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

Author's Talks

Talks and lectures



Events and Activities


Author's Talks


Thursday 10th September 2015 Dame Hilary Mantel is visiting the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre to look at documents concerning the Seymour family and letters written by Thomas Cromwell that are held in the Archives here. She has very kindly agreed to give an evening talk at the Centre starting at 6.30 p.m. to help raise funds towards the purchase of archives. The audience is limited to 100 people, tickets at £10.00 each are now on sale; please telephone 01249 705500 (payment by debit or credit card) or visit the History Centre in Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, SN15 3QN.

Hilary is the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for her best-selling novels, Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, which is an unprecedented achievement. Wolf Hall was the seat of the Seymour family in Savernake Forest and television viewers will also be aware that several Wiltshire locations were used in the BBC/Masterpiece six-part adaptation of the novels. The Royal Shakespeare Company has also adapted the books for the stage to great critical acclaim and is also due to play on Broadway, New York.


Talks and Lectures 

Talks begin at 2.15 pm. Admission £3.50.  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).


  • Thursday 23rd July 2015 - Horrible and Curious Wiltshire Histories with Terry Bracher - A return to this popular gruesome subject. Terry will give you some examples of the strange and macabre from our archives.
  • Thursday 3rd September 2015 - Women Portrayed in the Lacock Archive with Ally McConnell - A delve into the recently catalogued Lacock collection, to see the representations of women throughout the centuries.
  • Thursday 17th Septemeber 2015 - The Story of Butter, Milk & Ham in Chippenham from 1600-1936 with Mike Stone - Another fascinating insight into the trade and industry of Chippenham with this popular local author and historian.
  • Thursday 1st October 2015 - Stonehenge & Avebury World Heritage Sites; managing their Outstanding Universal Values with Sarah Simmonds - A comprehensive look at our most popular and important archaeological assets; how thse sites are presented to the public and ongoing research into their past.
  • Thursday 15th October 2015 - Victory 1945: The Aftermath with Julie Davis - With VE Day and VJ Day over, what were the social consequences of total war for the county & what changes did they bring for Wiltshire people in post-war Britain.
  • Thursday 29th October - The Longbow: Its history and use in English battle with Gill Neal - Marking the 600th anniversary of Agincourt, Gill tells the tale of this effective weapon of mass destruction.



Colerne Records and Landscape Interpretation - Monday 21 September

A course examining archival and documentary sources, with an emphasis on looking at village evolution and development, and street and building history in the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre at Chippenham, followed by a landscape interpretation walk in the village of Colerne.

9:15 Course registration (History Centre will be open at 9.00)

9:30 Work with published sources, documents, wills and inventories, maps, photographs and aerial photographs.

1:00 Lunch - please bring your own but drinks are available via vending machines.

1:30 Leave for Colerne (own transport).

2:00 Assemble at Colerne Church for an interpretive walk around the village and its environs and a detailed look at some of the buildings

4:30 Finish

Cost of course £15.00; tickets available from Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, SN15 3QN (Tel. 01249 705500). Limited to 20 people.



Currently showing in the History Centre foyer - includes Wonderment - Walklines by Wiltshire based artist Linn O'Carroll.  


 Events and activities


Join us at Lacock Village Hall to learn about the wonderful Lacock Abbey recipes with food historian Sally McPherson, see demonstrations of cookery by Lacock W.I. and taste food based on authentic recipes. Join in with a craft activity inspired by stories of friendship in the Lacock Archives – led by Sue Steel.

Lacock Village Hall, East Street, Lacock