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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  • Out and About in Stockholm

    Article

    When Désirée Clary – wife of French Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte – arrived in Stockholm in 1811, she was appalled. It was true that she would eventually become Queen Desideria of Sweden and Norway, her husband having been elected heir-presumptive to the throne the previous year. But she left her new capital...

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  • Out and About in Wheathampstead

    Article

    Dianne Payne examines the structural local history of Wheathampstead and provides a template for wider comparisons. The rural village of Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire, situated about four miles from St Albans, lies on the River Lea. The village and surrounding land has a long history and in ancient times was owned by the...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Queen Square, Bath

    Article

    Some years ago, on the shore of Loch Lomond, I met a Scotsman. As we started to converse he asked me where I was from. When I replied ‘Bath’, his response was ‘Ah, the most beautiful city in Britain,’ adding, out of patriotism or good judgement, ‘Edinburgh is second.’ The Roman...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Castle Hill, Huddersfield

    Article

    Alison Hramiak tempts us to visit Castle Hill, south of Huddersfield, to look for traces of our long dead ancestors, to contemplate the passing of the centuries on that site and to enjoy the lovely views. It’s often the way that we ignore what’s geographically close to us when we visit...

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  • Out and About in Cairo

    Article

    Nicolas Kinloch guides us round the fascinating city of Cairo. Cairo has always been a traveller’s destination. That indefatigable explorer, ibn Battuta, arrived there in 1326, and declared that it was ‘boundless in its multitude of buildings, peerless in beauty and splendour...extending a friendly welcome to strangers’. Most of this is...

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  • My Favourite History Place: St James Church, Gerrards Cross

    Article

    Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, is a well-to-do town in the Chilterns and a wealthy commuter dormitory for London. It also harbours what might be one of the most remarkable, under-appreciated churches of the mid-nineteenth century. St James, the parish church, was built for the ‘unruled and unruly’ agricultural labourers and traders who inhabited...

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  • Out and About: the central Marches of Wales and the Mortimer family of Wigmore

    Article

    Paul Dryburgh and Philip Hume enable us to see the interaction of one prominent family with the area that they dominated. The central Marches span the English/Welsh border in an area that encompasses the picturesque landscapes and market towns of north-west Herefordshire, south-west Shropshire, and Radnorshire which has also the rugged...

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  • My Favourite History Place: The Chantry Chapel of St Mary on Wakefield Bridge

    Article

    Wakefield Bridge Chapel, by the River Calder, is thought by many to be the finest of four bridge chantries, the others being Bradford-on-Avon, Derby and Rotherham. The chapel at Wakefield was originally founded and endowed by the people of Wakefield and district between 1342 and 1359. In 1397 Edmund de Langley,...

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  • Out and About: Tynemouth Priory

    Article

    Approximately 10 miles east of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and just over 10 minutes walk from my home, the imposing ruins of Tynemouth Priory command sea, river, and land from the promontory between King Edward’s Bay and Prior’s Haven. While the Priory dates back to the eleventh century, the headland on which it sits,...

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  • My Favourite History Place - Barnard Castle

    Article

    Paula Kitching invites us to look at Barnard Castle with new eyes. Over the summer there was a lot of talk about Barnard Castle – I won’t go into the politics, but it did make me reflect on the actual town of Barnard Castle. Growing up, it was one of...

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  • Out and About on the Isle of Man

    Article

    Caroline Smith introduces us to the delights in the south of her home island. The Isle of Man has had mixed fortunes as a tourist destination. It first attracted visitors in the early nineteenth century and had its heyday in 1913. In that year, over 600,000 holidaymakers came during the...

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  • Out and About in Paestum

    Article

    Trevor James introduces the extraordinary archaeological remains from Greek and Roman occupation to be found at Paestum. Paestum is the more recent name of a location originally known as Poseidonia, named in honour of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. Poseidonia was a Greek settlement or colony on the west...

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  • My Favourite History Place: The Red House

    Article

    Tim Brasier tempts others to visit the iconic Arts and Crafts Red House, home to William and Jane Morris in Bexleyheath, London.  This is a favourite historical venue of mine because it is so accessible. We literally live around the corner from the Red House in its location of the London...

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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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  • 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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  • 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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