A group of intrepid re-enactors will visit Peterborough Cathedral on Sunday as part of an epic 300 mile journey inspired by the one taken by King Harold to the Battle of Hastings, 950 years ago.
Organised by English Heritage as part of its programme marking the anniversary of the Norman Conquest, re-enactors on foot and horseback will visit the city as they travel south from York to Battle over three weeks, before arriving at the East Sussex battlefield on Friday 14 October, the exact date in 1066 when the forces of Harold and Duke William of Normandy met in arguably the most famous and important battle in English history.
The group set off from Cliffords Tower in York on Sunday 25 September – the anniversary of King Harold’s victory over a Viking army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge – and will visit Peterborough after journeying through Yorkshire and the East Midlands. Their arrival in Peterborough will mark the end of the first leg of their journey.
The walkers and riders commemorating King Harold’s journey to the Battle of Hastings are a reminder of a turbulent time in the Cathedral’s history.
King Harold stopped at Peterborough Abbey on his way to the Battle in 1066. Abbot Leofric and some of his knights joined forces with Harold and travelled on to Hastings with him. Abbot Leofric died either en route or in battle. A new abbot was elected, but soon after Turold, a Norman abbot was put in charge by King William. Turold built a castle in the city.
The re-enactors will arrive at Peterborough Cathedral at about 11.30am, and will leave at 1pm.