New Plymouth History Festival website

Plymouth History Festival has a new home at Plymouth History Festival 2019

Take a look to find out’s in store, including with tours, talks, workshops, exhibitions and entertainment events.




Dates for the 2017 History Festival are revealed

The dates for the next Plymouth History Festival have been confirmed as
Saturday 6 May to Sunday 4 June 2017.

This will be the fifth time the annual celebration of the city’s heritage has taken place. So far more than 600 events have been enjoyed by thousands of people, all of whom have had the opportunity to find out more about many different aspects of Plymouth’s proud history.

Each year the festival programme includes a range of exhibitions, displays, special events and family activities. It also features a large number of guided walks, illustrated talks and behind-the- scenes tours.

Venues range from libraries, community halls and churches to country houses and historic landmarks.

Councillor Glenn Jordan, cabinet member for culture said: “The History Festival has become a well-loved fixture on the city’s annual event calendar so we’re very pleased to be able to confirm the dates for 2017. Each year provides another opportunity to showcase many of the fascinating stories and characters that have played a part in the story of Plymouth. Just as they have done in previous years, we’re hoping as many people as possible will get involved.”

Photograph of the Age of Chivalry at the 2016 Green Man event at Mount Edgcumbe

The Festival will kick off on Saturday 6 May with ‘Local Studies Day’ – a special event packed with talks and presentations about heritage including the Restoration, the Victorian era and an update about the History Centre project.

Other events during the Festival will include a nationally touring exhibition looking at ‘Britain in the Fifties’ as well as displays and special events marking the 50th anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester completing his historic solo circumnavigation of the world.

It will also feature the first ‘Plymouth Festival of Words’. Building on the success of the former Plymouth International Book Festival, this event will be organised through a partnership between Literature Works, Plymouth University, Peninsula Arts, Plymouth City Council and the local community, supported by Arts Council England.

Registration for the 2017 Plymouth History Festival is now open.

If you have an event you would like to see included on the programme please email the details to by the end of Sunday 22 January.

Event organisers are asked to provide as much detail as possible, including the venue address, start and finish times, booking and admission details. There is no specific theme for the Festival but all events must have a clear link to the history of Plymouth.

Final day

Time certainly flies and tomorrow is the final day of this year’s festival. There are exhibitions at Mount Edgcumbe House, Saltram House, Whitsand Bay Holiday Park and Buckland Abbey. Tours of the Masonic Centre, Saltram and the Royal Citadel will also be taking place. The ‘Damnation Alley’ audio walk is available for one last day and Flavour Fest draws to a close in the city centre. Enjoy!

Final Saturday

As we enter the last weekend of the 2016 Plymouth History Festival, there are still plenty of things to see and enjoy! If you’ve yet to visit Saltram House, tomorrow could be a great day to do it with three events including an exhibition, guided tour and the special family friendly archaeology-based activity ‘Raiders of the Lost Garden’! If you’re spending time in the City, there are four exhibitions to enjoy at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and Flavour Fest continues in and around the Piazza!

Half term Friday fun

If you’re looking for family friendly half-term fun this Friday, pop along to the City Museum and enjoy butterfly themed activities inspired by historic specimens! Flavour Fest returns for another year and members of the Arts and Heritage Service will be on their stand displaying food-related material from the archives! Hidden Heritage present the last of their Blitz Walks and Talks with journeys around Devonport and Stonehouse and it’s your final opportunity to visit the excellent Darwin exhibition at Plymouth Athenaeum.

Discover more

Aside from ten exhibitions to enjoy, Thursday is your last chance to visit the North Prospect Museum house during the 2016 Festival. There’s also a final opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Beatles at the Plymouth Athenaeum. Local historian Richard Fisher presents an illustrated talk about the evolution of Stonehouse Creek and Reverend Kate Whyman from the Unitarian Church presents a lively introduction to the history of the Plymouth Unitarians from their origins way back in 1662!