Events and Activities

Author's Talks

Talks and lectures




All events are held at WSHC unless otherwise stated. Tickets for events at the History Centre may be purchased in advance at the Help Desk or can be reserved on 01249 705500 (Tues-Sat 9:30-5) Numbers may be limited so please buy your ticket in advance. Please aim to arrive 15 minutes before your event begins.

Download our Events Programme

Events and Activities

FREE Conservation Surgery

Thursday 14 November, 12 December 2-4 pm FREE

Come and get advice from our archive and object conservators about caring for your precious family photographs, keepsakes and treasures. Booking essential!

Memory Box Reading Group

First and third Monday afternoon of every month, 2-3.30pm

Do you enjoy history and listening to stories? Our group is meeting on the first and third Monday afternoon of every month to listen to an extract from one of the amazing collection of books in our Local Studies Library. We will take time to share memories and thoughts, and also have a chat over refreshments! If you would enjoy some friendly company in a relaxed environment, this is for you. All welcome!

Free entry, parking right outside and refreshments, supported by Hob Nob Press.

Read - Reminisce - Enjoy


 Author's Talks 

Deepest Wiltshire

Gay Pirrie-Weir and Fanny Charles

10.30am Thursday 7th November

Journalists Fanny Charles and Gay Pirrie-Weir will be giving a talk on their new book, Deepest Wiltshire, a portrait of the county which looks at many aspects, including archaeology, history, landscape, wildlife, food and farming, the railways, the canals, the military, the church, folklore, colourful characters and the vibrant and varied arts scene.

Their research and interviews took them to every corner of the county, into tiny closed churches and some of the country’s grandest estates, into workshops in cowsheds, state-of-the-art technology firms and farm shops selling outstanding home grown, homemade and home produced food and drink.

Throughout the research and writing period, Fanny and Gay had great help and support from Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, and their talk will touch on some of the stories they found at the Centre, and some extraordinary stories they unearthed when they were actually researching other subjects.

Deepest Wiltshire is raising funds for Wiltshire Community Foundation, Wiltshire Air Ambulance and SSAFA, the military charity. Priced £25, the book is available from the History Centre and other locations across the county

£4, booking advisable.


Talks and Lectures 

Caroline of Brunswick, Wife of George IV 

10.30am Wednesday 13th November

With Eileen Sutherland.

One of royalty’s most disastrous marriages. Forgotten by history today, we take a closer look at this unruly and unwanted queen. Reviled by her husband and put on trial for adultery, we question whether she was treated unfairly or the author of her own misfortune.

£4, booking advisable.

How to Care For Your Jewellery

2pm Wednesday 20th November

Object Conservator Kayleigh will be demonstrating how to clean and protect silver jewellery and other precious valuables to keep your gems sparkling.

£4, booking advisable.

Corruption, Murder and Suicide: Coroner’s Records for the Family Historian 1194 – 1916

10.30am Thursday 28th November

In 1194 new reforms were set up which included new county officers called the Coroner. Their role was simple: to generate as much income for the King as possible. Even one hundred years after the conquest, the Saxons still had a terrible habit of killing Normans. A fine was imposed on the village were a body was found, as it was presumed to be Norman. The fine was known as “Murdrum”, from which the word murder derives. Coroner’s inquests dealt with these cases and the revenue from the fines imposed went to the King. In 1752 an act was passed which entitled coroners to travel expenses. These records survive and provide a glimpse at the hazardous lives that men, women and children of the 18th and 19th century had to endure on a daily basis.

This talk will provide you with an insight into the records that have survived since the 12th century and offer the family/local historian the opportunity to learn about an interesting and underused class of records.

£4, booking advisable.


An Introduction to

Saturday 23 November, 14 December all 9.30-10.30am

Are you unsure how to use the website but would like to get to grips with your family history? Ancestry contains many useful sources for family history. Find out how to get started in this hands-on workshop with Ian Hicks
(Workshop repeated – only need to book on one!)

Admission £5. Limited places - booking essential.



Reception Foyer:



Tickets for events at the History Centre may be purchased in advance at the Help Desk or can be reserved on 01249 705500 (Tues-Sat 9:30-5) Payment by credit card or cheque is only possible for 2 more tickets. Numbers may be limited so please buy your ticket in advance. Please aim to arrive 15 minutes before your event begins.

Download a PDF version of our events programme

Disclaimer: We may take photographs at events for future publicity purposes. Please make a member of staff aware if you would prefer not to be included in any images. Permission will sought for images which include children.


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