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News

Royalty expected at Peterborough Cathedral on Sunday 2nd October

Thursday 29 September

King Harold and a band of warriors on horseback are expected to stop off at Peterborough Cathedral on Sunday 2nd October, between 11.30am and 1.00pm, on their way to Hastings.

Their 310 mile trek south from York started on 25th September and is part of an historical re-enactment staged by English Heritage to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. It was at that battle, in 1066, that Harold was defeated by the invading force of William, Duke of Normandy.

The march will arrive at Helpston, via Bourne, on Saturday 1st October, then stop off at Peterborough Cathedral on its way to Ramsey on Sunday 2nd. Anyone is welcome to come and chat to the King and his followers whilst they are on the green outside the Cathedral on Sunday, or to join them on the next stage of their march.

Back in 1066 the Abbot at Peterborough, Leofric, joined forces with Harold and travelled with him to Hastings with some of his own men. Leofric died either en route or in battle and, as was their custom, the monks remaining at the Abbey elected a new abbot, not knowing what a great change would result from William the Conqueror’s victory at Hastings. This abbot died within a couple of years and King William seized the opportunity to put in place a Norman Abbot, Turold. We know from the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that the monks were alarmed that this militaristic abbot had been appointed rather than a man of God. It was Abbot Turold who built the castle here. All that remains of it is a mound in the Deanery Garden known as Tout Hill.

Along the route different aspects of the Norman Conquest and its lasting impact on England’s story will be explored and people are encouraged to get involved. Historian Dan Snow talks through the details in videos on the English Heritage website and you can also follow the march on Twitter. Not only "King Harold" but others affected by the events will be Tweeting.  

For more information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/learn/1066-and-the-norman-conquest/the-1066-march/ or on Twitter follow @EnglishHeritage or #Battle1066