Visits

‘Every holiday, trip to the adjacent town, country walk is a learning experience’ – or at least it could be. Have a read of the articles in our visits section, these articles are from our publications and explore the history of particular areas and how particular sites can be put into historical frameworks and interpreted.  The articles form ‘my favourite place’ – a regular feature in the historian can open up places as you reflect on how the simplest place can become a site for affection and reflection once you know something about it. Additionally they just make you want to get out and explore the world around you – trip to Magdeburg or Swansea Castle anyone?

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  • My Favourite History Place: The Beguinage at Bruges

    Article

    Richard Stone introduces us to a quiet neighbourhood in Bruges which has played its part in the development of women’s independence.  Close to the Minnewaterpark, on the fringe of the bustling historic centre of Bruges, with its medieval buildings and atmospheric cobbled streets, the Beguinage is a tranquil haven. Cross the...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Maiden Castle

    Article

    In the six years I have been on the editorial board of The Historian I have enjoyed reading about many historians’ favourite places so it is fitting that I write my last contribution about mine. Maiden Castle  is the largest Celtic hill fort in southern Europe. I forget when I first...

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  • Out and About in Upper Weardale

    Article

    Tony Fox introduces us to two battlefields and the work of the Battlefields Trust. Stanhope takes its name from the ‘stony valley’ in which it sits. It is the most significant town in beautiful Upper Weardale. Like many towns in this area Stanhope’s growth accelerated in the nineteenth century as...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Gladstone’s Library at Hawarden

    Article

    When I first visited Gladstone’s residential library in 1977 for a pre-university History degree reading week, I barely knew who Gladstone was. I had just come back from a holiday in Italy and the contrast between Florence and Hawarden, a Welsh border town, was startling. I came from the sunny remains...

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  • Out and About in Haworth

    Article

    Kimberley Braxton takes a tour of Brontë country, through Haworth and onto the iconic Yorkshire Moors that were central to Wuthering Heights. Haworth is a place for walkers; even before you reach the breathtaking moors it is likely your legs will already be burning from climbing the steep Yorkshire terrain....

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  • My Favourite History Place: Petra

    Article

    Ghislaine Headland-Vanni visits the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan. When you hear the word ‘Petra’ what images does the word conjure up for you? Maybe you have visited and know it already; if not, then like me you may not fully comprehend its size. I naively thought I could...

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  • Out and About: Kennington and the Elephant and Castle

    Article

    The HA's very own Martin Hoare takes us on a tour of Kennington and Elephant and Castle, to some lesser-known gems that ought to be higher on the London tourist trail. Over the years of working for the HA I’ve quite often used my lunch break to take walks around the areas...

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  • Out and About in Derry/Londonderry

    Article

    Jenni Hyde was out and about in Derry in 2016 and describes how the sights of the city tell the story of a history which is so much more than just the legacy of the Troubles.

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  • My Favourite History Place: Llanelly House and Saint Elli’s Church

    Article

    There are so many delightful places of historical interest in Wales that it is very difficult to select just one or two as favourites but among contenders must be those visited by the Pontllanfraith Branch of the Gwent Historical Association in August 2018...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Edinburgh's Royal Mile

    Article

    Maggie Wilson whets our appetite for exploration of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Edinburgh’s Royal Mile runs between the Castle and Holyrood Palace. In addition to these and other well-known sites such as St Giles Cathedral, John Knox’s house, the Canongate Tolbooth and Canongate Kirk, and stories of Deacon Brodie, David Hume, James Boswell, Robert Burns and, obviously,...

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  • The German prisoner-of-war camp in Dorchester

    Article

    Dave Martin investigates why there is a war memorial for German soldiers, ‘buried in a foreign field’, in a Dorset churchyard.

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  • Out and About in Oxford

    Article

    The Sheffield Branch of the Historical Association is a very active one. In addition to our monthly meetings we organise a range of study visits, from one-day trips to longer residential tours in the UK and occasionally in mainland Europe. In recent years, these have included visits to Portsmouth, Lincoln and Newark, Newcastle and Northumberland, and the battlefields of Waterloo....

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  • Terriers in India

    Article

    Peter Stanley is working on the largely unexplored history of the thousands of British Territorial soldiers who served in India during the First World War using their letters and diaries. He is trying to discover what happened to these men when they returned to Britain. Did their service in India...

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  • Out and About: Barging between Brindleys

    Article

    Coventry canal basin ought to be a hive of activity. It is a collection of new and well-restored buildings around the terminal arms of the Coventry Canal and could be like thriving Gas Street Basin in neighbouring Birmingham, but it is on the wrong side of the inner ring road....

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  • My Favourite History Place: Waterloo Station

    Article

    Waterloo station may not be an obvious choice for a favourite history place. It is big. It is busy. It’s a place that people pass through rather than linger. Yet its story is interesting. If time permits, an hour spent exploring is a rewarding experience. Passengers first used Waterloo in...

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  • Out and About in Medieval Toulouse

    Article

    David Pearse takes us to the historic heart of France’s fourth-largest city. Looking at the street plan Bordering the River Garonne, medieval  Toulouse extends as far as the Basilica of St Sernin but is concentrated in an area bounded approximately by the Jacobins’ Church to the north, St Etienne Cathedral...

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  • My Favourite History Place - Nuneaton's Old Grammar School

    Article

    Near the centre of the largest town in Warwickshire, an oasis of calm encompasses the area of Nuneaton parish church, vicarage and Old Grammar School. Of the three  buildings, the Old Grammar School may be the least impressive but its history is just as eventful. Nuneaton’s Boys’ Free Grammar School,...

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  • My Favourite History Place - Poperinge

    Article

    Poperinge is a cheerful place. It is a cheerfulness which defies its location yet resonates with its history. It is a small town just ten kilometres west of Ypres and all around is the debris and memorabilia of slaughter. Yet somehow Poperinge is a cheerful place. It is a community...

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  • Out & About: On the Somme

    Article

    Paula Kitching demonstrates how to interpret and understand the memorial features of the Somme landscape. One hundred and five years ago, a piece entitled ‘Out and about on the Somme’ would have been a travel piece for would-be tourists to the French countryside. The rolling hills and valleys provide a...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Tivoli Theatre

    Article

    The Tivoli Theatre opened on 24 August 1936 with Jean Adrienne in Father O’Flynn and Shirley Temple in Kid in Hollywood, with film star Jean Adrienne appearing in person. It was designed by Bournemouth-based architect E. de Wilde Holding. The front of the building was an existing Georgian-style building named Borough House. Inside the auditorium there...

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