Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre Open Day

Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham celebrates its 8th birthday on 31st October but instead of a party they will be holding an Open Day. From 9.30 to 4.00 people are invited to discover what happens in the Centre and what they can find out from the wonderful collections that are housed there. Conservators will discuss their work with museum objects, archaeological finds, photographs, and documents, while experts will advise on finding how to research the history of a family, house, church and community, town and village.

Archaeologists will talk about latest finds and the wealth of archaeology in the county, have displays on Stonehenge and Avebury, Wiltshire’s historic landscape, and the Civil War, and they’ll also let you handle archaeological finds. Old maps and photographs are fascinating and there will be exhibitions of both with staff on hand to talk about them, while the Magna Carta exhibition will include a locally painted baron that took part in the 800th anniversary celebrations in Salisbury.

There’ll be the first opportunity to see items acquired through the HLF funded project, Creative Wiltshire & Swindon, including etchings, prints, ceramics and bells; you can also listen to recordings by local musicians. Local and family history societies will have stalls explaining their work in the county and how you can help.

You can take a tour of one of the strong rooms where documents dating back to 1148, when King Stephen was on the throne, are held. There’ll be treasure hunts and competitions for all ages and 8 mini lectures through the day. Light refreshments will be available in the Heritage Café, open for one day only, where there will be screenings of old ciné films and local history presentations. Apart from the café everything is free, including membership of the History Centre, but you will have the opportunity to buy new and secondhand books on Wiltshire during the day.

Date: Saturday 31st October 2015; 9.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.

Venue: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, SN15 3QN

Further information from Mike Marshman: Tel. 01249 705510; Email Michael.Marshman@wiltshire.gov.uk

Facebook link: www.facebook.com/WiltshireandSwindonHistoryCentre/