Thousands ‘Do the Aethel’ with us to celebrate local legend – will you join them?

Thousands of people joined together in Tamworth to help launch a new campaign to celebrate and raise awareness of one of the most powerful and influential women in Anglo-Saxon England.
Crowds took part in a mass ‘#DotheAethel’ in honour of Tamworth’s Lady of the Mercians and warrior queen Aethelflaed, who took her last breath in Tamworth 1,100 years ago this year.
To mark the anniversary, a huge new six-metre statue of Aethelflaed, affectionately named ‘Our Aethel’, is being erected near Tamworth Railway Station this spring and we are asking people to help spread the word about this great local legend by joining our #DotheAethel social media campaign.
This involves simply taking a picture of yourself, or with your friends, replicating the pose of the impressive steel statue and sharing it on social media @VisitTamworth with the hashtag #DotheAethel. You can even help keep it going by nominating your friends to get involved too.
The campaign got off to a great start during a brief Anglo-Saxon interlude at this year’s St George’s Day celebrations in Tamworth Castle Grounds on Saturday, April 21, where our very own Aethelflaed led the crowds in a mass #DotheAethel.
It has also started gaining momentum on Facebook and social media with a number of local businesses and groups already sharing their own #DotheAethel pictures. These include the Tamworth Herald, Ankerside Shopping Centre, John Lewis Tamworth, Namco Funscape, local Girl Guides, Brownies and Rainbows, Tamworth Community Together CIC, Tamworth Tool Box, Tamworth Castle, Tamworth Borough Council’s Street Scene team and Birmingham Children’s Hospital nurses with Kingsbury youngster, Amelia Eldred.

The very first #DotheAethel picture that has been used to demonstrate the pose is of artist and sculptor Luke Perry with ‘Our Aethel’ in the making.
Luke is putting the finishing touches to the statue after months and months of back-breaking work to literally hand-sculpt the town’s new work of art.
While the date of installation and unveiling has yet to be confirmed, it is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
The hope is that the #DotheAethel campaign will attract attention across Tamworth and beyond to raise awareness of this incredible female warrior and the part she played in the making of England.
That means the bigger, the better. We’re looking for individuals, groups, businesses, schools and celebrities to join the celebrations and ‘Do the Aethel’, maybe even at an interesting event or location.  
We’re hoping as many people as possible will join and share the campaign on Twitter and Facebook so that people all over the country can find out about Aethelflaed as we build up to the unveiling of the statue and a packed programme of events taking place in June and July to celebrate this fascinating part of the town’s rich Anglo-Saxon history.
These include the unveiling of Mercian Mosaic - Tamworth’s biggest ever piece of community art - a major commemorative church service with VIPs and celebrities from across the country, talks, a special guided walk, a commemorative ale and an academic conference weekend drawing academics and delegates from all over the world.
It was on June 12, 918, that the warrior queen Aethelflaed, Tamworth’s Lady of the Mercians, took her last breath in the town before being finally laid to rest in St Oswald’s Priory in Gloucester, alongside her husband Aethelred.
Daughter of King Alfred the Great, Aethelflaed (also known by the Victorian spelling of Ethelfleda) is a key figure in the history and making of England. She ruled Mercia with her husband (also known as Ethelred) and together they led the battle to defend the ancient kingdom against Viking invaders.
This involved a major programme of building and fortification, creating defensive and strategic burhs (fortified towns) throughout Mercia, including Tamworth, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mercia, where she spent much of her time in later life.

After her husband’s death in 911, Aethelflaed became the sole ruler of Mercia and continued her campaign to further defend and expand her kingdom.
She was a formidable warrior and was thought of as ‘queen’ by many of her subjects. She leaves a legacy as one of the most powerful female rulers of the time.
For more information about the programme of events and full instructions on how to #DotheAethel, please visit