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 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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  • 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...

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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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  • My Favourite History Place: Brixham

    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....

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  • Out and About: Duke of Wellington statues

    Article

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

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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...

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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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  • 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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  • 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 & 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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