Gloucester History Festival

Please note, Gloucester History Festival talks have been postponed as the UK observes a period of national mourning. Gloucester History Festival is back, with this year's theme celebrating Families and Innovations through a series of talks and activities, taking place this September 2022.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Step inside historic buildings, listen to fascinating talks and enjoy exhibitions at Gloucester History Festival, this September 2022.
Step inside historic buildings, listen to fascinating talks and enjoy exhibitions at Gloucester History Festival, this September 2022.

Please note, Gloucester History Festival has postponed its King's Talks and Blackfriars Talks as the UK observes a period of national mourning. New dates will be announced soon.

Gloucester History Festival is returning to the city from Saturday 3 to Sunday 18 September 2022, with a packed programme and even more events to enjoy.

This year's festival kicks off on Gloucester Day, which commemorates the lifting of the siege of Gloucester in 1643, with not one but two parades taking place.

New for 2022, the King's Talks, in partnership with the King's School Gloucester, ​take place in the Ivor Gurney Hall at the back of Gloucester Cathedral - with author and journalist Iain Dale discussing his book, The Prime Ministers, on Friday 9; and biographer Mark Turnbull explaining why King Charles I lost his head on Saturday 10 September 2022.

The flagship Blackfriars Talks take place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September 2022, with book signings at the Waterstones festival bookshop after each event.

Following the festival's theme of 'Families and Innovations', highlights include historian and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts discussing her new book Buried, which presents a 'new alternative history of the first millennium in Britain', compiled from archaeological finds and DNA research; president of Gloucester History Festival Dr Janina Ramirez talking about her book, Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages Through the Women Written Out of It​; as well as presenting a new perspective on the discoveries of Tutankhamun's tomb in another talk, where she reveals an exclusive preview of the discoveries made and challenges faced during the new series of Raiders of the Lost Past.

Bestselling historian Helen Carr ​introduces audiences to pivotal Medieval figure, The Red Prince: John of Gaunt; while top political biographer Nick Thomas-Symonds delves into the legacy of Harold Wilson, making the argument that he could be one of the greatest prime ministers of the 20th century.

The Voices Gloucester programme features a diverse variety of events based on the living history of the people of Gloucester, including Hands on History - Preserving Family Photographs; a weekend of activities and a new documentary film on The Lost Library of Llanthony; new visual documentary Proud Voices, exploring the LGBT nightlife and community in Gloucestershire; and a fascinating event on Slavery and Abolitionism in Gloucestershire, documenting the lives of two very different figures from history on opposing sides of abolition. 

There's also Threads, which celebrates collaborative stitching projects from across the county and the textile heritage of Westgate Street with an exhibition of the Tewkesbury Stitch Story, alongside talks, workshops and work for sale. 

The festival also incorporates Heritage Open Days, when historic venues across Gloucester throw open their doors and invite the public in, with highlights including a Beatrix Potter-themed guided walk; a chance to explore Blackfriars Priory, the oldest complete Dominican Priory in the country; the opportunity to head underground to the Eastgate Chamber; a guided walk around Llanthony Secunda Priory; and a chance to meet Gloucester's 'Queen of Colour' Tash Frootko, as she guides visitors around the Rainbow Streets she recently created. 

Tickets to Gloucester History Festival can be booked online or at the box office at the Museum of Gloucester, which is open every Friday from 10am to 1pm until Friday 16 September 2022. 

For more information, call the Gloucester History Festival box office on 07538479021.


Gloucester History Festival 2022


Venues vary per event


Event ended


Times vary per event


Ticket prices vary per event. Heritage Open Days admission is free.



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