Friday, 27 July 2012

Stonehenge Family Activity Day 6th August 2012

Visit Stonehenge for a family activity filled walk around the landscape led by the National Trust.
Explore the monuments, barrows and wildlife with archaeological and nature related activities along the way.

Meet at the Stonehenge car park at 10am.

Booking Essential.

Contact the Education Officer at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum on 01380 727369
* Send her an

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Priests House Museum - President's Summer Fete

The museum invites you to its President’s Summer Fete on Saturday 4 August, 10 to 4.30. Admission is just 50p while accompanied children under 18 get in for free.

There will be a whole range of stalls for you to browse: collectables, cakes, books, linens, bric-a-brac, plants and produce, music, bottle stall, jewellery, and much more. The raffle will feature a host of wonderful prizes. The lucky dip and other games will entertain children and all those young at heart! Teas, ice creams and delicious homemade cakes will be available from the new garden tearoom.

Everyone is welcome in the museum garden for a wonderful day and the odd bargain or two. Entrance is by Wimborne library or through the museum shop. 

See here for more information

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Wiltshire Councils Archaeology Team discusses their Monument Management Scheme

Check out the blog post on the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre website on the Wiltshire Council Monument Management Scheme.

The Wiltshire Council Archaeology team are involved with a number of Monument Management Schemes (MMS) each year. These schemes are joint ventures with English Heritage (using matched funding). Each scheme looks at a Scheduled Monument that is considered to be ‘at risk’ and works are then undertaken to reduce the damage or risk to the monument.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Lecture at Wiltshire Heritage Museum The Medieval Beginnings of Devizes 26.07.12

The Medieval Beginnings of Devizes: Demolishing a Myth

An evening lecture by Tim Tatton Brown on Thursday 26 July at 7.30pm.

The story of how the town grew and prospered was first told over 100 years ago but Tim has reviewed the evidence to tell a very different story.

More information on the Devizes Museum 

Tickets cost £8 and are available from the Museum shop.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Opportunity to visit Art collections at Longford Castle with the National Portrait Gallery

Situated near Salisbury in Wiltshire, with the River Avon running through its grounds and home to the Earls of Radnor for generations, Longford Castle is one of the most magnificent of all English country houses.

The Longford Castle collection, formed by successive generations of the family, is one of the finest in the United Kingdom. It includes paintings by van Dyck, Claude, Teniers and Hals, together with British pictures by Reynolds and Gainsborough, as well as oriental porcelain, Brussels tapestries, and exceptional 18th century English and continental furniture.

Longford Castle will be open, for the first time on a regular basis, to visitors from Summer 2012. Tickets are being sold through the National Gallery (on behalf of the Estate) which has long enjoyed a special relationship with Longford Castle. Several masterpieces from Longford are on display at the National Gallery and others (including Holbein’s
Ambassadors) were once part of the Longford Castle collection.
See for more information.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Festival for British Archaeology - Visit the Cranborne Chase

Wed 25 July; 10.00-16.00

Visit the archaeological sites on Cranborne Chase including the Ackling Dyke, Bokerley Dyke, Dorset Cursus and Oakley Down barrows. £7.00 museum members, £8.00 non-museum members
Location: The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EN.
Org: Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum
Name: Adrian Green
Tel: 01722 332151

Monday, 16 July 2012

Work starts on new £27m faciltities at Stonehenge

As reported in the Heritage Alliance Update

"After nearly 30 years of talking and fundraising, work to return Stonehenge to a more tranquil setting and improve its visitor facilities finally began on Wednesday (11 July).

English Heritage confirms contractor VINCI Construction UK has taken possession of the site at Airman’s Corner, 1.5 miles to the west of the stones, to start construction of the new exhibition and visitor building out of sight of the stone circle. In September, the Highways Agency will start work to upgrade Longbarrow Roundabout prior to the closure of the A344 in April 2013.

The £27-million project has been developed by English Heritage with the support of the National Trust, Wiltshire Council, the Highways Agency, and Natural England. It is financed almost entirely by Heritage Lottery Fund money, commercial income and philanthropic donations including significant gifts from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Linbury Trust and the Wolfson Foundation. There's just £500,000 left to raise, English Heritage has confirmed.

The Stonehenge project will be completed in two phases: in autumn 2013 the new visitor facilities and galleries will open and the A344 will be closed to traffic. By summer 2014 the existing car park, toilets, shop and fencing near the stones will have been removed and restoration of the landscape will be well underway. Click here for the full press release."

Friday, 13 July 2012

Civil War Farmily Day at Devizes Museum

Join in the fun at the Devizes Museum Civil War themed Family Day on Sunday 15 July, part of the Festival of British Archaeology.

Come face to face with Civil War soldiers (from the Sealed Knot), take part in a pike drill and try Roundhead armour. You can also try your hand at 17th century craft activities such as face pots, herb bags and windmill toys. There will also be fun archaeological activities and quizzes, a display of finds by the Trowbridge Metal Detecting Club and activities led by the National Trust (object handling and an opportunity to make a Bronze Age dagger based on a dagger found in Bush Barrow, overlooking Stonehenge. Refreshments will be available.

All from 11am to 4pm. £4 adults, FREE for children (there may be a small extra charge for some activities to cover the cost of materials). Pre booking not required - just come along and join in.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Festival for British Archaeology - Walk with an archaeologist the stonehenge landscape

Mon 16 July; 10.00-16.30

Join Neolithic expert and National Trust archaeologist Dr. Nick Snashall on this whole day exploration of the Stonehenge landscape and find out about the latest exciting discoveries. We'll be walking around eight miles. Please bring a packed lunch to enjoy on the walk.

Location: Stonehenge Landscape, near Amesbury, Wiltshire SP4 7DE.
Org: National Trust
Tel: 0844 2491895

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Siege of Devizes and the Battle of Roundway Down Lecture Thursday 12th July

Wiltshire Heritage Museum
A story of intrigue, secret agents, cowardice and incredible bravery in 17th century Devizes! An evening lecture by Robin Hodges, as part of our Story of Devizes exhibition. Lecture sponsored by Wansbrough Solicitors.

Thursday 12 July, 7.30pm at Devizes Town Hall. Tickets £8 available from the Museum.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Festival of British Archaeology - Woodford Valley Walk

Wed 18 July; 10.00-16.00

Explore the landscape and archaeology of the Woodford Valley with environmental historian Dr Hadrian Cook. Please bring suitable clothing for weather conditions and stout footwear, sun protection, drink and snacks as required. £7.00 museum members, £8.00 non-museum members

Location: The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EN.
Org: Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum
Name: Sara Willis
Tel: 01722 332151

Monday, 9 July 2012

Festival of British Archaeology - New Forest/Lower Avon Valley Walk

Fri 20 July; 10.00-16.00

Discover the landscape history of the lower Avon and New Forest near Fordingbridge with environmental historian Dr Hadrian Cook. Please bring clothing suitable for the weather and stout footwear, sun protection, drink and snacks as required. £7.00 museum members, £8.00 non-museum members.

Location: The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EN.
Org: Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

Name: Sara Willis
Tel: 01722 332151

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Festival for British Archaology - Avebury Stone Circles

Wed 18 July; 14.00-15.30

See Avebury through new eyes as you join museum curator Dr Ros Cleal on a trek through the henge and stone circles. Please wear sensible shoes as you may be walking over uneven ground.
Location: Avebury, nr Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1RF.
Org: National Trust
Tel: 01672 538016

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Festival for British Archaeology - Family Day Wiltshire Heritage Musem

Sun 15 July; 11.00-16.00

Fun activities for all the family.
Location: Wiltshire Heritage Museum, 41 Long Street, Devizes SN10 1NS.
Org: Wiltshire Heritage Museum
Name: Ali Rushent
Tel: 01380 727369

Friday, 6 July 2012

Festival of British Archaeology - Archaeology & Conservation Open Day Chippenham

Sat 14 July; 10.00 & 14.00

Meet the Wiltshire Council archaeologists and conservators. Find out what they do and have a go yourself! Bring along your finds for identification and hear about recently uncovered hoards. A rare opportunity to explore the conservation labs and learn about the conservators' work. Find out more about Wiltshire's amazing archaeological landscape with the county archaeologists. Have a go at excavating and find out how to conserve your finds. Talk by Julian Richards (Meet The Ancestors) Competition for children with prizes awarded on the day.

Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham SN15 3QN. 5 minutes walk from Chippenham Railway Station. Please see our website for directions:

Org: Wiltshire Council
Name: Nancy Danks
Tel: 01249 705500

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Festival of British Archaeology: Down Farm Visit 14 & 19th July

Down Farm - Sat 14 & Thu 19 July; 10.00-16.00

In the morning, we will visit the museum to set the scene for the sites to be visited later. After this we will explore sites in nearby Fir Tree field which include the natural shaft and burial monuments excavated and subsequently restored by Martin. Following lunch, a longer circular walk will cross the Dorset Cursus and take in the earthworks on Gussage Cow Down before traversing a length of the Ackling Dyke. We will then leave the Roman road to cross the Cursus again visiting the restored Neolithic hengers and barrows on Wyke Down before crossing the Allen valley back to Down Farm. Please bring clothing suitable for the weather and stout footwear, sun protection, drink and snacks as required. Picnic lunch., £6 museum members, £8 non-museum members

Location: Meet in the farmyard at Down Farm, ST 999 149 SP5 5RY. Turn off the A354 signposted Wimbourne St Giles. Continue a short distance along this road. Take the tarmac lane on the right (signposted ‘Down Farm’). The farm is past the cottages on the right hand side.

Org: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
Name: Sara Willis
Tel: 01722 332151

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Festival for British Archaeology - Earth Detectives Priest's House Museum

Sat 21 July; 10.00-16.30

Delve into our archaeological past with a dig and activities. Budding archaeologists will be able to put on a hard hat and try their hand at a mini archaeological excavation. There will be something for everyone, with quizzes, trails and hands-on activities. Admission £1.50 (YAC members FREE).
Location: Priest's House Museum & Garden, 23-27 High Street, Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1HR.
Org: Priest's House Museum Trust
Tel: 01202 882533

Performance of the Chalk Legend at The Forum, Kentish Town, Saturday 14th July, 7.30pm

As reported in the Council for British Archaeology news

The county of Dorset is famed for its rich seams of history and folklore. But no-one expected the construction of the Weymouth relief road in preparation for the Olympic 2012 sailing events to be delayed by the unearthing of a mass grave of fifty-one decapitated Viking skeletons. This was the unlikely but inspired starting point for The Chalk Legend.

In collaboration with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary music ensemble Kokoro and amateur musicians across some sixty Dorset villages, McNeff and Williams have developed a magical tale of ancient and contemporary discovery, greed, romance, comedy and mysticism, springing from the moment when a band of Viking warriors lands on the Dorset coast and encounters an encampment of Anglo-Saxons, with fateful results.

The London Concert Choir will be joined not only by participants from the original Dorset projects but also by performers from Ealing Youth Orchestra and choirs from two local schools.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Next lecture of the Dinton Historical Society - July 26th. 'The Russian Countess of Pembroke' by Ros Liddington.

Dinton Historical Society. The Society sets out to promote interest in the history of Dinton through lectures,publications and social events. The Society is also collecting archival material about Dinton, both originals and copies of documents held elsewhere. Membership is open to all. Subscription £5 a year. (Families of more than one person £8). All talks are held in Dinton Village Hall at 7.30pm


Monday, 2 July 2012

Wiltshire Historic Landscape Characterisation now underway follow the progress of the project online

This project has been sponsored by English Heritage and will run for three years, starting in April 2012 and finishing in March 2015. It will examine the whole of Wiltshire (including Swindon Borough) and is being carried out in collaboration with a range of other organisations including Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, National Trust, Natural England and the Environment Agency.

As part of this process there will be several consultation stages where the information produced will be reviewed and analysed, and contributions made by project stakeholders.

All of this research will go towards producing a detailed and interactive digital map, descriptions and photographs of the landscapes visible across the county, analysis of archaeology present in the landscape and so much more!

The project also intends to integrate the historic landscape character studies that have already been produced for the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB ( and the North Wessex Downs AONB (


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Guided Walk Martin Down National Nature Reserve - Sun 22nd July, 10.30am – 12.30pm -

Join Robert LLoyd Reserve Manager to find out about the fascinating archaeology and chalk grassland on Martin Down.

Contact the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB for details 01725 517417 or email