There's always lots happening at the History Centre including:

Talks and lectures



Events and Activities


 Talks and Lectures 

  • Thursday 23rd October 2014 - Resources for World War I with Terry Bracher - Our ever popular lecture on researching military ancestors who fought during the Great War. This talk will guide you through archive material and online resources.
  • Thursday 6th November 2014 - History of Lackham with Tony Pratt New Lecture - Our guest speaker, Tony, will give us a fascinating insight into this ancient and often forgotten Manor of Lacock.
  • Friday 14th November - ARCHI'VE EXPLORED Free drop-in lunchtime talks for 'Extraordinary Lives-Extraordinary Archives' at 12pm-2pm.  For more information click here
  • Thursday 20th November 2014 - Wiltshire Women in the First World War with Claire Skinner New Lecture - Understanding the vast role of women during the Great War and how this changed their position and responsibilities in society.
  • Thursday 4th December 2014 - A Wiltshire Christmas with Margaret Moles - An interesting insight into this seasonal event and how it has been celebrated in our historic county.
  • Thursday 22nd January 2015 - Tying the Knot: Marriage Customs in Wiltshire in the 16th & 17th Centuries with Steve Hobbs New Lecture - A comprehensive look at the wedding ritual using documented examples from our archives.
  • Thursday 29th January 2015 - Stories from the Lacock Archives with Ally McConnell FREE Lecture. Illuminating anecdotes discovered in the Lacock Archives which give us a great view of the village and those who resided there. Free Lecture but you will need a ticket.
  • Thursday 12th February 2015 - Wiltshire & Swindon's Rotten Boroughs: some 18th & 19th century elections with Terry Bracher.  New Lecture -  Using local examples of these 'Rotten Boroughs', Terry will demonstrate how controversial elections were during this time.
  • Thursday 26th February 2015 -  King Alfred & the Origins of Chippenham with Mike Stone
    New Lecture - Explore the Anglo-Saxon world that descended upon Chippenham and learn how the great Wessex King shaped the town.
  • Thursday 12th March 2015 - Early Photography & Old Photographs with Mike Marshman- a talk followed by FREE Old Photograph Workshop - Interpreting old photographs, a guide to dating them from clothing and style, bring your own old photos to the free workshop afterwards.
  • Thursday 26th March 2015 - Settlement Papers with Robert Jago New Lecture - Between the reigns of Charles II and William IV, the records generated by the Settlement Laws can provide unique insight into the lives of our ancestors.
  • Thursday 16th April 2015 - Recent Discoveries in the Deverills with Dorothy Treasure New Lecture - Dorothy explores the historic buildings of the Deverills in the south of our county, using documents, maps and photographs from the archives.
  • Thursday 30th April 2015 - Looking at a Village- learning from the Landscape with Mike Marshman - A guide to interpreting a typical Wiltshire village, Mike will help you unravel the past using local knowledge, maps and documents.

All Lunchtime Lectures  are from 1.15 to 1.45p.m. You can eat your lunch during the lecture, we provide a water cooler and a hot drinks vending machine. Tickets are £1.50 per lecture - pay on the door or buy tickets in advance from the History Centre

All other talks begin at 2.15 pm. Admission £3.50 (concessions £2.50).  Spaces are limited so please buy your ticket in advance. Telephone 01249 705500 or visit our Help Desk at the History Centre. (Payment by credit/debit card or cheque available for the purchase of 2 or more tickets).



 Village Interpretation Days 2014

Our popular village interpretation day courses look at the development of communities from medieval times. Places on these are limited and early booking is advisable. The morning is spent studying documents, maps, photographs and printed material under guidance in the History Centre, while course members enjoy a guided village walk, examining features and buildings, in the afternoon. On each course there are two or more tutors to help you. Course members use their own transport.




SEEME Wiltshire Black History exhibition - in the foyer, Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre 20th October 30th November 2014.

The History Centre is celebrating Black History Month  with the first public viewing at the History Centre of the exhibition created as a legacy of the SEEME Wiltshire Black History Project.

ARCHI'VE EXPLORED- Exhibition of archives in Local Studies on Friday 14th November 2014 between 9:30am-5pm 

Events and activities


Saturday 25th October 1.30pm - 3.30pm

Family history workshop for children aged 7-11

Free taster workshop with local genealogist Judi Buchanen. Introduction to family history for children including craft activity.

Places are free but you do need to pre-book as this workshop is limited to 8 children.

For further information or to book a place please contact Judi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SparkSite Half Term Workshops 23rd and 30th October 10.30-12
Young people aged 11-17 can join professional writer Angela Street and create a piece of journalistic writing inspired by WW1. Their work will be both written and recorded to be used in the Final Celebration. Workshop dates are 23rd and 30th October, 10.30am-12pm, and are FREE! This element of the project is in association with SparkSite. Places are limited, so please book: telephone 01249 705500 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on what SparkSite offers young people go to


Writer in Residence Tuesday 4th November between 11am-3pm

Come along to the History Centre and meet Andi Michael, tell her your writing troubles and let her inspire you. You can find out more about her work and get tips as she uses the archives as her writing inspiration for the day.

Andi will also be a guest tutor on 6th December for our regular Creative Writing workshops at the History Centre. To find out more about the next writing course call the History Centre on 01249 705500 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    or visit the arts blog


Chippenham Creative Writing Group - Leisure and Games

  • For adults, led by a professional writer
  • All genres – novels, short stories, poetry, play writing, new media
  • Using historical artefacts and documents as inspiration

Where: Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham SN15 3QN

When:  Saturday Mornings, 10am-1pm,  on 22 November, 6 December 2014 and 3 January, 17 January, 31 January,  14 February, 28 February and 14 March 2015

Cost:    £20 for 8 x 3 hour sessions, plus expert mentoring

For more information T: 01249 705531 or E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To book, T: 01249 705500 or E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please keep checking here for future events and activities.