By Rebecca Lyons
The first-ever Wilton History Festival from Saturday, September 16 to Friday 22, is a week-long programme of events celebrating the ancient market town’s rich history, once the ancient capital of Wessex. But it also looks forward to the town’s future directions.
The festival aims to promote the potential of Wilton’s tourist attractions, and its local businesses. Proceeds from ticket sales go to local charities.
The festival coincides with the feast day of St. Edith of Wilton, and the Mayor of Wilton’s Civic Ceremony. It brings together academics, historians, local Wilton experts and community groups in a programme featuring guided walks, a symposium, and evening talks.
The walks on the Saturday, September 16, take in the historic features of the town, with an extremely rare opportunity to access parts of the beautiful Wilton House grounds not usually open to the public.
William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, opens the Sunday Symposium on September 17, which features academics from the Universities of Bristol, Birmingham, Winchester, and the Institute of Historical Research in London, historians and Wilton-based groups, and Wilton’s Mayor.
Evening talks on Monday to Friday, September 18 to 22,feature the Churches Conservation Trust, George Herbert in Bemerton Group, Wilton Historical Society, and other local groups and academics.
Tickets are £15 for the whole festival (including all events) or £10 for Guided Walks and Evening Talks, but not the Sunday Symposium.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://wiltonhistoryfestival.org.uk/tickets/ or in person from Archett & Garne Delicatessen, 5-7 West St, Wilton, Salisbury, SP2 0DL (open Tuesday to Saturday. The Sunday Symposium includes catering by local café and tearooms Coffee Darling, a Pop-up Gin and Wine Bar @ Monty & Mabel’s in Wilton, but food and refreshments are not included in ticket price.