Aethelflaed, the Lady of the Mercians, is set to be honoured in a special ceremony in Tamworth Castle Grounds on Sunday, September 15th.
The ceremony, which will see her statue rededicated and a new inscription added, will start at 1.45pm with Saxon re-enactors carrying out a ritual march to honour the Lady of the Mercians.
It is 1100 years since the Lady of the Mercians built a fortified settlement or burh in Tamworth. These defences stopped the Vikings from conquering Mercia and imposing Danelaw in 913.
At 2pm, the Reverend Alan Barratt will perform a short service honouring Aethelflaed. The Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr John Garner, will also say a few words to honour her. Descendents of the Ferrers and Marmion family have also been invited to attend.
This is just one of many events and activities taking place as part of Tamworth’s Heritage Open Day, which sees Tamworth’s heritage on view for all to see and for free. Visitors to Tamworth Castle will be able to see pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard on display and learn more about its Saxon heritage.
The monument was erected at the foot of Tamworth Castle just through the Gatehouse in 1913. Tamworth Heritage Trust will also be looking to recreate photographs taken 100 years ago at the original unveiling.
According to historian Michael Wood, who recently presented a BBC 4 programme on King Alfred and the Anglo Saxons: “In the early middle ages it was hard for any woman to take a leading role in events. Yet without Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, England may never have happened.”
The three-part series looked at Anglo Saxon times and the second episode featured Aethelflaed and her importance to history. Referred to as: ‘One of the great forgotten figures in British history, Aethelflaed led armies, built fortresses, campaigned against the Vikings and was a brilliant diplomat. Her fame spread across the British Isles, beloved by her warriors and her people, she was known simply as the Lady of the Mercians’.”