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Archive for the ‘events in wiltshire’ Category

The sounds of battle will be erupting at Old Sarum when members of The Medieval Siege Society lay siege to the Castle and recreate The Wars of the Roses this Bank Holiday weekend. Enjoy displays of medieval martial skills such as swordsmanship and archery, culminating in dramatic battle re-enactments. Don’t miss the mighty medieval trebuchet in action too!

Old Sarum EventsThroughout the day visitors will be invited to step back in time and tour the living history camps, seeing how an army would live on campaign and give an insight into life for fifteenth century soldiers and their families

Sun 5 & Mon 6 May 2013 (bank holiday

More information: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/siege-os-5-may/

Wessex Guided Tours
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Christmas Market

Salisbury will be hosting its first ever Christmas Market from 29 November. The Christmas Market will be taking place in the ancient Market Place in front of the city’s magnificent Guildhall.
55 beautiful chalets will be tempting visitors with stunning quality products, ideal for those who wish to find an ideal gift.

CSalisbury Christmas Marketome to Salisbury’s gorgeous new Christmas Market!

You will find it to be one of the prettiest, loveliest and most tasteful Christmas Markets in the country. With beautifully decorated chalets, inspiring and desirable gifts and gourmet foods, a warm welcome from stall holders, a Father Christmas Grotto, a spectacular lantern procession, and traditional music by local choirs and schools to serenade you while you shop, we hope we have all the ingredients for the perfect traditional Christmas.

Times & Dates  
Opening Times:   10am – 6pm
Daily  10am – 7pm    Thursday, Friday & Saturday

On the first day, the Christmas Market will open at 10am and stay open until 8pm with a big Opening Ceremony from 6pm onwards.   Closes: Sunday 16th December

About Salisbury:
Salisbury is located in the East of Wiltshire, right next to Salisbury Plain. Established in 1220 with a history settlement preceding this, the city was named Salesberie at this time. The first Cathedral was built around 1075. This was however re-sited. It has been said that an arrow was fired and the newer cathedral was built upon this spot! The cathedral holds an the best preserved copy of the Magna Carta 1275.

The town has a very vibrant nightlife with many lovely traditional pubs and modern bars. We cater for every age group and the town has a nice relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

There are many things to do in and around Salisbury. Only a few minutes away from the busy city centre, you can take a peaceful walk in the pleasant parkland. There are paths trailing through the water meadow. With an abundance of wildlife you are able to lose yourself in nature and view the beautiful Cathedral in the close distance. Or if you fancy a walk, meandre across the Water Meadow until you each the Old Mill. Now transformed into a restaurant and hotel!

Salisbury is also very close to the ancient Stonehenge! With a history dating back well over 5000 years, the Henge attracts many visitors each year and is an obvious pace of our proud English Heritage

For full details please visit www.salisburychristmasmarket.co.uk
Tourist Information: http://salisburytouristinformation.co.uk/

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ARCHAEOLOGY WEEKEND

It’s the Festival of British Archaeology – this is your chance to meet a real archaeologist and to uncover artefacts from Old Sarum’s history. Enjoy a weekend for all the family with plenty of hands-on activities and crafts to keep everyone busy! Take part in a mini-dig and have a go at identifying objects lost over time.

About Old Sarum

Discover the story of the original Salisbury and take the family for a day out to Old Sarum, 2 miles north of where the city stands now. The mighty Iron Age hill fort was where the first cathedral once stood and the Romans, Normans and Saxons have all left their mark.

Today, 5,000 years of history are told through graphic interpretation panels on site. Families, heritage lovers and walkers can enjoy a great value day out at Old Sarum- you could even bring a picnic and enjoy the fantastic views across the Wiltshire countryside. The gift shop has a delicious range of ice-creams and exclusive English Heritage gifts and produce. Wooden bows and arrows are also on sale to help the kids imagine what life was like all those years ago!
DON’T MISS
The spectacular view from the ramparts at Old Sarum to the ‘new’ cathedral in the centre of Salisbury
Our interesting interpretation panels bringing 5,000 years of history to life
Old Sarum’s literary connections- you can buy some of the famous books written about the site in our shop

English Heritage: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/old-sarum/

HisTOURies UK – www.Histouries.co.uk
Mystical Landscape, Magical Tours

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The 2012 Circles of Knowledge Conference will take place on 14th and 15th July 2012 (with extra tours on the 13th and 16th).  Once again we will welcome crop circle and ancient knowledge enthusiasts from all over the world and bring them together in the beautiful surroundings of Marlborough College in Wiltshire.  This year the lectures will be taking plave in the modern Ellis Theatre, offering us state of the art audio and visual facilities.

There are many unknown factors to the crop circle phenomenon and under such circumstances it is best to

July 2012 Crop Circle

July 2012 Crop Circle near Avebury

stick to facts. Crop circles are happening in our reality here and now, and as the designs are imprinted in real fields in the countryside, they can be visited and studied at close hand.

Many people, several of whom live in Wiltshire full time, are actively engaged in full time research in an attempt to establish what this phenomenon is about and where it is leading us.  Since 1980 thousands of designs have been investigated and recorded in databases worldwide. This is impressive by anyone’s standard.

The Study of Crop Circles is based on facts:

  • Crop Circles exist.
  • They are found all over the world.
  • More than 6,000 have been documented since 1980.
  • Over the last twenty years analyses of thousands of plant and soil specimens from hundreds of formations worldwide have been carried out in laboratories in various countries, and most extensively in the UK and in the USA.
  • These analyses show that the cellular structure of the plants has been strongly affected and that the composition of the soil greatly altered in crop circles (man made designs exhibit no such results).
  • Their designs are based on complex geometry, ancient symbology and advanced mathematics.
  • They can be decoded.
  • The message that comes through is important for mankind at present.

HisTOURies UK
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The weather may be more like November than May but the first crop circles have appeared in Wiltshire fields.Wilshire Crop Circle 2012

The first one was reported on April 15 at Hill Barn, near East Kennett in oil seed rape but a more striking one is currently visible, also in oil seed rape, also known as canola, at Yarnbury Castle  near Winterbourne Stoke.

This one was reported on April 28. It will be interesting to see how drier weather and more prolific crops affect the number of formations that appear over the next three months.

Mystical Landscape, Magical Tours

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The Chalke Valley History Festival is planning to launch a series of History Tours in 2012, some in conjunction with the Natural High travel company.

We want to capitalise on our relationship with this country’s most compelling and authoritative historians by offering some as guides for historic tours and holidays.

Both dates and itineraries are yet to be confirmed, as are costs.  However, we are very interested to know whether there is demand for the idea from those who have enjoyed our Festival.

These Chalke Valley History Tours will vary between a few days and a week’s duration, and will be of general rather than specialist interest.

Below are some of the initial tours we are hoping to organise in our first programme of History Tours.  If you would like to learn more about them, please do let us know on info@cvhf.org.uk

THE INDIAN MUTINY
led by Professor Saul David
It began as a mutiny of East India Company sepoys in Meerut in May 1857 and was only contained after the fall of Gwalior a year later.  It rocked the British Empire to its foundations and led to the downfall of the Company.  This tour, by the world’s leading authority on the subject, will tell the story of the Indian Mutiny by visiting its main sites amidst the drama of central India.

Saul David is Professor of War Studies at the University of Buckingham and a specialist in the wars of the Victorian period.  He is particularly well placed to lead this tour; not only is he well-known and popular television historian, the Indian Mutiny was the subject matter of his PhD, and his subsequent book is considered the definitive history of this dark episode from the Raj.

ANCIENT ROME
led by Tom Holland
Was it the greatest empire the world has ever seen?  Certainly, it lasted almost a thousand years and incorporated, at its zenith, most of the known world.  This tour will focus on the city of Rome and those towns to the south, Pompeii and Herculaneum, recapturing the spirit and glory of Ancient Rome.

Tom Holland is an award-winning and highly acclaimed historian of antiquity.  Rubicon, his book on the rise and fall of the Roman Republic, was an international best-seller and was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize.  He is currently working on a new book about the first Emperors.  A brilliant raconteur, Tom Holland is working exclusively for Chalke Valley History Holidays.

THE ZULU WARS
led by Dr Peter Caddick-Adams
The Battle of Isandlwana and the defence of Rorke’s Drift are two of the most dramatic events in the British Imperial story.  For the victors of each, both were triumphs over incredible odds; at Isandlwana, it was the Zulus who won the day, while at Rorke’s Drift, it was the British, in one of the most astonishing last stands in British history.  At both, many men on both sides showed incredible courage.  This tour to some of the most unspoiled battlefields in the world, will tell the story and characters of a war that resonates still to this day, and against the captivating landscape of South Africa.

Peter Caddick-Adams is the doyen of battlefield guides.  Learning his craft from the legendary Richard Holmes, he also chose Battlefield Tourism as the subject matter for his PhD.  Since then, he has worked with British and American armed forces on numerous staff rides, as well as guided politicians and leading public figures around some of the best-known battlefields in Europe and further afield.  Quite simply, Peter Caddick-Adams is one of the very best Battlefield Guides we have.

D-DAY & THE BATTLE FOR NORMANDY 1944
led by James Holland
The Battle for Normandy was one of the fiercest battles ever fought, with higher daily casualty rates than were suffered at the Somme, Passchendaele or Verdun.  From the landings themselves to the bitter fighting as the Allies inched inland, this is a tour that will include little-known sites and bunkers as well as some of the more iconic beaches and D-Day locations.  Told with a mass of anecdotes and new, searing, analysis, this will be a comprehensive guide to the D-Day battlefields, and set to the backdrop of the glorious Normandy countryside, with its wonderful food, wine and calvados.

James Holland is one of the country’s leading authorities on the Second World War, and has written and broadcast on the Battle of Britain and Dams Raid amongst other subjects. With an encyclopaedic knowledge and understanding of the war, he has also conducted Staff Rides for the military and a number of historic tours around many of the Second World War battlefields.

The excellent Chalke Valley History Festival 26th June – 1st July 2012 – http://www.cvhf.org.uk/

HisTOURies UK
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A major West museum which last week feared it would have to close in a funding crisis has been saved and will be better than ever thanks to a whopping £370,000 lottery bonanza.

The Wiltshire Heritage Museum has been awarded the cash by the Heritage Lottery Fund at the end of a month which started with local council chiefs refusing its pleas for more cash.

The lottery money will not only save the museum’s immediate future, but create a new gallery focusing on its prize collections of Bronze Age artefacts.

The Devizes-based museum has long been recognised as housing one of Britain’s most important prehistoric collections outside of London, but after Wiltshire Council refused to increase its annual grant, raised the level of council tax the museum had to pay and reinforced a costly pensions deal, the museum said redundancies would follow and the museum could end up being mothballed. But now the future is bright for the museum after the successful lottery bid, which has been made as part of the beneficial ripple effect of the £25million plan to revive the visitor experience at Stonehenge.

Museum chairman Negley Harte said “We are delighted as this project is vital for the future sustainability of the museum. “The grants from the HLF and English Heritage will enable us to develop this new gallery to tell the stories of this unique collection in a more engaging way. It will bring more visitors to the museum, help us with our battle to make the museum financially sustainable and bring economic development to Devizes,” he added. The new gallery will tell the story of the people who built and used the world renowned monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury. The new Prehistoric Galleries will provide an opportunity to display for the first time in generations the unique gold and amber finds from Wiltshire that date back to the Bronze Age, over 4,000 years ago. “This was a time of shaman and priests, learning and culture and contacts across Europe.

The museum will be able to build on its existing learning and outreach programme, and inspire local people and visitors to become engaged and informed about the prehistoric landscapes of Wiltshire,” added a museum spokesman. Regional Heritage Lottery Fund boss Richard Bellamy said the links between the museum at Devizes and Wiltshire’s famous Neolithic sites were key. “These Neolithic and Bronze Age collections provide a fascinating insight into our prehistoric past, and they have the potential to play a key role in telling the wider story of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site,” he said.

Source: http://www.thisisbath.co.uk

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The Marlborough Downs is to be part of a government project to create wildlife havens.

Twelve places out of 76 in England that applied to become Nature Improvement Areas have been chosen.

Defra said establishing dewponds would encourage birds, newts and other amphibians

Defra said establishing dewponds would encourage birds, newts and other amphibians

The project aims to restore habitats and encourage local communities to get involved with nature.

The work will be carried out by partnerships involving community groups, conservation organisations and landowners.

The 12 areas will share £7.5m of government funding.

Defra said establishing dewponds would encourage birds, newts and other amphibians and help re-establish viable grazing.

The Wiltshire project is the only farmer-led scheme in the country to have won government funding.

‘Educating people’

Environment Minister Richard Benyon visited the site on Monday.

He said: “We’re standing beside a classic Wiltshire downs dewpond.

“What’s really exciting about what we’re announcing today is that this is going to be a feature people will see right across the Wiltshire downs.”

Chris Musgrave, estate manager at Temple farm in Rockley, near Marlborough, said: “All 41 farmers said they would be interested in joining together in terms of having wildlife corridors running through their estates, dewponds linking chalk grassland and also involving the community as well.

“I think if you were walking down the Ridgeway, which is a spine going right through this area, you would see dewponds, you would see wildlife corridors.

“It’s educating people, it’s getting people involved.”

Link source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-17176283

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Saturday 28 January – Saturday 12 May 2012.  When the climate changes from warm to freezing, the plants and animals you rely on for food and clothing die out or disappear, how would YOU survive? 

Packed full of fun activities set alongside Ice Age animal bones and the oldest objects made by people found in this area, this exhibition looks at how the earliest people survived over 300,000 years ago. 

Specially suited for primary school ages or families, but with something of interest for everyone, you will be asked to think about whether you think you could have lived in a time before farming, when people survived by hunting and gathering and when extreme climate change threatened their existence. 

 Plus, there is free admission for children (with an accompanying paying adult) if you enter our Cave Art competition. Click here to print out one of the cave art pictures to colour in or complete with your own design. Bring your finished work into the museum together with a completed entry form to claim your free entry to the exhibition. We will also display your picture in the exhibition and you have chance to win a special Behind the Scenes tour with the Museum’s Director who will even let you touch a real mammoth bone!

To give you a few ideas about what real cave art was like, follow these links.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/handsonhistory/ancient-britain.shtmlhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/history/handsonhistory/ancient-britain.shtml

Mystical Landscape, Magical Tours
HisTOURies UK – Salisbury and Stonehenge Guided Tours

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Intense and brooding images of Stonehenge and other prehistoric monuments in a new exhibition are taking visitors deep into the heart of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Wessex’.

Archaeologists debate the purpose of Stonehenge, but for Hardy it was a haunting symbol of isolation and suffering.

The exhibition by three artists at Salisbury Museum mirrors the Dorset author’s emotional response to the archaeological sites he knew and used with such effect in his novels.

His use of landscape was highly symbolic and deeply emotive. Nowhere is that more clear than in his description of Stonehenge, which features in the climactic scene of Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

In the dead of night, Tess stumbles upon the monument, and lies down to rest on an ancient altar, giving the allusion of her character as a sacrificial offering to a society that has cast her out. Hardy describes the isolation of the monument on Salisbury Plain, and once inside, the feeling of enclosure.

Symbolism is central to Hardy’s writing, which may be why so many artists use his work as their inspiration.

Artists Dave Gunning, David Inshaw and Rob Pountney have collaborated to show the dramatic landscapes and archaeology in media ranging from charcoal to steel etching and oil paint.

They share a common interest in how Hardy used landscape to symbolise the emotional and physical experiences of his characters.

He revived the Saxon name ‘Wessex’ as a part-real, part-dream landscape, thinly disguising place names so that Salisbury becomes Melchester and Dorchester becomes Casterbridge. Salisbury Plain is sometimes called the “Great Grey Plain”.

Dave Gunning, who was awarded the Year of the Artist Award in 2000-1 by the British Arts Council, has spent more than 25 years studying the prehistoric landscape in the West Country, particularly the ancient monuments within the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge and Avebury.

David Inshaw is one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists. His work is often inspired by literature that takes landscape and nature as its focus.

Rob Pountney has always been fascinated by Thomas Hardy’s work, and says the use of dramatic contrasts of light and shade in his work captures the striking visual aspects of the geological and archaeological features of the Wessex landscape, and his interpretation of Hardy’s response to them.

Salisbury Museum is the perfect place for the exhibition, which opened on Saturday and runs until April 14.

In Jude the Obscure, Hardy bases the college that Sue Bridehead attends on the training college for schoolmistresses that his sisters attended. This was the King’s House, Salisbury, and is now home to the museum.

Thomas Hardy was born at Higher Bockhampton, a hamlet in the parish of Stinsford to the east of Dorchester.

He became ill with pleurisy in December 1927 and died at Max Gate just after 9pm on January 11, 1928, having dictated his final poem to his wife on his deathbed. The cause of death was cited, on his death certificate, as “cardiac syncope
Link: http://www.dorchesterpeople.co.uk

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