Bringing History To Life With English Heritage

Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian's Wall Live, English Heritage Events North

I was never into History when I was at school, which is a real shame, as these days I find it absolutely fascinating. If only we had the resources then that are available now. So many ways to bring history to life! Fantastic organisations like English Heritage are really helping with this, not only in maintaining important pieces of history, but also in some of the great events they organise across the country.

If you’re a regular visitor to our blog, you will know that we’ve spent the whole of our summer holidays in France. Normally this means missing out on most of the great events planned over the school holidays, but since we moved (slightly) north of the border, our children have gone back to school this week. This doesn’t mean missing out on the fun though, au contraire, we are glad to see that there are still some great events we (and you) can get involved in.

English Heritage have a fabulous schedule of summer events running here in the North.

Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian's Wall Live, English Heritage Events North
Image courtesy of English Heritage

We were very excited when we saw some of the events planned. You can see them all for yourself here. Scarborough Castle and Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens both have Medieval ‘Hands on History’ events running right through ’til 3rd September, whilst Whitby Abbey has a Seafarers Hands on History, and Rivaulx Abbey has ‘A Monk’s Life’ throughout the season. Lindisfarne Priory is running sessions about ‘The History Of Lindisfarne’, which I’m very tempted to attend. The last one of these is 25th-27th August.

When I asked the boys what they would like to do, they immediately decided they wanted to see a battle! Fighting of some sort definitely had to be on the cards! No nice evening Shakespere with a blanket and a picnic then? I guess not…

So, did we want to visit Medieval Knights or Roman Soldiers? That was the next decision…

Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian's Wall Live, English Heritage Events North
Image courtesy of English Heritage

Richmond Castle has ‘Medieval Mayhem’ on 19th & 20th August, which includes fighting knights and duelling warriors, Warkworth Castle has ‘Medieval Season – Fighting Knights’ on 22nd & 23rd August, and Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens has a Knights Tournament over the Bank Holiday weekend 26th – 28th August. We might still visit this one!

But the description of ‘Return of the Romans‘ at Chester’s Roman Fort event helped us decide “Enjoy two days of spectacular military displays, take in the sights, sounds and smells of a living camp and be part of the action as the mighty Romans return to the Wall for this two day event.” 

Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian's Wall Live, English Heritage Events North
Return of the Romans courtesy of English Heritage

It sounded amazing, and Hugo, in particular, has studied Roman Soldiers twice now – once in his old school, and again in his new school. Lucky boy! He even made his first ever YouTube video about How To Make a Roman Shield as it was part of his homework. We subsequently made it into a blog post, if you’d like to see it. No doubt Toby will learn about it all soon as well, so he will have a great head start.

We chose a good time to visit. It’s the 30th anniversary of the inscription of Hadrian’s Wall on the UNESCO World Heritage List, one of the very first World Heritage Sites to be created. And it is also the 1,900th anniversary of the accession of Hadrian to the Roman Imperial throne.

We also found out there is a great new installation available at Chester’s Roman Fort until October Half Term, entitled “Hadrian’s Cavalry: Bringing Horses Back To Chester’s Roman Fort“, so that will be another great thing to see while we’re there. Hadrian’s Cavalry is an Arts Council England funded project, in which English Heritage is one of 5 partners hosting exhibitions at 10 museums along Hadrian’s Wall. Three of their museums are involved: Corbridge, Housesteads and Chesters.

So that’s where we’re off to this weekend (19th & 20th August, 11-5pm), thanks to English Heritage for providing us with tickets. Watch this space to see how we get on!

Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian's Wall Live, English Heritage Events North
Roman Soldiers, courtesy of English Heritage

42 Comment

  1. Love English Heritage! We often used to go to Whitby Abbey. I’m over in the UK next week so I might have to see if there is an English Heritage site close to where we are staying x

    1. That would be super – there’s loads of good stuff on at the moment.

  2. Aww fab some great events happening up and down the country x
    Caroline recently posted…Oh I do like to be beside the SeasideMy Profile

    1. I know, we’re really excited to be going!

  3. We love visiting English Heritage sites, always so much to see and learn
    Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too recently posted…Menkind // Personalised Garden Beer TrugMy Profile

    1. They are great aren’t they?

  4. I like English Heritage too, went to a couple of castles when we went to North Yorkshire last month. I’m a little obsessed now, I shall see what they have locally. 🙂
    Kelly-Anne Combes recently posted…THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH BELLA MAMMAMy Profile

    1. I’m getting that way too Kelly-Anne, there’s so much choice!

  5. This sounds fantastic! I would have loved something like this when I was younger! I did a project all about the Romans and loved it. I really can’t wait to show my son around all the castles in the UK – there’s really nothing to compare in the US. We’ll be sure to look up English Heritage! x
    Rosie @ Little Fish recently posted…50 Rainy Day Activities Free PrintableMy Profile

    1. Ooh you’ll be spoilt for choice Rosie!

  6. We have National Trust memberships and have been thinking about investing in English Heritage too, they’re so great for us and the kids! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx
    The Tale of Mummyhood recently posted…Xtava 5 in 1 Curling Wand – Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  7. Sarah - Mud, cakes and wine says: Reply

    Wow what amazing days on. We are not close to any English heritage and I am gutted our boys would have loved all of these #Blogstravaganza

    1. They are all over the country though, maybe you can catch something if you’re travelling or on holiday some time? Hope you get chance

  8. This looks like so much fun! I have never taken part in anything like this and my daughter hasn’t really shown an interest to take her along to any of the events either #blogstravaganza
    Tracey Bowden recently posted…Mokuru – The New Craze? & GiveawayMy Profile

    1. There are loads of English Heritage properties around the country, hopefully you will see something near to you soon x

  9. We really need to book a few days out to some English Heritage sites. Thanks for reminding me about these great places. Thank for sharing with us at #FabFridayPost

    1. Hope you have a lovely time wherever you go.

  10. Looks like fun. Too bad we don’t have anything like this here. Thanks for joining #Blogstravaganza. Hope to see you again.

  11. I loved history at school and I can’t wait for my kids to start learning history at school. This looks like a fantastic day out.
    All about a Mummy recently posted…Guest Post: Take your Healthy Diet into AutumnMy Profile

    1. It’s lovely for all the family

  12. Wow this looks like so much fun! I love anything like this, history is fascinating! My son has just started his history GCSE so this would have been great for him!

    1. Wow your son is doing GCSE’s?! Where does the time go? He’s taking it early though? EH have so much help for kids with history, it’s fab!

  13. Sounds fantastic. I am an archaeologist/historian and I am so pleased my boys love history too. English Heritage are amazing!

    1. What a great career to have. It must be great to do something you love, and how great that your boys love it too.

  14. I had a look and I love the sound of the events planned. Sounds like good fun.

    1. Yes, I think there’s something for everyone there.

  15. Sounds like English Heritage have some great events on. I think down in the South these may be a little too far for me, but I’m sure they have some down here planned too, I will have to take a gander!

    1. Yes Heidi, they have events all over the country. Hope you find something you would enjoy.

  16. This sounds amazing, I’ve never really looked into English Heritage but I think I need to. I’m Archie would love going to some of these when he’s a little older
    Toni | This Mama Blogs recently posted…SLIMMING WORLD MEAL PLAN | 11TH SEPTEMBER 2017My Profile

    1. The ones we went to had all ages, from babes in arms upwards. It’s a nice day out with a picnic, even if the little ones don’t really understand it all. I hope you enjoy it if you go to one.

  17. Wow!!I have never been into History too, because it was all about cramming notes and pouring it oit in exams, then forgetting everything. But it seems Organisations like Engliah heritage have made it practical and interesting.
    Nafisah recently posted…How Your skin shows that You are stressedMy Profile

    1. They really have, it’s fascinating! I’m a convert to history!

  18. Oh wow, I wish this had been going on when I walked Hadrian’s Wall back in April! I visited Chester’s Bridge and we saw some characters dressed up at one of the forts too, which was fab. They’d just been filming some promotional material.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Cookbook Review: Wild Honey & Rye by Ren BehanMy Profile

    1. Oh you walked Hadrian’s Wall? Fantastic! I didn’t know enough about the history of it at all until I wrote this, and read up on it all. It’s so interesting.

  19. Haha AWESOME! I’d loved stuff like this when I was at school. I would also recommend Beamish Village (if I recall the name correctly…) – super fun.

    1. Beamish is not far from us, I keep meaning to visit actually. It’s great at Christmas apparently. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. Thanks for sharing. I had been thinking about English Heritage for a while, but it’s the first review I read and it sounds amazing.

    1. There are so many great properties and events, I hope you find one you like. You can go to them without joining, just pay the daily entrance fee before you decide to join.

  21. history was my fave subject at school. I’d love to study in more detail. the reformation is my fave period.
    these events sounds great

    1. They are brilliant As they really get the children involved.

  22. […] Pretty much what it says! As we previously wrote, English Heritage are particularly good at bringing history to life – allowing people to experience the sights, sounds and even smells of years gone by at their […]

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