Events and Activities

Author's Talks

Talks and lectures




All events are held at WSHC unless otherwise stated. Tickets for events at the History Centre may be purchased in advance at the Help Desk or can be reserved on 01249 705500 (Tues-Sat 9:30-5) Numbers may be limited so please buy your ticket in advance. Please aim to arrive 15 minutes before your event begins.


Events and Activities

FREE Conservation Surgery

Thurs 10 Jan, 14 Feb, 14 March, 11 April, 9 May, and 13 June. 2-4 pm FREE

Come and get advice from our archive and object conservators about caring for your precious family photographs, keepsakes and treasures. Booking essential!

Memory Box Reading Group

First and third Monday afternoon of every month, beginning 7th January 2019, 2-3.30pm

Do you enjoy history and listening to stories? Our group is meeting on the first and third Monday afternoon of every month, beginning 7th January 2019 to listen to an extract from one of the amazing collection of books in our Local Studies Library. We will take time to share memories and thoughts, and also have a chat over refreshments! If you would enjoy some friendly company in a relaxed environment, this is for you. All welcome!

Free entry, parking right outside and refreshments, supported by Hob Nob Press.

Read - Reminisce - Enjoy

Creative Writing Workshop - Captain Swing

Saturday 2 February 2019, 2-4pm

Our Secret History in Song

This workshop will enable students to create their own story plots and dialogue by combining different verse, local to Wiltshire, from the archives at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre.

We will explore the value of folk song as social history and as a window to the emotional lives of the largely illiterate rural poor. The validity of popular broadsides as source material will be discussed, as well as problems with dialect and the language used in verse.

The workshop will be led by Beatrice Parvin, the writer of ‘Captain Swing and the Blacksmith’. Steeped in the rich lyricism and storytelling tradition of British folk songs, this haunting tale of love and tragedy is played out against the notorious Swing riots of 1830, when the quiet fields of Wiltshire blazed with violence and fires in the night.

The event is part of a tour of performances and workshops sponsored by Creative Wiltshire, Celebrating Age, Rural Arts and Salisbury Museum. Free entry.

Book on Eventbrite

History is Here: Mildenhall

Tuesday 6 February 1.30-2.45pm

Find out about the village's history with Julie Davis

Venue: Marlborough Library Admission £4 - bookings via Marlborough Library

History Revealed: Tisbury

Thursday 14 March 10am-4.15pm

A repeat of last year's successful event. Discover more about the people and places in Tisbury through archival documents, maps, archaeology and additional resources for local history plus afternoon field visit with Wiltshire Buildings expert Dorothy Treasure.

£10/£8 (concession) Bring own lunch

History Revealed: Seend

Wednesday 8 May

Find out what makes Seend special. More details to follow.

£10/£8 concession

Know Your Place Challenge

Wednesday 15 May

Join the KYP challenge which pits Wiltshire against our neighbouring KYP partners in the south west. Pin images of historical information and/or photos to tell the story of your favourite Wiltshire place – why not pop in to the History Centre and let us help you on your journey!

 Author's Talks

Talks and Lectures 

John Aubrey: Antiquarian, Folklorist and Archaeologist

Thursday 17 January 10.30 am

Discover more about the life, works and time of this fascinating and 17th century Wiltshire trailblazer, said to be the very first British archaeologist and a literary genius!

A talk by Julie Davis. Admission £4.00

Extraordinary Women of West Wiltshire

Thursday 21 February 10.30am

A talk by Claire Skinner. Admission £4

Manorial Records for Family History

Wednesday 20 March 10.30am

A talk by Jenny Pope. Admission £4

A History of the World in Wiltshire's Archives

Thursday 18 April 10.30am

A talk by Ruth Butler on World Heritage Day. Admission £4.00

Recent Wiltshire Archaeological Discoveries

Wednesday 15 May 10.30am

A talk by County Archaeologist Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger. Admission £4

Wiltshire Vernacular Buildings

Wednesday 12 June 10.30am

A talk on recent fieldwork by Dorothy Treasure. Admission £4

Catsbrain, Breakheart and Labour-in-Vain: the hidden history of place names

Wednesday 26 June 10.30am

A talk by Naomi Sackett. Admission £4


An Introduction to

Saturday 12 January and Saturday 23 February

Hands-on beginner workshops with Ian Hicks.

Limited places - booking essential. Admission £5

Reading 16th-17th century handwriting

Thursday 14 February 10am-12pm

A hands-on workshop with Steve Hobbs

Admission £5

Motor Vehicle Registration in Wiltshire

Tuesday 26 March 10am-12pm

A workshop with Ian Hicks. Admission £5

Unlocking Research Resources for Local Studies

Thurdays 23 May, 10-4pm

A useful study day for family and local history researchers to help them make the most of our Local Studies Library. Tuition will be provided using a wide variety of sources including practical and interesting exercises. Find out how you can expand your research to give additional context and a sense of place to individuals and communities in history.

Sources for Family History

Tuesday 30 April-4 June 9.30am-12.30pm 

Led by History Centre experts. Learn how to research your family history!

£40 for six week course


Reception Foyer:

‘Wiltshire Remembers the Windrush Generation’

Showcases the stories of some of the many West Indians who came to settle here in Wiltshire.

See Me Too

Create Studios spoke to former GWR workers, members of the Harbour Project, and people from the Nepalese and Afro-Caribbean communities in Swindon  to create films and photos with students from the Dorcan Academy and Create’s talent development group MassMedia.

Both on display until beginning of January 2019. 

Tickets for events at the History Centre may be purchased in advance at the Help Desk or can be reserved on 01249 705500 (Tues-Sat 9:30-5) Payment by credit card or cheque is only possible for 2 more tickets. Numbers may be limited so please buy your ticket in advance. Please aim to arrive 15 minutes before your event begins.

Download a PDF version of our events programme here

Download a poster to help us advertise our events - thank you!

Disclaimer: We may take photographs at events for future publicity purposes. Please make a member of staff aware if you would prefer not to be included in any images. Permission will sought for images which include children.


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