Jacobites and Redcoats revive old quarrels at Newhailes

An exciting re-enactment takes place at the National Trust for Scotland’s Newhailes House and Gardens in Musselburgh on 25 & 26 May. The two-day living history event is based on the conflict between Jacobites and Redcoats, and imagines that it is 1745 and the Jacobites have captured Edinburgh. Now the Highlanders are marching out of the … Read more

Rare books inspire new exhibition in Norfolk

Rare books from one of the nation’s most significant country house libraries form the centrepiece of a new contemporary art installation at Blickling Estate in Norfolk from 17 May – 27 October 2019. In The Edge of Things, artists Neville and Joan Gabie draw inspiration from some of the most intriguing titles within the National … Read more

A historical visit to Oxford

From town to gown, Oxford has a history both of artistic and academic merit, and of surprising turbulence, as Nell Darby explores. The city of dreaming spires, Oxford is a beautiful yet compact city. From the circular architecture of the Radcliffe Camera and the Sheldonian theatre, to the pastel-coloured houses on the High Street, there … Read more

The history of penmaking around Britain

Colin Waters explores Britain’s penmaking industry, particularly associate with Birmingham. Vast fortunes were once made from manufacturing the humble pen nib. For example, Josiah Mason and Joseph Gilliot, from Sheffield, came from poor uneducated backgrounds but went on to make their fortunes in the trade. Mason used his fortune for philanthropic purposes, including founding Birmingham … Read more

Missing piece of Stonehenge returned

A piece of one of the enormous sarsen stones at Stonehenge has been returned to the ancient monument, English Heritage has announced. The prehistoric stone ‘core’ was removed during archaeological excavations in 1958 and its existence remained largely unknown for the next 60 years. The core will now join English Heritage’s collection of more than … Read more

Data: Wigtownshire parish lists

New release from Findmypast: Scotland, Wigtownshire & Minnigaff Parish Lists 1684. Search for your Scottish ancestors in parish lists containing over 53,000 names. First published in 1916 by the Scottish records society, the lists consist of “nominal Rolls of all persons, male or female, over the age of 12 years, resident within their respective parishes – … Read more

How to get the best from The National Archives

Do you find TNA’s online resources sometimes complex to use? Simon Fowler offers reassurance and guidance on where to find the records you need. If you are going to use the records held by The National Archives (TNA) – and this is almost inevitable if your ancestor are English and Welsh, and quite possible if … Read more

A historical trip to Swansea

Nell Darby looks at the maritime and inland history of Dylan Thomas’s ‘ugly, lovely town’. Swansea has often had to fight off negative comparisons to its big brother, Cardiff, which benefits from its status as the Welsh capital city. Even its most famous son, poet and playwright Dylan Thomas, had mixed emotions about his birthplace, describing … Read more