24th–30th June 2024 - Broadchalke, Salisbury


An opportunity to sample the sights, sounds and smells of the past.

Our living history encampments range from the Stone Age through to the Second World War and offer an opportunity to sample the sights, sounds and smells of the past. Our historians are all experts in their field and are actively learning more about our predecessors from the process of living with and using the materials of earlier ages.

There will be a number of scheduled talks and displays but all our living historians are happy to talk at any time and share their extraordinary – and often unique – knowledge. 

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Living History confirmed for 2024

Remaking History: The Prittlewell Burial

In 2003, archaeologists made an extraordinary discovery at a plot in Prittlewell, near Southend-on-Sea. They uncovered an Anglo-Saxon princely burial chamber, filled with rare artefacts including a gold belt buckle, gaming counters, a huge cauldron and a wooden lyre. This year, our extraordinarily skilled craftspeople will be remaking history by recreating the burial chamber and some of the burial goods discovered at Prittlewell. This will be an absolutely unique opportunity to see heritage crafts in action and to discover the historical insights that practical craftsmanship can bring. Make sure to follow their progress throughout the week!  

Historic Equitation

We are thrilled to be joined by Historic Equitation, a team of historical interpreters and equestrians led by renowned horseman, Dominic Sewell. Historic Equitation will be at the festival all week demonstrating the social, economic and military importance of horses throughout history, from the rise of the mounted knight to the spectacular horsemanship of the 17th century. Don’t miss their showstopping arena display on Saturday and Sunday! 

Life in the Iron Age 

Have you ever wondered how people lived in the Iron Age? This is your chance to find out. Based in our Iron Age round house, experiential archaeologist and living history interpreter Caroline Nicolay will be demonstrating Iron Age daily life and traditional construction methods.

The 17th-Century Sailmaker 

Led by professional sailmaker and craftsperson Sarah Liscoe, this fascinating display will portray a travelling master sailmaker tending to ships, fishing boats, and windmills. This is a rare opportunity to see the typical skills of making and repairing sails, rope work, and life on board a ship in the 17th century. There will also be a chance to get hands on with a working model of a sailing square sail rig, knots and rope work, and sewing. 

A Merrie Noyse 

A Merrie Noyse will be transporting us back to the Tudor and Elizabethan courts as they entertain us with historic music and dance, playing a variety of authentic copies of instruments of the day. 

Living History from 2023