History to celebrate, engage with and experience

The Gloucester History Festival returns to the city 3-18 September 2016 with its largest and most exciting programme yet, marking a very special year – the 800th anniversary of Henry III’s coronation in Gloucester.

With a rare chance to see inside some of Gloucester’s most remarkable buildings, the Festival is set to bring Gloucester’s extraordinary history to life.

Joining the Festival team this year are its first President, leading historian and TV presenter, Dr Janina Ramirez, and new Blackfriars talks curator, Sarah Smyth, former Artistic Director of the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Richard Graham, MP and chairman of the Gloucester History Committee, said: “This is another step forward for the Gloucester History Festival.

Just as Athelflaed was the first Lady of the Mercians and Bishop Rachel the first woman diocesan bishop to sit in the House of Lords – both connected to Gloucester – Janina is the first and female president of the history festival. Janina will be a great ambassador for history and our city.”

This year’s Gloucester History Festival will run from September 3-18 with more than 100 events taking place in more than 50 venues. Dr Ramirez will be speaking at Sunday 11th September in Blackfriars Priory.

Dr Janina Ramirez, President of the Gloucester History Festival says: “With my medieval interests, a city that once boasted five monasteries, that has more than 700 listed buildings and one of the finest cathedrals in England is a paradise for me. I have always been a fan of Gloucester and last year had the pleasure of speaking in the stunning setting of Blackfriars Priory.

“I am honoured to have been asked to be the first president of the history festival. The city has made important contributions in every era of history – none more so than 800 years ago in 1216 when the coronation of Henry III took place in St Peter’s Abbey, Gloucester. We will be talking more about this at the festival.”

FI-HOD-Logo-GenericHeritage Open Days is the UK’s biggest heritage festival involving 40,000 volunteers. It celebrates our fantastic history, architecture, and culture; offering people the chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences.

There will a series of Heritage Open Days events taking place as part of the festival between the 8th and 11th September 2016, from the Elizabethan wall friezes in private rooms at the Dick Whittington pub, to the unique scriptorium at Blackfriars, or experiencing The King’s Bastion chamber and the Roman sites.


front-coverHighlights of the Gloucester History Festival include:

  • 2016 Gloucester Day Parades (3 Sept)
  • City Voices Events (3-18 Sept)
  • Heritage Open Days (8-11 Sept)
  • Celebrate the 800th anniversary of Henry III’s coronation with a parade and re-enactment of the coronation as well as the opening of the Henry III Exhibition at Museum of Gloucester (10 Sept)
  • Fascinating insights about Henry III’s reign from Marc Morris and Dr Janina Ramirez at the Blackfriars Talks (10-11 Sept)
  • Women & History featuring Jung Chang, author of the bestselling classic, Wild Swans (18 Sept)