A decade of celebrating Peterborough’s history as heritage festival returns

Heritage Festival . Napolionic War soldiers from the Norfolk REgiment EMN-180617-215408009
Heritage Festival . Napolionic War soldiers from the Norfolk REgiment EMN-180617-215408009

Peterborough Heritage Festival – the UK’s largest multi-period living history festival - returns to celebrate its 10th anniversary in June.

Each year, more than 300 re-enactors have descended on the city centre to tell the story of over 3,000 years of history in Peterborough.

Heritage Festival .

Heritage Festival .

Events on the day include battles from the Vikings to World War II.

This year, the free weekend of family fun will take place on June 15 and 16, when there will be the usual workshops and re-enactments plus dance, music and artistic displays from local community groups, exploring the cultural heritage of the city.

In previous years, the festival has played host to a wide range of headline acts specialising in a particular period of the city’s history. These have included ‘The Sacking of Peterborough Abbey’ by Vikings, The ‘Siege of Woodcroft Castle’ during the English Civil War and ‘The Joust of St Peter,’ the first time a tournament of the medieval sport had taken place inside an English city centre for over 500 years.

The full 2019 programme is yet to be announced, but it will see the return of popular family favourites such as medieval jester ‘Fiery Jack’ and his band of wandering minstrels, as well as an historic trade fayre where families can buy mementos from the day.

Heritage Festival in the city centre -  Cross Key Morris EMN-180617-215748009

Heritage Festival in the city centre - Cross Key Morris EMN-180617-215748009

The festival itself will take place in the city centre between Cathedral Square and the grounds of Peterborough Cathedral. Inside the historic cathedral itself there is always plenty to explore, plus there will be Tower Top Climbs at regular intervals on the Saturday and historical movie screenings in the afternoon and evening.

Vivacity’s Director of Culture, Richard Hunt, said: “This year’s festival is an excellent evolution of a staple of Peterborough’s culture. Peterborough has a rich heritage, spanning back over 3,000 years to the Bronze Age. While many significant historical events have taken place either in, or near, the city, this festival casts the net further to celebrate Peterborough’s cultural heritage. At a time when Vivacity’s Treasured People and Possessions exhibition is in full swing at Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, this year, above all, we celebrate the people of Peterborough and how they have contributed to its rich heritage.”

There is more on the festival at www.vivacity.org/heritagefest .