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Festival set to bring Gloucester's history to life

Now in its 12th year, Gloucester History Festival, from September 3 to 18, attracts tourists from across the country to Gloucester for a week-long programme of talks and experiences.

Renowned speakers and national and international historians come together to deliver an exciting array of live events in the iconic Blackfriars Priory.

Away from the live festival, history enthusiasts can watch digital recordings and events connected to previous festivals as the growing online archive continues to attract audiences from across the globe who can watch on demand.

2022 marks the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II and the centenary of the founding of the BBC. These two great matriarchs of British life help to focus the festival's theme for 2022 as it explores ideas of family and innovation.

From royal families to revolutionary dynasties, monarchs to matriarchs, the festival ranges over ancestry far and wide, exploring both family trees and family secrets - discoveries sometimes challenging, often fascinating.

The celebrated line-up of speakers includes Britain's top historians, broadcasters and authors such as Professor Alice Roberts, Michael Wood, Kavita Puri, Robert Harris and Helen Carr.

Dr Janina Ramirez, president of the Gloucester History Festival, said: "I'm incredibly proud to be president of a festival that is designed to inspire pride in the city through connection with its unique past. We aim to constantly push the boundaries of traditional history festivals by bringing new perspectives to the fore.

"The past two years have allowed the festival team to accelerate our engagement through digital media, spreading knowledge via live recordings and valuable online resources. We have had to be innovative, so it is fitting the festival considers major innovations of the past at this time.

"Family has never seemed more important, particularly as many of us were deprived access to loved ones throughout the pandemic. The biggest recent development in how we engage with the past has been through genealogy - people looking for family members from history. It is important to make personal connections back through time and family is the best way to do this.

"Join us at Gloucester History Festival and take a moment to reflect on what historic times we continue to live through."

Gloucester History Festival is proud to work closely with its partners - Gloucester Civic Trust who enable the public to access some of the city's most treasured buildings as part of the Heritage Open Days festival; Gloucester Voices who work closely with the city's communities to understand their heritage today; and Gloucester Day, the team behind the much loved celebration day that celebrates all things traditionally Gloucester.

Gloucester Day takes place on Saturday 3rd September when people can join in with the celebrations and parade. Gloucester Day commemorates the lifting of the siege of Gloucester in 1643 with a day full of frivolity, parades, music, street stalls, entertainment and a Mock Mayor making ceremony with town crier Alan Myatt.

This event is designed to install and promote pride in our historic city by creating interest in its rich heritage and colourful past. Expect colourful regalia, decorations, national costumes, banners and flags all to feature at the Gloucester day parade.

Heritage Open Days celebrate England's fantastic historic architecture and culture by offering FREE access to properties which are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.

This September from Friday 9th until Sunday 11th, there's a chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of events and activities which bring local history and culture to life.

In Gloucester, the events are organised by the Civic Trust and offer a huge range of activities including guided walks, access to historic buildings, music recitals, talks and cultural activities.

For more information on Gloucester History Festival, visit 

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