Warwick Words Festival will shine a light on our local history

There will also be a pre-festival study day
The festival is set to take place in October. Images by Warwick Words FestivalThe festival is set to take place in October. Images by Warwick Words Festival
The festival is set to take place in October. Images by Warwick Words Festival

The Warwick Words Festival, which is due to take place next month, is set to shine a light on the past of the town and the county.

As part of its 'In and Around Warwick' series, this year’s festival includes walks and talks charting life in Warwick and Warwickshire from Tudor to modern times.

The event runs from October 1 to 10 with a pre-festival study day on September 27 devoted to ’15 Women Who Shaped Warwick Castle’.

From the Norman Conquest to the Second World War, the story of Warwick Castle and its Earls was influenced, designed, controlled, even betrayed, by the wives, daughters, and housemaids who lived and worked there.

Local historians, Aaron Manning and Adam Busiakiewicz, and special guest Melissa Perry, will be looking at the way women shaped the fate and fortunes of the castle, the town, and the lives of their husbands, through patronage, politics, dynasty, art and architecture, and rebellion.

The Black Book of Warwick began life as a municipal minute book for the Corporation of Warwick but evolved into the personal diary of the town clerk, John Fisher and shows the town through his eyes as it was 450 years ago.

A life-long Warwick resident, historian Emma Bromley will be sharing her research on this Elizabethan manuscript which includes an account of the visit of Queen Elizabeth I in 1572 and the local disputes that culminated in the violent Myton Riots.

The Lord Leycester Hospital was founded in the half-timbered buildings gifted by the town’s Guildsmen to Queen Elizabeth I’s favourite Robert Dudley, Earl of Leycester.

In Master and Brethren: The Good, The Bad and the Heroes, the Hospital’s first female Master, Heidi Meyer, will be shedding new light on former Masters and Brethren at this historic home for old soldiers.

The inhabitants of two other historic buildings in the town are also featured in the programme.

Trevor Langley will be exploring the importance to the county town of The Puckerings and the Priory, the grand house bought by the Puckering family in 1582 and which remained in their possession until 1709.

Using the diaries of dramatist and one-time owner of Guys Cliffe Bertie Greatheed, born 1759, Anne Langley and Bridget Winn will tell the story of his journey from the Grand Tour to Guys Cliffe in Bertie Greatheed at Home and Abroad.

Other events focussing on Warwick and Warwickshire include Catherine Enis giving an insight into Shakespeare before Shakespeare: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire and the Elizabethan State.

Graham Sutherland will be talking about Wicked, Wilful and Unconventional Women of Warwickshire - women you might not wish to know! Graham Sutherland will also be leading a walk around Warwick to see where some of The Good and Not-so-Good of Warwick left their mark – because of high demand this walk is being repeated for a second time during the festival.

The Festival programme also offers a range of national and international history-themed talks presented by highly regarded guest speakers.

Festival executive director Helen Meeke said: ‘Warwick Words is delighted to be able to stage this year’s events live and in person and we are looking forward to welcoming festival-goers back.

"Our priority is to ensure their safety and that of our guest speakers, volunteers and all venue staff, and we will observe any corona virus restrictions or guidelines in force at the time.

"Some events are already sold out so it’s best to book early to avoid disappointment."

For the full Festival programme please see www.warwickwords.co.uk

Tickets available from the visitor information centre at the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington by calling: 01926 334 418 and at the visitor information centre in Jury Street in Warwick.

To book online or view the full festival programme go to: www.warwickwords.co.uk Tickets can be purchased at the event subject to availability.

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