Love history: see history, hear history, feel history

Love history: see history, hear history, feel history

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival is the largest festival dedicated entirely to History in the UK runs from Monday 26th June – Sunday 2rd July 2017

It began in 2011 with the help of a number of local volunteers, a number of whom are still playing an integral part in the festival today. The Daily Mail became the festival’s principle sponsor in 2013. The festival now consists of a week of talks, discussions, debates, as well as extensive and immersive living history and an historic air display.

This year, 2017, sees the festival move to a new site three miles away in Broad Chalke, but still in the heart of the beautiful Wiltshire Chalke Valley.

The aim is to excite, enthral and entertain about the past. All proceeds from the festival have, since 2012, been directed to the Chalke Valley History Trust, which promotes the understanding of history to all ages, but especially children. Since 2013, the festival has also incorporated the History Festival for Schools. ‘An understanding of the past is essential,’ says Co-Founder James Heneage. ‘Without that, it is impossible to make sense of the present or prepare for the future.’

Living History

With our wide range of living history, there really is something for everyone in the family to see and do. On visiting the festival, you will come face-to-face with Celts and Romans, as well as knights of Middle Ages, Napoleonic riflemen and Tommies from the two world wars. The best living historians are not only among the most informed people on any given period, they also know how to bring the past back to life in an exciting and visually compelling way. Our living historians encourage plenty of interaction, and as well as putting on numerous displays and demonstrations, there are plenty of activities for you to get in involved with too. Expect guns, armour, ancient skills, tanks, cookery from the past, dancing, music and a unique glimpse into the past…

Proud to be Sponsors

AN Wilson

AN Wilson

This year Mature Times is sponsoring the talk by eminent biographer AN Wilson. Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views. He is an occasional columnist for the Daily Mail and former columnist for the London Evening Standard, and has been an occasional contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, The Spectator and The Observer.

To celebrate the life of the Queen in this vibrant examination of Britain’s most iconic figure. He will paint a vivid portrait of “Lilibet” the woman, and of her unfaltering reign during the tumultuous twentieth century, while asking candidly whether Britain can remain a constitutional monarchy after her reign ends.

Other speakers

Making their Festival debuts this year, amongst others, are: award-winning lyricist Tim Rice, the last Governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten, revered First World War historian Lyn MacDonald, Britain’s favourite gardener Monty Don, award-winning playwright, novelist and translator Michael Frayn, former Chief of the General Staff Richard Dannatt, presenter of R4’s Woman’s Hour Jenni Murray, and geographer and BBC TV presenter Nicholas Crane. Giving history a political twist at the Festival for the first time are: former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman, popular and respected political journalist Andrew Marr, one of the most talented politicians of his generation Ken Clarke, former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, well-known foreign correspondent and newsreader Michael Buerk, and former Cabinet Minister Kenneth Baker

Festival favourites returning once more include, Antony Beevor, Claire Tomalin, Max Hastings, Tracy Borman, John Julius Norwich, Michael Wood, Artemis Cooper, Charlie Higson, David Owen, John Sessions, and Paddy Ashdown.

Lots to celebrate

This coming year we will see commemorations of some very important historical events: the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, the centenary of the Russian Revolution as well as the Battle of Passchendaele, and the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The History Festival will be covering all of them this summer, along with a wide range of talks given by some of the finest historical talent in the country. There will be a series of fascinating discussions, debates, and study mornings, which are set to educate and inspire, whatever age you are.

For more information and tickets visit Valley History Festival - History tent