldier abroad. He returned in the early days of September 1067, almost a year after the Battle of Hastings, and waged a five year guerilla warfare campaign against William the Conqueror at the most cataclysmic point in England's history.  

The country was being oppressed by a foreign power, but when Hereward turned his attention to William I he was rising against his own king. In history he came to symbolise the spirit of English resistance to the Norman Conquest, for his is a tale of '1066 and all that', the story of a conquered people, the English!

Join Hereward's champion, historian David Maile, who will be talking about 'Hereward and the English Resistance' as well as the cultural impact of Hereward the Wake in the nineteenth century when he came to rival Robin Hood and King Arthur as a folklore hero and had trains and boats and 'planes named after him. 

David is joined by the incredible Mia Hansson who is hand embroidering a 69 metre long replica of the Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the events of the Norman Conquest. The nine metres Mia has already completed is an astonishing piece of craftsmanship and will be on display on the ground floor of the Heritage Centre. 

While David talks about the history of the Bayeux Tapestry and our understanding of it, Mia will be talking about how she works her project and her experience as an embroiderer.

Mia Hansson

Storyteller, Folklorist and Fenman Malcolm Busby traverses the Great Fen to regale folklore tales of Hereward and others to much glee and merriment. Malcolm lives in Burwell, yet another place that Hereward and his men scorched in their rebellion against the Conqueror and his visit to the south Lincolnshire Fens to support the Hereward cause will be well worth the chuckle. 

Malcolm Busby

David Maile and Michael Gilbert

Bringing the story of the medieval Fenlands at the time of Hereward to life will come from Dr Michael Gilbert, who will be making his first public talk since gaining his Phd in History at the University of Leicester.

In the days of Hereward the Fenlands were a morass of waterways, marsh, reedbeds and willow dotted with islands and imposing monasteries, housed under that 'great arc of heaven'. Some say this land was 'the holy land of the English'.

Michael works closely with David on the WakeHereward Project.

Music for the evening's event will be provided by folk music duo Waywood, consisting of Balladeer Gareth Calway accompanied by Vanessa Wood-Davies on harp.

Gareth has written a folk song about Hereward especially to commemorate the event celebrating the 950th anniversary of Hereward's return from exile.

As well as The Ballad of Hereward the Wake the duo will also feature Wicked Fen, a musical folk poem about the Fenlands complete with Old English lyrics.

Waywood - Gareth Calway and Vanessa Wood-Davies

A man who has been working with the WakeHereward Project for some time now is the intrepid filmaker David Johnson of DMJ Imagery.

David has been working closely with David Maile in building the documentary 'The Hereward Story' and will be filming the evening's events for future viewing.

The Evening Programme

Ground Floor

6.30 - 7pm 

Doors open for viewing of Bayeux Tapestry embroidery by Mia Hansson


Music by Waywood - Harp music

Introduction to the evening

David Maile - Bayeux Tapestry

Mia Hansson - Embroidering the tapestry


Break and view Tapestry, Questions


3rd Floor Conference Room


Music by Waywood - 'Wicked Fen'


Malcolm Busby - Hereward Folktales



Michael Gilbert - Medieval Fenlands


Music by Waywood - 'The Ballad of

                                     Hereward the Wake'


David Maile - Hereward & the Resistance

                         Hereward 'Impact & Image'

                         WakeHereward Project

David Johnson

'950th Anniversary of Hereward's return from Exile, 1067-2017'


Thursday 7th September - Doors Open 6.30pm, 7pm start.

Baldocks Mill Heritage Centre

21 South Street


Free Entry!

A collection towards a heritage 'Interpretation Board' to commemorate Hereward will be made on the night.

David Maile

Mia's embroidery of the scene where King Harold is taken captive by Count Guy after landing in France

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