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 - 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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  • My Favourite History Place - Weimar

    Article

    Neil Taylor explores the changing face and mixed fortunes of Weimar in the twentieth century. Weimar is a town to which many famous people came, but from which few then left. It is not hard to see why. The locals summarise its appeal in one sentence Weimar ist nur eine...

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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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  • Out and About - On the Track of Brunel

    Article

    What do the bronze statues of Isambard Kingdom Brunel reveal of the man? In ‘Brushstrokes', his essay on biography, Ben Pimlott wrote: ‘A good biography is like a good portrait: it captures the essence of the sitter by being much more than a likeness. A good portrait is about history,...

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  • My Favourite History Place - Sackville College, East Grinstead

    Article

    Sackville College almshouse in East Grinstead, Sussex, was founded in 1609, by Robert Sackville, 2nd Earl of Dorset, when he wrote his will. He died 17 days later without seeing one stone laid, yet the College still stands, providing affordable accommodation for local elderly people of limited means. It is...

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  • My Favourite Place - Beamish

    Article

    Hopping off a tram at Beamish Museum, you're stepping straight into life in Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian times. What I really love about Beamish, the Living Museum of the North, is that it not only shows how communities in the region used to live - but also gives you a...

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  • Out and About in Letchworth: A Social Experiment

    Article

    In a previous edition of The Historian (110, Summer 2011) we highlighted the midnineteenth century achievement of the industrialist John Dodgson Carr in creating the holiday resort of Silloth as a place of resort and recreation for his workers, and the wider workforce in Carlisle. So the seeds of trying...

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  • My Favourite History Place Sutton Hoo

    Article

    A Secret Uncovered, A Mystery UnsolvedSutton Hoo is a sandy heathland overlooking the estuary of the River Deben in Suffolk. In Old English a ‘hoo' is a promontory, ‘sutton' is southern, and ‘tun' is a settlement. Historians have known for years that the fields were farmed in the Iron Age,...

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  • Out and About in Shaftesbury

    Article

    Shaftesbury in North Dorset is one of the highest towns in England, standing as it does at 750 feet above sea level. As with many high points in the area, the first settlement was established around 8000 years ago in the middle of the Stone Age. The town went on...

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  • Out & About in Swansea Castle

    Article

    The ruins of Swansea Castle stand at the edge of Swansea's shopping centre and are generally ignored by shoppers and passers-by who just ... well ... pass by. But this was to change to some extent in 2012, and the HA's Swansea Branch adopted a very close relationship with the...

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  • My Favourite History Place: David Pearse explores St Petersburg

    Article

    If you want to understand Russian history from Peter the Great up to at least the 1917 Revolutions, you have to visit St Petersburg. Like Versailles, St Petersburg was built for an absolute monarch, on an unsuitable site, at the cost of many labourers' lives. Unlike Versailles, it was designed...

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  • Out and About in Halifax 1863-2013

    Article

    The 150th anniversary of Halifax Town Hall in 2013 provides an opportunity to explore the rich heritage of this Pennine town as did its first British royal visitor in 1863. It was unusual for the national press to descend on Halifax, as they did on 3 and 4 August 1863,...

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  • My Favourite History Place - All Saint's Church, Harewood

    Article

    Harewood House, a few miles north of Leeds, attracts many historically-minded visitors to enjoy the work of Adam, Chippendale and Capability Brown but to my mind the real treasures of Harewood lie elsewhere. After negotiating the payment booths take the path immediately on your right, leading to the redundant church...

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  • Visiting Vectis

    Article

    The Isle of Wight

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  • The River Don Engine

    Article

    Sarah Walters explores The River Don Engine - her favourite history place. The River Don Engine, though strictly an object, is almost big enough to be labelled as a place in its own right. It certainly needs its own high-ceilinged museum annex and it is in this room that I...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Mountfitchet Castle

    Article

    In the first of an occasional series Alf Wilkinson, HA CPD Manager, explores Mountfitchet Castle, in Essex - his favourite history place. As every schoolchild knows, William the Conqueror landed near Hastings in 1066, pursuing his claim to the throne of England. He was accompanied by the Pope's blessing, but...

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  • Out and about in Glasgow

    Article

    Glasgow's George Square statues -‘Through the looking glass' History is often illumined by writers of genius but Glasgow did not produce a Zola, a Balzac, a Dickens or even an Arnold Bennet. We are, therefore, thrown back on looking at other manifestations of a powerful and wealthy city to augment...

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  • Out and about in Martinsthorpe: a walk in the country

    Article

    History is nothing if not an exercise in informed imagination. On a country walk in Rutland arranged by a group of (non-historian) friends, I noted that the Ordnance Survey map showed our planned route, following a ridge of high ground separating the valleys of the meandering Gwash and Chater rivers,...

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  • Out and about in Silloth

    Article

    Situated north west of the Lake District, Silloth is a seaside resort, looking across the Solway Firth to Dumfries and Galloway. The origins of this settlement lie in medieval times because the monks of nearby Holme Cultram Abbey had established storage facilities there to receive and store the grain from...

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  • Cromford Mill, Lea Mills and the Lumsdale Valley

    Article

    Cromford Mill, one of the best known, and the Lumsdale Valley, one of the least known of the early industrial sites, are linked today by being managed by the Arkwright Society. They have also been the subject of a recent BBC1 programme in a series: ‘Britain's Hidden Heritage'. They are...

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