Gloucester History Festival

Gloucester History Festival is back at Blackfriars Priory this September 2023, with two weeks of fascinating and insightful events on the theme of 'Quests and Curiosity' — including Gloucester Day celebrations, Heritage Open Days, tours, talks and more.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Enjoy fascinating insights from the likes of Janina Ramirez, Jeremy Bowen, Michael Wood, Tracy Borman and more at Gloucester History Festival 2023.

Following the huge success of the Gloucester History Festival Spring Weekend, the festival's autumn event is back at Blackfriars Priory from Saturday 2 to Sunday 17 September 2023, continuing on this year's theme of 'Quests and Curiosity'.

Promising two weeks of insightful events, from walking tours and exhibitions to expert talks and lively debates at one of Gloucester's most ancient and unique buildings, there's plenty for history fans of all ages to get excited about. 

Author and presenter of BBC2's Raiders of the Lost Past, Janina Ramirez, heads up the event with support from patrons, historian and presenter David Olusoga, and star of Channel 4's Treasures of the WorldBettany Hughes.

The festival kicks off on Gloucester Day as the Cross Streets come to life to commemorate the lifting of the Siege of Gloucester in 1643, with a traditional Gloucester Day Parade led by the Mayor and Sheriff of Gloucester in their full civic regalia; stalls lining the four streets; and live performances on the Southgate Street stage throughout the day.  

Highlights from this year's line-up include former UK prime minister Theresa May discussing the abuse of power by politicians and public institutions; Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant sharing his love for the myths, legends and folklore of the Welch marches; Countdown lexicographer Susie Dent telling the interesting stories of curious words; BBC Radio 4 presenter James Naughtie taking a deep dive into 21st century America; author Alison Weir uncovering the secrets of Henry VIII; former Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler examining Westminster under a microscope; author and historian Michael Wood discussing the Dark Ages; author Gary Younge discussing his book Dispatches from the Black Diaspora; Elizabethan expert Tracy Borman shedding new light on the stories of Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I; author Tom Holland taking audiences back to ancient Rome; and BBC international editor Jeremy Bowen analysing the modern-day Middle East. 

Gloucester History Festival also incorporates Heritage Open Days from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 September 2023, giving history buffs a chance to step inside some of the city's most fascinating buildings that are usually off limits to the public, from buried Roman ruins to traditional black and white Tudor houses. 

Tickets for Gloucester History Festival can be booked online in advance at


Gloucester History Festival


Saturday 2 to Sunday 17 September 2023


Times vary per event


Ticket prices vary per event


(01452) 396131

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