Cathedral to Cathedral - The Hereward Challenge

by david-maile in Cambridgeshire

Cathedral to Cathedral - The Hereward Challenge
We did it
On 5th June 2016 we successfully raised £218 with 15 supporters in 56 days

A Sponsored Walk - Peterborough Cathedral to Ely Cathedral along the Hereward Way (42 miles) to commemorate folklore hero Hereward the Wake.

by david-maile in Cambridgeshire

What's the Hereward Challenge?

I aim to walk the 42 miles of the Hereward Way from Peterborough Cathedral to Ely Cathedral


To raise £500 towards public noticeboards at Peterborough and Ely commemorating the exploits of the folklore hero Hereward the Wake, placed in an appropriate place close to either cathedral or alternatively other relevant spots such as either end or along the Hereward Way long distance footpath. 


Thursday 2nd June 2016 - Start at Peterborough Cathedral at 4am.

2 days walking approximately 20 miles each day, finish at Ely Cathedral at 2pm on Friday 3rd June.

It marks the 946th anniversary of the date - June 2nd 1070 - when Hereward, aided by his 'band of men' and a large Danish army, raided Peterborough Abbey, stole gold and silver of such great value 'that no man could reckon it to the other' and made their way to Ely by ship - where he made his famous stand against the might of William the Conqueror. It is one of the legendary stories in the history of the Fens.

What else?

500 sponsors needed to show support for Hereward making a pledge of £1 each will raise £500. 

What's the motive?

Hereward's recent rise in popularity in novels and in historical study is at an imbalance with the low-profile he holds in his native Fenlands. The WakeHereward Project is seeking ways to redress that balance - for the enjoyment of all. 

And the background?

2016 marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 - recognised as a pivotal moment in our history. In history, myth, folklore and legend Hereward the Wake symbolises the spirit of English resistance to the Norman Conquest while expressing the fears and responses of an oppressed landed community. His stand against William the Conqueror at Ely passed into legend almost as it happened.

And what's more?

Anyone who feels up for this challenge, come along! Or maybe you will be there at the beginning or at the end at one of the beautiful cathedrals in Peterborough or Ely.

And the greater challenge of the 'Hereward Challenge'?

To encourage others to take some exercise and attempt a stint across the beautiful Fenlands along the Hereward Way. If succesful it could become an annual charity event. June 2nd every year - Cathedral to Cathedral, Peterborough to Ely - 42 miles.

What else are you keeping an eye out for?

Apart from the elusive 'big cat' that is occassionally sighted across the fens, I shall be checking the waymarkers and information signs along the Hereward Way and making a report.

Where's the £500 going?

In consultation with local authorities and organisations questions raised include:

Is a public notice / tourist board / plaque relevant and appropriate?

What message should it convey?

What will it look like?

Where should it be located?

Design, Illustration, Making and Cost?

It will be a community fund of £500 raised by the public to open the issue of how best to spend it on a memorial to the local folklore figure Hereward the Wake on the basis that a memorial would be relevant and appropriate along the Hereward Way, a public footpath named after him.


This is not a charity event fundraiser it is a cause.

Thankyou for your interest. I hope you decide to sponsor this walk along the Hereward Way between Peterborough and Ely on June 2nd. & June 3rd 2016.

David Maile.






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