New-look Hereward the Wake to take last stand 950 years on

Rory Gibson plays Hereward the Wake SEP 2021

Rory Gibson will play the role of Hereward the Wake at a last stand event in Aldreth in October. - Credit: WakeHereward/Steve Moore

Hereward the Wake will return to the Fens and a new face to mark 950 years since his last stand.  

Rory Gibson will play the role of Hereward at the ‘Aldreth 950 - Hereward’s Last Stand’ event in Aldreth next month, organised by the WakeHereward Project and Aldreth Community Association. 

David Maile, of the WakeHereward Project, said: “We are very excited about having Rory on board playing an active role. 

“It is our aim to develop a profile for Hereward across the Fens through Rory.” 

Rory Gibson Hereward the Wake

Rory Gibson is a medieval re-enactor from Oakham and will take up the role as Hereward the Wake at an event in Aldreth in October. - Credit: WakeHereward/David Maile

Rory, 32, will attend the three-day event to mark the moment that Hereward’s forces were defeated by William the Conqueror. 

After invading England in 1066, the Isle of Ely is thought to have been one area of resistance to William the Conqueror, where Hereward was gaining support through a warfare campaign against the Normans. 

Attempts were made to gain access to the island, before King William rebuilt a causeway that crossed the Fens to Aldreth on October 27, 1071. 

David Maile of the WakeHereward Project

David Maile, of the WakeHereward Project, said the team is "very excited" to have Rory on board. - Credit: WakeHereward/Steve Moore

Most Read

“When we read of William building a causeway at Aldreth, it is likely he was rebuilding the causeway that the rebel forces led by Hereward had part-destroyed as a defensive ploy,” a WakeHereward Project spokesperson said. 

“William eventually undertook a great feat of engineering and rebuilt the causeway that crossed the inhospitable fens to Aldreth.  

“On October 27, through being betrayed by the monks, William was able to get his men and heavy armour onto the island while Hereward made his escape.” 

The event starts with a commemorative 25-mile cross country hike, ‘On the Conqueror’s Trail’, from Cambridge to Ely between 6am-6pm on October 27. 

Rory Gibson plays Hereward the Wake in Aldreth

Rory Gibson will play the role of Hereward the Wake at a three-day event in Aldreth. - Credit: WakeHereward/Steve Moore

This will be followed by a ‘Remembering Hereward’ event on October 29 at Aldreth Village Hall between 7-9pm, featuring presentations from historians David Maile and David Roffe. 

A re-enactment of Hereward’s last stand will then take place at Aldreth school field on October 30.

Visitors will be able to visit Hereward’s camp, meet his Band of Men and the Normans, as well as archery and stalls, from 11am to 6pm. 

For more information on the event and the WakeHereward Project, visit: https://www.herewardthewake.co.uk/ or email David at davidm@herewardthewake.co.uk.  

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter