Living History Encampments

Monday 22nd June – Sunday 28th June 2020 | Free with event or entrance ticket

The festival will look very different this year with our living history encampments integrated throughout the site.  Amongst new additions are four historic dwellings: Iron Age, Medieval, Tudor and a late seventeenth century coaching inn.  Each one will be lived in throughout the week and will include a stockaded area for animals and all the features of daily life in those periods.

This year, we will have a large number of historical vehicles on show, including a working Russian T-34, Sherman, British Centaur and a host of trucks, artillery pieces, and also farm vehicles and steam engines.

Everything is suitable for the entire family to enjoy although there are also activities specially aimed for children, from our SOE Secret Agent Training Camp to Have-a-Go-Archery to traditional fairground stalls, through to historic fast food stalls where you can get your lunch Tudor-style. We have ale making to Tudor spinning and 17th century dining.  We will even have a major WWII workshop bringing a period British tank back to life.

There will also be historic rides the length of the festival site throughout the weekend.

Do look out for our extensive Live History Live interactive programme, which begins on Thursday evening of the festival.


SOE Training Camp

An exciting new addition to the programme and based on the very real training course used for would-be agents being dropped into Nazi-occupied Europe, the SOE Training Camp will include being introduced to techniques in unarmed combat, weapons handling and how to pick a lock, while students will also be put through an assault course that will test metal and nerve!  Pre-booked tickets only.


Using real bows, arrows and traditional butts, anyone can have a go at using the longbow.

Sword School

Pre-book sessions at Sword School and learn some of the techniques used by medieval swordsmen, in both attacking and defensive moves.

Medieval Warfare

Throughout the festival weekend, Deeds of Arms will be running fully interactive sessions for children demonstrating medieval swords and armour.

The Trench: Cassel 1940

It’s the third week of May 1940, and at the town of Cassel in Flanders, the 2nd Gloucesters and 4th Ox & Bucks are defending the hilltop town against the full fury of the victorious Germans.  Their job: to hold on for as long as possible a key stretch of the southern flank as the bulk of the British Expeditionary Force folds in on itself and falls back to Dunkirk.  In this trench experience you will be transported back to late May 1940 and to the hastily built and defended trenches as the Germans make their murderous assault.

Soldier School

In Soldier School, the budding Second World War recruit will be introduced to the uniforms and kit of the British Tommy – as well as a chance to see and handle some weapons from the machine-gun to firing mortars.

The Broad Chalke Bus

Thorughout the festival weekend, there will be a ‘bus’ service from one end of the site to the other, via a WWII truck and a steam traction engine and wagon – all in aid of the Salisbury Hospital Stars Appeal.