Top image credit: Historic Royal Palaces, Bloomsbury, Ben Turner
As you’ve probably spotted we’re proud history nerds at Lifestyle District. Whether it’s exploring a new museum, enjoying an immersive experience from another age or rummaging around an old house, there’s nothing we like more than a historical day out.
Imagine our excitement then when we were sent details of the Gloucester History Festival! Quicker than you can name all of Henry VIII’s wives, we had booked a hotel in Gloucester and selected the talks and tours we wanted to do.
We’re heading to the festival on 14 and 15 September but here’s our pick of what to attend for the whole festival which runs from 7 until 22 September.
Tours from 13-16 Sep
Formerly the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter, founded in the 11th century, the Cathedral features Norman pillars in the nave, the elaborate tomb of Edward II, exquisite 14th century fan vaulting, the 15th century tower and the magnificent Great East Window. Various tours of the cathedral are taking place including climbing 269 steps to the top of the tower to enjoy breathtaking views 40 miles across Gloucestershire.
The Fleece Hotel
Open 11.00 – 15.00 on 13-16 Sep
A 12th century tunnel vaulted undercroft, which it thought to be the best example in Europe of a rich merchant’s warehouse. Known locally as the ‘Monks Retreat’ it was a lively and much loved bar when the Fleece was last open.
Roman Times Walk
Tours on 13, 14 and 16 Sep
Hear how the Romans came to Gloucester (Glevum). See the walls they built. Tread through the Forum (market place) and meet the Emperor Nerva. Discover mosaics, pottery, Roman weapons, and much more in the museum.
Siege of Gloucester Walk
Tours on 13, 14 and 16 Sep
This guided 90 minute walk visits some of the places of interest connected with the siege of Gloucester which took place during the English Civil War.
The Celts with Alice Roberts
Sat 14 Sep, 14:30 – 15:30
Nina is a big fan of Alice so this is a must-see for us!
The talk promises a thrilling journey across Europe, uncovering the truth about this enigmatic tribe: their origins, their treasure and their enduring legacy today. What emerges is not a wild people but a highly sophisticated culture that influenced the ancient world and echoes down the centuries to today.
Jane Austen at Home with Lucy Worsley
Sat 14 Sep, 18:30 – 19:30
Historian and TV broadcaster Lucy Worsley tells the fascinating story of Jane Austen’s life showing how and why she lived as she did, examining the spaces and places that mattered to her. It wasn’t all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle. Jane famously lived ‘a life without incident’ but with new research and insights, Lucy Worsley reveals a passionate woman who fought for her freedom.
Lost and Found with Janina Ramirez
Sat 14 Sep, 20:30 – 21:30
Gloucester History Festival President Janina Ramirez talks about her innovative new BBC TV series Lost and Found where she turns archaeological investigator, exploring three discoveries made on the eve of war in 1939.
History Under Our Feet
Tues 17 Sep, 12.30 – 1.30
From finding Richard III under a car park in Leicester to discovering Britain’s own ‘Tutankhamun’ next to Aldi in Southend, the discoveries archaeologists make can have the power to change the fortunes of a city. Gloucester’s own Andrew Armstrong joins the BBC’s Vernon Harwood for a frank and intriguing discussion as he lifts the lid on the highs and lows, the pleasures and pains of life as City Archaeologist.
Bletchley Park & D-Day: The Walls Have Ears
Sat 19 Sep, 16.00 – 17.00
Bletchley Park’s historian David Kenyon uses newly declassified documents and first-hand stories from code-breaking veterans to reveal how Bletchley moved from Nazi codebreaking to intelligence work, and intelligence historian Helen Fry tells the story of the elaborate and brilliant MI6 operation by which German prisoner-of-war Generals were tricked into giving away vital Nazi secrets.
Call the Midwife with Paul McGann
Sat 21 Sep, 16.00 – 17.00
Writer and co-producer Heidi Thomas and Dr Turner (aka actor Stephen McGann) discuss the pleasures and challenges of creating Call the Midwife and telling the people’s story of 20th century Britain.
From Battlefield to Newsroom with Martin Bell
Sun 22 Sep, 18:00 – 19:00
From Vietnam to Iraq, Martin Bell has seen how war has changed over the last 50 years, neither fought nor reported as it used to be. As modern news increasingly seeks to entertain first and inform second, the man in the white suit provides a moving account of all he has witnessed throughout his career and issues an impassioned call to put the substance back into reporting explored in his book War and the Death of News.
Where the Wild Cooks Go with Cerys Matthews
Sun 22 Sep, 19.30 – 20.30
Musician, author and BBC broadcaster Cerys Matthews takes the audience on a journey around the world, celebrating her love of food and music. She talks about her favourite places around the globe – their history, myths, poems and songs – bringing back the memories, tastes and sounds explored in her latest book Where the Wild Cooks Go.