External Events and Announcements

As you will appreciate, many external events may change their details at short notice. We therefore ask you to contact organisations directly for up to date information about whether their events are going ahead as advertised. Please note that the RHC cannot provide further information on these events and announcements, nor be held responsible for any inaccuracies in what is posted below.

Stonyhurst Museum Easter Openings

Stonyhurst Museum and Archives is offering a final opportunity to see the exhibition centred around Shakespeare's First Folio, which has been on display all throughout last year as part of its 400th anniversary, along with a host of other fascinating artefacts, including Charles Waterton's 19th century Natural History collections, rare Durer and Rembrandt artworks, and objects connected with the Gunpowder Plot.

Tours of Stonyhurst's magnificent College buildings are also available on selected dates, allowing you to discover more about Stonyhurst's long, eventful history.

Monday 25 March, Wednesday 27 March, Tuesday 9 April and Thursday 11 April. Tickets are £12. Find out more on the Stonyhurst website

Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society Zoom Talk

Wednesday 3 April 7.00pm Zoom talk: The Great Miss Lydia Becker: Suffragist, Scientist and Trailblazer with Joanna Williams.

Lydia Becker was brought up near Manchester in a middle-class family. She broke away from convention, remaining single and entering the sphere of men by engaging in politics. Lydia addressed innumerable audiences, not only on votes for women, but also on the position of wives, the abuse of women, and their rights at work. She battled grittily to gain academic education for poor girls, and kept countless supporters, in Britain and beyond, abreast of the many campaigns for women's rights through her publication, The Women's Suffrage Journal. As chief lobbyist for women, she influenced MPs in a way that no woman, and few men, had done before. In the 1860s the idea of women's suffrage was dismissed as ridiculous and unnatural. By the time of her death in 1890 there was wide acceptance that the enfranchisement of women had to happen.

Please email secretary@landcas.org.uk for a link to any of these talks, or for more information.

Kirkby Lonsdale and District Civic Society

On Saturday 6 April from 2.00-4.30pm, Dr Sue Allan will give a talk Merrie England, May Day and More followed by a workshop teaching the Morris dance which has been performed annually in Wigton since 1911.

The ‘Romantic idea of Merrie England’ complete with maypoles and Morris dances encouraged many Cumbrian towns and villages to develop their own May Day celebrations and carnivals. Sue’s illustrated talk reveals the sources and styles of the dances performed at villages across Cumberland, Westmorland and Furness with tantalising glimpses of the folk customs dating back over 100 years, sourced from press reports, memoirs and even a novel! The dances incorporate borrowings from Lancashire processional Morris and Cotswold Morris dances enthusiastically promoted by local worthies such as Canon Rawnsley of Keswick and John Ruskin of Coniston.

Sue is a cultural historian, writer and folklorist who researches and publishes on Cumbrian customs traditions and dialect. She is probably best known as a regular feature writer in Cumbrian Life.

Venue: Barbon Village Hall LA6 2LL £7.00 including tea and cake. To book or for more information email kldcstalks@gmail.com or phone 07821 088484. Everyone is welcome.

Lancashire Archives and Local History

We're delighted to let you know that Lancashire Archives and Local History now has a Facebook page!

You can also follow Lancashire Archives on X (formerly Twitter)

Also, back issues of the new Lancashire local history magazine 'Archives' are now available to purchase in all Lancashire County Council libraries and at Lancashire Archives, priced at £3. If you'd like to receive a copy by post, please contact the Archives at archives@lancashire.gov.uk.

If you have an idea you’d like to discuss, please contact archives@lancashire.gov.uk to discuss your suggestion.

Rookhow Open Days

Rookhow is a Historic Grade II* listed 1725 Quaker Meeting House in the heart of the Rusland Valley. Set in 12 wooded acres between Coniston and Lake Windermere, open days are held every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month.

Filmed Production of 400-Year-Old Play By Shakespeare's Contemporary Lady Mary Wroth

A 400-year-old play, which captures how the delights and difficulties of courtship have changed (or not), is now freely available on film thanks to Professor Alison Findlay, Professor of Renaissance Drama in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University and Chair of the British Shakespeare Association.

‘Love’s Victory’, by Shakespeare’s contemporary Lady Mary Wroth, was written c.1617-1619 and is the earliest surviving romantic comedy by an Englishwoman.

The performance is the result of nearly 30 years of work by Professor Alison Findlay. Her research project, ‘Shakespeare and His Sisters’ was set up to explore the works of Shakespeare and his female contemporary dramatists in site-specific locations. The 2022 production, directed by Emma Rucastle and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Lancaster University, was designed to recreate the conditions of an early household performance. It was staged at the author’s home, Penshurst Place in Kent, in 2022.

Watch Love's Victory for free

Bob Dobson, Heritage Books

Bob Dobson has been dealing in second-hand Lancashire interest books for over 50 years and due to retirement is selling stock at half the catalogued price. From Lancashire Acts of Parliament to dialect poetry and old picture postcards, there is much to interest the local and family historian. To receive a catalogue, please email Bob at landypublishing@yahoo.co.uk. He can also be contacted on 01253 886103 or 0774 9838 444 (text preferred).

The Leyland Historical Society

Meetings have resumed in the Shield Room, Banqueting Suite, South Ribble Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland, PR25 1DH. £5 for visitors (but new members are always welcome). Visit The Leyland Historical Society to find out more.

British Association for Local History

The British Association for Local History has a new feature, the Ten Minute Talk, which has proved so popular that there are now ten talks and presentations available on their website, on subjects as diverse as nineteenth-century small businesses, marriage in early-modern Suffolk, construction of a Cambridge gas holder or the ‘Spanish’ influenza epidemic of 1918-19, so please do take a look.

Local and Family History Resources

Zoe Lawson of the Lancashire Local History Federation has kindly gathered a list of helpful resources. The following is a selection of free websites.

Genealogy Sites

Ancestry and Find my past are well known and offer a 14-day free trial.

Family search is the largest site to offer free access to records from old censuses, birth registers, etc. It includes the International Genealogical Index (IGI) which has parish records for several countries including Australia, Canada and the USA, as well as the UK.

Genuki doesn’t hold records but contains a vast amount of historical information that will help you find the records you need from anywhere in the UK.

Jewish genealogy website.

Births, Marriages and Deaths. The Register Offices in the county of Lancashire hold the original records of births, marriages and deaths back to the start of civil registration in 1837. The county's family history societies are collaborating with the local registration services to make the indexes to these records freely searchable at Lancashire BMD.

Free access to records of births, marriages and deaths for the whole of the UK is available at Free BMD, Note that not all records have yet been transcribed.

Archived catalogues are always a good starting point and many online catalogue entries provide significant detail, though not a substitute for looking at the original document when archives offices re-open.

Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire

The Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire seeks to promote understanding of, and public interest in, Lancashire and Cheshire’s past, through the publication of editions of historical documents. For an annual subscription of £20, members receive each year a hardback volume and an invitation to a historical lecture. For more information, including details of forthcoming publications, please visit http://rslc.org.uk/

Women In Street Names

Women in Street Names is a project to highlight streets named after women, for the British Federation of Women Graduates, and Harper Adams University. It was launched at the Women’s Library at the LSE in July 2019. Carrie de Silva from Harper Adams explains that the aim of the project is “to highlight streets named after women, (and to highlight how few there are!), and to remember such women as are commemorated. Outputs will be a booklet of mini-biographies of women named and a paper to consider political and social culturalisation, conscious and unconscious, through the names we see in our streets”. Information is requested from across the UK, and from villages, towns and cities. More obscure royalty will be of interest (the collection won’t be including Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth II). Obscure or less well-known saints are also welcome. Of particular interest will be little-known local women who nevertheless made a large contribution to their area. Carrie will welcome the name on its own, even if the sender knows nothing else about the named woman. Please forward the street name with district, town, city, village, etc. with the woman’s main achievement or area of operation (if you know it) to: Carrie de Silva: cdesilva@harper-adams.ac.uk. (07583 144622.)

Cumbria Prehistory Resource

Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society (CWAAS) have produced a learning resource to help teachers in the county’s schools support the teaching of prehistory, from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, within the History curriculum. The pack was produced with input from archaeological experts and feedback from teachers and learners after a pilot session in a Maryport school. It comprises an introductory slide show; in-school activities (covering topics like artefacts, burials, food and the home); on-site activity suggestions (using Cumbrian sites, artefacts and museums); background information and signposts to further information.

The resource pack is free and can be downloaded from the Cumbria Past website.

Or search Cumbria Past in Google, then open the tab Grants, and look under Schools Area

Global Link

Global Link has launched an exciting new online community heritage 'map' of Europe where viewers can discover previously undocumented histories of activities relating to peace and internationalism during the inter-war years of the twentieth century. Global Link has worked with volunteers to uncover local and regional histories of people who fought and sometimes died for social justice, human rights and peace. Now with EU funding from Erasmus +, this learning is being shared and developed with European partners through the project Learning from the Past (so that we are not condemned to repeat it) where partners have developed the online 'map' to document stories from across the continent. Viewers can click on areas within countries to find histories relating to that place. These include stories of people resisting fascism, colonialism and other underground resistance movements, stories of Scouting and Girl Guide movements across Europe, stories of the development of League of Nations groups, peace and internationalist activities in and out of schools, activism within international women's movements, and stories of migration. Visit Learning from the past website.

The Viking Age in the North West

The Viking Age in the North West is a free app which allows you to discover a range of sites in the Wirral that shed light on the history of Viking settlement and integration. These sites range from place names and archaeological finds to stone sculptures. The app comes with a map to help you locate sites, or you can browse through the alphabetical list. There is a brief description and image for every featured site, as well as references to find out more information. It is hoped to expand the geographical range of the app in future, and feedback via the app is welcome. You can download the app for free from Google Play or the App Store.

If you would like to submit an article for this page or our newsletter, please contact us: rhc@lancaster.ac.uk 01524 593770

Contact Us

By Post

Regional Heritage Centre
Department of History
Bowland College
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

By Phone

+44 (0)1524 593770

Usually staffed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:30-15:30

RHC Director:
Professor Fiona Edmonds

Academic Co-ordinator:
Dr Sam Riches

Ann-Marie Michel

For the Victoria County History of Cumbria, please contact Dr Sarah Rose