There's always lots happening at the History Centre including:

Talks and lectures



Events and Activities


 Talks and Lectures 

  • Thursday 10th July 2014  - Extraordinary Wiltshire Women with Claire Skinner - Another popular lecture on our high achieving local women using documents held within our archives. Includes Mary Williams and Mildred Bruce 'Queen of Speed'.
  • Thursday 24th July 2014 - Way of Life in Wiltshire, 1914 with Mike Marshman - Explore the lives of Wiltshire folk before the outbreak of the First World War and discover how traditions and communities thrived in the early 20th century.
  • Thursday 28th August - Bloody British History: Salisbury with David Vaughan - Historian and author David Vaughan talks about his new book
  • Thursday 11th September 2014 - Some Wiltshire Industries with Mike Marshman - Wiltshire has a diverse range of industries from traditional trades such as the cloth industry to the import and manufacture of rubber. Mike will discuss the history of some of these local and crucial employers.  
  • Thursday 25th September 2014 - From Blacksmiths to Carpenters: Industries & Businesses in the Lacock Archive with Ally McConnell Another interesting lecture on the Archives of Lacock, this time exploring some of the village trades that have thrived there during its largely unchanging historic landscape. Free Lecture but you will need a ticket.
  • Thursday 9th October - 2014 The Unique Abbey Cookery Manuscripts an Exhibition and Talk by Sally MacPherson - Our guest speaker, Sally will enlighten us with extracts from these original documents which contain recipes and menus of yesteryear. Free Lecture but you will need a ticket
  • Thursday 23rd October 2014 - Resources for World War I with Terry Bracher - Our ever popular lecture on researching military ancestors who fought during the Great War. This talk will guide you through archive material and online resources.  

All Lunchtime Lectures  are from 1.15 to 1.45p.m. You can eat your lunch during the lecture, we provide a water cooler and a hot drinks vending machine. Tickets are £1.50 per lecture - pay on the door or buy tickets in advance from the History Centre

All other talks begin at 2.15 pm. Admission £3.50 (concessions £2.50).  Spaces are limited so please buy your ticket in advance. Telephone 01249 705500 or visit our Help Desk at the History Centre. (Payment by credit/debit card or cheque available for the purchase of 2 or more tickets).



Chippenham Creative Writing Group

  • for adults, led by a professional writer
  •  all genres – novels, short stories, poetry, play writing, new media
  •  using historical artefacts and documents as inspiration

Where:  Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road,  Chippenham SN15 3QN

When:    Saturday Mornings 2014 10am - 1pm   

             12 July  26 July  9 August  30 August  27 September 11 October  25 October 8 November

Cost: £20 for 8 x 3 hour sessions, plus expert mentoring

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To book, T: 01249 705500 or E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Students must be able to commit to all sessions


Village Interpretation Days 2014

Our popular village interpretation day courses look at the development of communities from medieval times. Places on these are limited and early booking is advisable. The morning is spent studying documents, maps, photographs and printed material under guidance in the History Centre, while course members enjoy a guided village walk, examining features and buildings, in the afternoon. On each course there are two or more tutors to help you. Course members use their own transport.

LacockDevelopment of the Village and its Environs: Monday 21 July, 9.30 at the History Centre, 2.00 p.m. at Lacock

Cost of courses £15.00 each, tickets available from Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road Chippenham, SN15 2QN. Telephone 01249 705500.

Limited to 20 people per course

Researching First World War Resources at the History centre

Wednesday 10th September 2014, 9.30 am – 12.45 pm

Join Terry Bracher and Claire Skinner for a hands-on workshop aimed at anyone wishing to find out how the First World War impacted upon their local community. Discover the wide range of resources available at the History Centre and how to use them for your research, with opportunities to handle rare First World War documents.

Cost: £5. Tickets available form Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Limited to 15 people.


Please keep checking for future exhibitions

Events and activities

BBC World War One At Home UK Tour 2014
at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, 8th – 10th August

Meet the History Centre team as part of the BBC’s World War One At Home UK Tour, where we will be one of the local partners as the tour visits Bristol Balloon Fiesta, discussing and exhibiting archives, and providing activities that help tell the story of how the war affected local people in Wiltshire and Swindon.