Journey through city's history at Peterborough Heritage Festival

VIKINGS are boarding their longboats and sharpening their swords in preparation for battle this weekend at '¨Peterborough Heritage Festival.

Thursday, 30th June 2016, 8:05 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:52 pm
Peterborough Heritage Festival

The re-enactments are the highlight of the free heritage festival activities in Peterborough city centre on July 2 and 3, involving 300 costumed re-enactors and 30 historical societies, representing key periods throughout Peterborough’s local history, from Bronze Age warriors to World War II soldiers.

Organised by Vivacity Peterborough Culture and Leisure, in association with Peterborough Cathedral, and supported by Perkins Engines Company Limited, over 34,000 are expected to attend.

Free guides are now available from the Vivacity website. Illustrated guides will also be handed out at the main weekend.

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In celebration of local talent, Vivacity commissioned local Peterborough artist Laura Barnard to create the illustrations.

Visitors can also enjoy a period market and food fayre, as well as a children’s zone in the Cathedral’s cloisters.

In addition to the main weekend, there are a wide variety of fringe events, running from until July 10.

People can also sign up for the Keynote Lecture by Dr Janina Ramirez at Peterborough Cathedral.

Chief Executive of Vivacity, Kevin Tighe, says: “Whether you live in Peterborough or further afield, you are invited to come and enjoy a free programme of family-friendly events, especially the main weekend of activities being held in Peterborough City Centre. With the support ofPerkins as our main sponsor, we are looking forward to giving visitors another first-class experience.”

David Nicoll, Marketing Director at Perkins, which is providing generous support to the Heritage Festival, says: “Perkins is very happy to 
support the Peterborough Heritage Festival and to enable so many people to learn more about our shared local history.

“Please come and join us for what promises to be a truly exceptional programme of events.”

Events to look out for:


Family Activities, Saturday

Ready Teddy Go!

Make a parachute for a little teddy bear dressed as a monk, then watch as he is taken up and launched over the balcony, zooming down to land!

10.00am – 3.00pm. Cost: £5 per child, including teddy bear monk to take home and the craft activities below.

Crafty Viking and Anglo-Saxon crafts.

Are you an Anglo-Saxon or a Viking? Choose your side and make a warrior's shield, and have a go at making your own Viking coins and Saxon jewellery to take home.

10.00am – 3.00pm at the Nave crossing. Cost: £2 per child (free if you have paid for Ready Teddy Go!)

Cathedral Tours, Saturday and Sunday

A free, 20 minute whistle-stop tour to introduce you to some of the highlights of the Cathedral’s 900 year history. From 10.00am to 3.00pm (tours every 20 minutes, last tour 2.40pm)

Roof-top tours

This 45 minute tour goes up the steep and winding stairs to the bell ringing chamber, along the Nave roof and up to the top of the tower, coming down inside the West Front and passing by the rare medieval masons’ windlass. Saturday at 11.30am, 1.45pm, and 6.15pm, Sunday at 1.45pm. Tickets: £10 (£8 / £3). Ages 10+ only. Limited places so advance booking strongly recommended.

Historical Characters

Re-enactors will be out and about in the Cathedral. See if you can have a chat with Katharine of Aragon, Mary Queen of Scots, Old Scarlett the gravedigger or Edith Cavell. Saturday from 10.00am to 3.00pm, Sunday from 12.00 noon to 3.00pm


Take a free guided tour of the archaeological dig that has been underway for two weeks in the north-west corner of the Precincts. Experts from Access Cambridge Archaeology will be on hand to explain what they have been looking for and what has been found. 
Tours will run from 10.30am until 3.30pm both days (last tour at 3.30pm). Tours will be conducted at intervals in groups and places are limited.


Enter Anglia Ruskin’ University’s activity tent to find out fascinating facts and enjoy fun activities relating to the many courses that the University has to offer, including:

 Find out about the evolution of Computers and computer gaming, including a chance to play different games from over the last 40 years.

  Journalism and reporting through the ages, from Peterborough’s medieval monks recording histories by hand  to modern methods.

 Equipment and veterinary history - guess the use of a specific tool? Come and see if you can care for the animals as Peterborough’s medieval ancestors would have done.

 Peterborough was known in the Middle Ages for wool and weaving. See how this would have been done and find out about our other fashion history including corset making.

 Hear about medicine and nursing in Peterborough through the ages, including some gruesome treatments for the plague!

And much more!


(Saturday only)

Peterborough U3A, the Civic, Photographic; Museum Societies and England’s oldest Cycling Club join forces to provide entertainment and information about their activities on Saturday.

The Mask Theatre will be doing excerpts from their next production Much Ado About Nothing throughout the day.

10.00   Talk by Liz Davies of the Civic Society about The Diary of a Victorian Surgeon, Dr Walker.

11.00   Peterborough U3A Singing for Pleasure Group will be singing some familiar and not so familiar songs.

12.00   Peterborough U3A Poets and Poets United will join forces to read some of their Peterborough Poems.

14.00   Talk by Toby Wood from the Civic Society about The Peterborough Blue Plaque Trail.

15.00   Demonstration of Tai Chai by the U3A.

15.45   Talk by June and Vernon Bull about Peterborough, a Walk Through Its Yards.

There will also be exhibitions of: -. · Watercolours of Peterborough by the U3A Water Colour Group.

Photographs by the Photographic Society.

The range of U3A activities

Cycling Club, the oldest in England.

The café will be open all day for refreshments.