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: 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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  • My Favourite History Place: Waterloo Station

    Article

    Nigel Watt doesn’t take us on a journey but instead takes us to the starting point of many journeys. 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...

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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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  • 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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  • 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 - 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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  • 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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  • Out and About Charles Darwin, a voyage of discovery

    Article

    Dave Martin follows Charles Darwin’s journey from university back to his birthplace, Shrewsbury. Cambridge The bronze statue of Darwin as a young man perches elegantly on the arm of a garden bench in the grounds of Christ’s College, Cambridge where he was a student from 1829 to 1831. Of this...

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  • Out and about in Tamworth

    Article

    Trevor James introduces the wider context in which Tamworth’s history has developed. Modern-day visitors to Tamworth immediately observe its very extensive out-of-town shopping areas and industrial estates and then, in stark parallel, notice that the signage is welcoming them to the capital of historic Mercia. Investigating this conundrum is the...

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  • My Favourite History Place - Magdeburg

    Article

    Magdeburg (‘Magdeburg überascht') is situated on the banks of the River Elbe in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. First mentioned by Charlemagne in 805, Magdeburgtoday attracts much attention by being a major historic venue on the Straße der Romanik or Romanesque Route that has opened up a large number of...

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  • Out and About in Montreuil-sur-Mer

    Article

    John Painter explores a strategically-important French boundary town, over which neighbouring powers have competed for over 1,200 years.Montreuil in Picardy is one of the most interesting small towns in northern France and a good base for visiting the battlefields of Crécy and Agincourt as well as the Somme Western Front....

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  • My Favourite History Place 126

    Article

    Paul Brunyee writes about a surprising link between Brixham in Devon, and Napoleon, and the impact the arrival of Napoleon in 1815 had on the townspeople. The waters and cliffs of Brixham, on the south coast of England, have played small but significant parts in the long wars against France.Until the...

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  • Out and About 126

    Article

    Dave Martin, recently the author of a book on the FrenchRevolution, takes us on a journey to discover some of the memorialsto the Duke of Wellington, and asks what they tell us about thegreat man.The Duke of Wellington is so clearly a national hero that it is no surprise to...

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  • Out and About in Runnymede

    Article

    The Runnymede area is rich in historical associations. Nigel Saul looks at other places of interest near where King John gave his assent to the Charter in 1215.The birthplace of our democratic heritage is a broad meadow on the banks of the lower Thames near the meeting-point between Surrey and...

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  • My Favourite History Place - Cambridge City Cemetary

    Article

    The Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains memorials to our war dead in large and small numbers in cemeteries across the world, and here Glenn Hearnden presents us with a detailed and informative case-study of Cambridge City Cemetery. Like many large towns and cities across the UK, there is a cemetery in...

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  • Out and About 124 - Pedalling after Alfred

    Article

    Alfred in Wantage - Dave Martin takes to his bike to explore statues of Alfred the Great. Alfred the Great, the name speaks for itself, was a hero to the Victorians so it is no surprise to find that there are three statues commemorating him. The earliest one was erected...

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