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Hereward Rising! Festival

Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th June
Ramsey Rural Museum - Wood Lane - Ramsey - PE26 2XD

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England's Patriot at Ramsey!

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Welcome to the site for the Hereward Rising! Festival at Ramsey Rural Museum this Jubilee weekend.

In days of Empire and yore, Hereward came to be known as 'England's Patriot' - which is fitting reason to have him and his Band of Men fighting the Normans at Ramsey Rural Museum as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Saturday 4th June from 11am to 6pm.

In a 5 Act Re-enactment Hereward will be up against the dastardly Abbot Turold of Peterborough, who has come to seize the stash that Hereward stole from his monastery.

A day of Conquest merriment with Rory Gibson as Hereward and Nigel amos as Abbot Turold. Living History Camps, Weapon Demonstrations, Warrior Knockout Competition, Crafts, Bar, Food and much more. But let's start with what is happening in the Barn on day 1 of the festival, Friday 3rd June..

Friday 3rd June In the Barn 7pm to 9:30pm 'An Evening Remembering Hereward'

The Hereward Rising! Festival kicks off at 7pm on Friday 3rd June with


'An Evening Remembering Hereward'

The event is for a capacity of 60 people and tickets are selling well, so book now! Tickets are £10 and can be purchased here via the Ramsey Rural Museum website:

Doors Open 6:30pm - Alcohol and refreshments are available on site - Sat Nav: PE26 2XD

We have a stellar line up Historians and Speakers covering a range of topics all associated with the folk hero of the Fens as well as authentic song and music on the lyre and a replica of the Bayeux Tapestry.

Host for the evening and talking about Hereward in History and Legend as well as Hereward's connection to Ramsey is

David Maile

 After several years of research on the subject, David founded the WakeHereward Project in 2013 'to raise the profile of Hereward the Wake'. The WakeHereward Project is widely regarded as the significant factor in the rise of the Hereward story back into popular folk consciousness in recent years.

Nigel Amos

David has invited well known Medieval Re-enactor and Historian Nigel Amos to talk about the Normans, their military prowess and the problems they faced against Hereward here in the Fens

. Nigel rode the lead horse in the Norman Cavalry at last year's Battle of Hastings re-enactment at Battle Abbey and will be performing in Saturday's re-enactment as Abbot Turold , 'a harsh man' and the newly appointed abbot of Peterborough, who has come to retrieve the gold and silver from Ramsey Abbey that Hereward stole from Peterborough.

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The Dark Bardess

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The Dark Bardess is Gemma Parker who performs songs of Hereward on the lyre as well as authentic English and Norse folk songs - opening the evening with her rendition of Beowulf... followed by songs about our local folk hero.

Mia's Bayeux Tapestry

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Mia Hansson hass been working for six years embroidering a full scale replica of the Bayeux Tapestry and already she has completed over 30 metres of the 69 metre length of the original. Her work will be on display for viewing from doors open at 6:30pm until 7pm when the evening begins. Mia will then be the first talker, telling us all about her work.

The evening will be completed with Local Historian Clive Beeke presenting the History of Ramsey Abbey and Re-enactor and Historian Luke Marshall talking about the Weapons and Warfare associated with Hereward and his Band of Men. As well as the Bayeux Tapestry replica the Barn will also display thirteen Exhibition Boards telling the Hereward story.

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Buy Now!

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Saturday 4th June - Hereward Rising! - (Re-enactment & Living History)

10am to 6pm - Entrance £5.50 (Concessions £5 / Children £3.50 / Under 5's Free) per person at the venue on the day

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Historical Background

2nd June 1070, England is under the Norman rule of William 'the Conqueror'. The local Fenland rebel Hereward and his Band of Men allied with a large force of the elite Danish 'Viking' Housecarls and ransacked Peterborough Abbey stealing gold, silver and valuables and despoiling the 'Golden Borough', the wealthiest monastery in all England, before making his way back to his island stronghold at Ely.


According to a late 12th Century Chronicler Hereward had also kidnapped the monks of Peterborough and as the Danes and Hereward were drinking and celebrating long into the night, Prior Athelwold broke into the place where the valuables were stored and stole some of them back, making his way across the inhospitable Fens to Ramsey Abbey, where they were secretly stashed. Eventually Abbot Turold, the new Normand abbot of Peterborough, heard about the secret stash and pounced on the monks at Ramsey Abbey and snatched it back. 

It is this story in History that will be central to the re-enactment and warfare that takes place on Saturday 4th June. There will also be talks and presentations inside the Barn at the Rural Museum on the evening of Friday 3rd June.

Don't miss this exciting and entertaining historical event on the weekend of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

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Rory Gibson performs the role of Hereward the folk hero of the Fens in five Acts beginning at 12 Noon

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Falconry - Archery - Weaving - Carving Leather - Wood Turning - Old Crafts - Weapon Demonstrations - Living History - Music - Bar - Food & Refreshments

Hereward Rising! is a WakeHereward Project production in partnership with Ramsey Rural Museum - All Rights Reserved 2022

FRIDAY 3rd JUNE – In the Barn 

‘An Evening Remembering Hereward’

(Talks & Presentations)

Doors: 6:30pm (allow viewing of Hereward exhibition boards and Bayeux Tapestry replica)

Start: 7.00pm Host: David Maile (Introduction)

7:10pm: The Dark Bardess ‘Beowulf’ (music and song on the Lyre)

7:15pm: Mia Hansson ‘Embroidering the Bayeux Tapestry’

7:35pm: David Maile Introduction

7:40pm: Clive Beeke ‘History of Ramsey Abbey’

7:55pm: The Dark Bardess

8:00pm: David Maile ‘Hereward the Wake’

8:15pm: Luke Marshall ‘Weapons & Warfare in the Fens’

8:30pm: The Dark Bardess

8:35pm: David Maile Introduction

8:40pm: Nigel Amos ‘The Normans and their Military’

9:00pm: The Dark Bardess

9:05pm: David Maile ‘WakeHereward Project’

9:15pm: Q&A

9:25pm: The Dark Bardess

9:30pm: Finish

SATURDAY 4th JUNE - In the Field

Hereward Rising! (Re-enactment & Living History)

11 to 11-15am                   Festival Opening by David Maile & key re-enactors

11-15 onwards and interspersed throughout the day Folk Music tunes through sound system

Hereward Rising! 5 Act Re-enactment

12 Noon                 Hereward Rising! Act 1 

1pm                       Hereward Rising! Act 2

2pm                       Hereward Rising! Act 3

3pm                       Hereward Rising! Act 4

4pm                       Hereward Rising! Act 5

(Each Act is introduced by David Maile and begins and ends with a song by the Dark Bardess)

Warrior Knockout! Competition

8 Warriors (Saxon and Norman) to compete in a knockout competition

11-30am              Warrior Knockout! Competition (AvB & CvD)

12-30pm                  Warrior Knockout! Competition (EvF & GvH)

1.30pm                Warrior Knockout semi-final 1 (Winner of AvB v Winner of CvD)

2.30pm                Warrior Knockout semi-final 2 (Winner of EvF v Winner of GvH)

3.30pm                Warrior Knockout Final

Hereward Exhibition Boards

On display in the Barn all day

Mia’s Bayeux Tapestry Story

12:30 to 2:30pm Talk and demonstration in the Barn on the recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry

The Dark Bardess

performs Old English and Old Norse music and song on the Lyre at 20 minutes past and 5 minutes to the Hour as well as songs and ballads about Hereward

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Young Percy back as Steward of Ramsey

A lone warrior stands guard at Ramsey Abbey Gatehouse. He is Rahenald the Steward of Ramsey Abbey and the person responsible for the security of the abbey. A 12th Century monk chronicler claims Rahenald was one of Hereward's Band of Men and the Standard Bearer in all of his armies and that he performed valiantly in battle against Abbot Turold and the Norman Army that hunted Hereward and his Men.

Exactly one year ago six year old Percy Lamb from Warboys began following the Hereward events around the Fens, supported by his parents, and soon took up the role of Rahenald the Steward of Ramsey. Percy's role in representing the legendary warrior means he has the responsibility for Hereward's flag, which he proudly holds aloft.

Percy will be outside Ramsey Abbey Gatehouse from 10:15am until 10:45am, signalling the opening of the Hereward Rising! Festival Day 2, before being part of the opening of the festival at 11am at Ramsey Rural Museum.

Hereward is away when word gets to him that Turold and his henchmen bullied Rahenald when he was handing over the stash of treasure to the Normans in order to save the folk of Ramsey and its Abbey from slaughter.

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