Living History Encampments

Friday 28th June – Sunday 20th June 2019 | Free with event or entrance ticket

History will come to life with our extensive living history encampments. At the festival weekend, our site swells with a range of living historians and different encampments and for the 2019 festival we have another stunningly exciting programme to share with you from the age of the Anglo Saxons and Vikings all the way through to the Second World War.

Among the themes we shall be covering are home life through the centuries, exploration, food and drink, farming, and D-Day and the Liberation of Europe as part of our 75th Anniversary commemorations.

As ever, we will have a large number of historic vehicles on show, including a Sherman tank, American M4 High speed gun tractor, 90mm Anti-aircraft guns and our giant Hawker Typhoon statue.


The history of farming is a major theme at this year’s festival both with the speaker and living history programme and one that is highly appropriate as our festival lies in the beautiful Chalke Valley, a place that has been witness to livestock and arable farming for centuries – the legacy of which can still be seen in the earthworks around the festival landscape.

We shall be demonstrating a wide variety of different rural crafts and farming techniques from sheep driving, traditional shearing, haymaking and a series of connected skills from a wheelwright to hurdle maker to traditional blacksmithing.


We shall be presenting a series of events exploring the changing way in which we live. From the Vikings to the Age of Chivalry and from the Tudors to the Stuarts we will be looking at how clothing and dressing has changed over the centuries, and how cleanliness and attitudes to hygiene have also progressed. We will look at medicine and disease as well as food and drink. We shall also explain and show the practical aspects of day-to-day clothing as well as changing fashions and will demonstrate what a lady in the time of James I and Charles I would have been expected to wear and how she would have dressed each day.

There will be cookery demonstrations as well as a medieval brewery as ale was a daily staple for all classes as it was the only way to ensure water was safe enough to drink.


We shall also be looking at how exploration and navigation has changed, demonstrating the techniques of the Vikings, Tudor explorers such as Drake and Raleigh and also Captain James Cook. We shall also be demonstrating the navigation techniques of World War II from desert navigation by the SAS and Long Range Desert Group through to a bomber crew flying over Europe.


For the first time, the history festival will be recreating a World War II trench. 

More info can be found here.


Sword School will be returning (here to find out more), along with Have-a-Go-Archery, numerous stalls, and demonstrations – there will be much to see and do!

Throughout the week will be a number of static displays and period vehicles on display.