The Chalke Valley History Festival gets started today (Monday, June 16). 

It features talks and panel discussions as well as living history displays, historical performances and interactive experiences.

Taking place in Broad Chalke, the festival runs until Sunday, June 26. 

Royal visit 

 HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting the festival later today in support of an event being organised by her Reading Room channel which is collaborating with a festival for the very first time.

Taking part will be historical novelist Philippa Gregory, who will be attending the history festival for the first time, and historian and author Alison Weir. They will be taking part in the ‘Rediscovering Women in History’ discussion.

This year, an Iron Age round house and settlement has been built specifically for the festivalusing the very tools and materials that would have been used.

The programme of events also includes a speakers’ corner, vintage fairground, historic fast food outlets and two bars.

Ukraine and Russia 

Channel 4’s Matt Frei will be discussing the situation in Ukraine and reporting from the front line while David Owen will discuss 200 years of British-Russian relations, and General Sir Richard Shirreff will talk about War Against Russia.

Bill Browder returns to the festival, telling the true story of Russian money-laundering and state sponsored murder, as does Antony Beevor, this time discussing the Russian Revolution and putting the current situation into historical context.

Russian expert Dominic Lieven will talk about empire and autocracy.

Family events 

For children and families, The History Tellers will be back and Foreign Field will also be putting on a range of shows, demonstrations and re-enacting dark tales throughout the week; and the Acrochaps Edwardian jugglers, acrobats and jesters will also be entertaining festival-goers.

Bestselling children’s writer Michelle Paver will also be talking about Wolfbane, and Francesca Simon, known for her Horrid Henry series, will deliver a talk for younger children about world’s very worst Vikings.

The Trench 

The Trench is back. This time the scene is Cassel, in late May 1940, and it will feature the heroic defence by a small detachment of British infantry who were trying to stem the German advance.

Live music 

The extended music line-up features seven different acts playing music from the Jazz age of the twenties all the way through to contemporary music.

How to find out more

For more information on the full festival programme or tickets visit:


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