Talks and Events

Passion, Poison & Politics – Talk, Tour & Afternoon Tea
Saturday July 3rd: 5.30pm – 8pm
The 1620s House, Donington le Heath, nr Hugglescote, LE67 2FW
Join us in the idyllic setting of our gardens for an intriguing talk on Shakespeare’s relationship to Botany, a tour around our Gardens to discover the plants mentioned followed by an afternoon Tea with a Lute accompaniment. Michael Arkle, our very brilliant Garden Volunteer and Friend of the 1620s House and Garden will present his well researched and fascinating talk. Passion, Poison and Politics will focus on how Shakespeare used plants as imagery in his poems and plays. The ‘Passion’ is conveyed through the strong expression of emotion displayed in his words, the politics is reflected in his profound interest in the colour of roses and political allegiance, and poison picks up the fact that the plot of three plays revolve around the use of lethal or mind-altering plant-based medication.
Afternoon tea will be served with a selection of sandwiches, cakes & a scone. You can choose to upgrade your tea to Prosecco for a small charge on the day.
Ticket price is £50 per table with a maximum of 5 people to a table.  Book Online at or by calling the Sales & Enquiries Team on 01455 290429

Aerial LIDAR and the history and archaeology of Bradgate Park
Wednesday July 7th: 7.30pm
Matthew Beamish from ULAS will tell the story of how existing theories were illuminated, and many new discoveries were made resulting from an aerial LiDAR survey and assessment of one of Leicestershire’s most popular public country parks in 2014. The work was undertaken by ULAS and commissioned by Bradgate Park Trust.
FREE. Booking essential at

Thursday July 8th: 7.30pm
Join Michael Southall of Lutterworth Fieldwalking and Archaeological Group to hear about recent research. Walton, in South Leicestershire, appears in Domesday Book and has thrived as a village through the centuries- albeit being split between two parishes. While this presentation remains a work in progress, it attempts to portray village life through available archival and anecdotal material primarily relating to the 19th Century.
FREE. Booking essential at

Saturday July 10th: 5.30pm – 8pm
The 1620s House, Donington le Heath, nr Hugglescote, LE67 2FW
Enjoy an enchanted early evening of music and Afternoon Tea in the beautiful setting of our courtyard.  In ‘Free to Travel’, Ayres and Graces will be singing and playing songs from a number of European countries! There will also be music by two English composers who loved to travel abroad, Campion who studied Medicine in France and Dowland who travelled extensively in pursuit of deepening his musical education. We hope the range of music reflects the relief at having freedom to travel (a little) more widely again, and will lighten a summers afternoon.
Afternoon tea will be served with a selection of sandwiches, cakes & a scone. You can choose to upgrade your tea to Prosecco for a small charge on the day.
Ticket price is £50 per table with a maximum of 5 people to a table.  Book Online at or by calling the Sales & Enquiries Team on 01455 290429

The archaeology of Leicester: The most excavated city in Britain?
Wednesday July 14th: 7.30pm
Walking through Leicester today it is often difficult to appreciate that we are treading on 2,000 years of history, but beneath the city’s streets are the remains of an Iron Age oppidum, a Roman city, an Anglo-Saxon burgh and a medieval borough. In this talk Mathew Morris from ULAS will provide an overview of the archaeological exploration of Leicester, from early antiquarian discoveries to the latest commercial excavations.
FREE. Booking essential at

Thursday July 15th: 7.30pm
King Richard III Visitor Centre, 4A St Martins, Leicester, LE1 5DB
Join the Richard III Society to hear from Peter Liddle about the University of Leicester’s excavations in Bradgate Park with an emphasis about what this says about the ruined building known as ‘Lady Jane Grey’s House’.
Members free; visitors £3
The meeting will be held subject to covid regulations and numbers may be restricted.
Booking: Sally Henshaw email: Tel: 0116 2433785

Leicestershire Railways
Monday July 19th: 7.45pm
Bill will describe the development of the current railway network in the County starting with the earliest tramways. He will talk about each line in turn and show how the network reached its peak in the early 20th century. He will then speak about subsequent closures and what became of these old lines. Finally, he will talk about some of the industrial and other railways than never became part of the national system. Bill is an active member of the Swannington Heritage trust and the Leicestershire Industrial History Society and has a particular interest in the Leicester and Swannington railway.
FREE. Booking essential at
To find out more visit

Tuesday July 20th: 7.30pm
Join Desford Local History Society for a talk by Peter Liddle, an overview of his long career as an archaeologist.
Limit of 100 people. Booking essential on 01455 822934,
The zoom link will be sent out the day before the talk.

Wednesday July 21st: 7.30 pm
The Very Revd Dr David Monteith is Dean of Leicester.  He oversaw the reinterment of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral in 2015. David has been Dean since 2013, previously having served as Canon Chancellor with responsibility for learning and public theology. He now chairs the College of Deans for the Church of England. He grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles followed by studies in Durham and Nottingham.
FREE. Booking essential. To book, please email

From Tide to Table: The archaeology of oysterS
Wednesday July 21st: 7.30pm

William Johnson from ULAS will provide an introduction to the analysis of oyster shells using examples from Roman and medieval sites in Leicester and Coventry and will show how shells from inland sites can be used to investigate oyster exploitation and farming, trade links to the coast and changing patterns of consumption through time.
FREE. Booking essential at

Coal mines of Swannington and district
Monday July 26th: 7pm
This talk will cover several hundred years of Swannington’s coal mining history.  It will include bell pits, gin pits, Newcomen engines and deeper mines; also disputes with a powerful landowner, blind horses, fatal accidents and how to buy blasting powder at the grocer’s shop.
FREE. Booking essential at
To find out more visit

Wednesday July 28th: 7pm
St Nicholas Church, Main St, Thistleton, LE15 7RE
Archaeologist Peter Liddle will describe the excavations in advance of ironstone quarrying that revealed a Roman town, a temple and a major villa at Thistleton and how recent work has added much detail to the picture.
Refreshments available
FREE. Booking essential at

Monument, Memory & Myth: Use & re-use of the Cossington Bronze Age barrows
Wednesday July 28th: 7.30pm
Round barrows were important burial monuments for the Bronze Age communities that built and used them, but what happened to them in later times? Fascinating evidence from three barrows excavated at Cossington gravel quarry in Leicestershire has shown that they were also a focus of activity for later communities, who were attracted to the ancient earthworks to make offerings and bury their dead. John Thomas from ULAS will describe the results of the excavations and examine why the barrows maintained their local importance centuries after their original use.
FREE. Booking essential at

Saturday July 31st: 1:30pm – 4pm
Rutland County Museum, Catmose Street, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6HW
Do you have any archaeology discoveries? Perhaps you have found something in your garden, while on a walk or through metal detecting? If so, the Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) for Rutland and Leicestershire may be able to help identify it. By sharing your finds with the FLO and enabling them to be recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, you will be helping to advance knowledge of history and archaeology.
No booking required and access to the Museum is FREE

Sunday August 1st: 1pm – 4pm
Newarke Houses Museum, The Newarke, Leicester, LE2 7BY
If you have found an object which is made of metal, stone or ceramic, our local Finds Liaison Officer will be more than happy to take a look and give you more information. Whether you are a seasoned metal detectorist, or you have made a chance find in your garden, we may be able to help identify your archaeological discoveries.
FREE, no booking required.