Welcome to the Warwickshire Local History Society

Next event: Evening Lecture on Tuesday 20 November at 8 pm

 ‘Why Birmingham? Why not Coventry, Lichfield or Worcester? Jacqui Geater, local historian, will discuss the property and last wishes of Tudor Birmingham folk. She will draw on their wills and inventories to illustrate their work and daily lives; also local trades and occupations, religious beliefs, family structure and women's private and public roles. Jacqui says, “I will offer a theory as to why Birmingham grew, from this time, more than great cities like Coventry and Worcester.”

Parking in central Warwick: Please note that this is increasingly challenging; see the official map for information about parking spaces. 

Recent events:

Evening Lecture -- Tuesday 16 October: 'Dr John Conolly (1794-1866), physician, reformer and enigma: his years in Warwickshire.'

The first autumn talk was from Dr John Wilmot (Vice-Chairman of WLHS). This explored the life and work of Dr John Conolly (1794-1866), physician, reformer and one-time resident of Stratford and Warwick.  He later became celebrated for introducing more humane care of the mentally ill, but during his early period in Warwickshire, co-founded Stratford's first dispensary to treat the sick poor in 1823 and became the town's mayor in 1825. Later in Warwick, during the 1830s,he lectured at Mechanics' institutes, co-founded  the county's Naural History and Archaeology Society, and was an active Shakespearean However he  remains a controversial and rather enigmatic figure. (Read fuller report here).  

22 September 2018: St Edburgha’s Church and Blakesley Hall Museum, Yardley, Birmingham. We  explored St Edburgha’s Church; a hidden gem in the Yardley Village Conservation Area in eastern Birmingham.  We heard about the patron, St Edburgha, grand-daughter of King Alfred and   building features including Katherine of Aragon’s door and a mysterious ‘lost’ underground crypt. 

Nearby we had a fascinating tour of  Blakesley Hall, now part of Birmingham Museums. Richard Smalbroke, a leading Birmingham merchant, built this timber-framed house in 1590.  The furnishings, based on a 17th century inventory, reflect the lifestyle of a wealthy Tudor and Stuart family.

Saturday 7 July -- Guy’s Cliffe House and Guy’s Cliffe walled garden, Warwick. We explored the ruined Guy’s Cliffe mansion and the attached mediaeval chapel. Later we saw the estate's original kitchen garden, since 2014 undergoing restoration by volunteers associated with the  Guys Cliffe Walled Garden Trust. 

(See events page for fuller details of recent lectures and visits)

Other Information: 

News (local history noticeboard): On our recently added page -- find news about  the  'Living through the English Civil War' project, Geoge Eliot and her bicentenary, the Kenilworth FHS Programme, and the Southam Heritage Collection;  also Newcomen lectures in Birmingham, Research Conversations at Stratford, and details of the fine Radway civil war display. For comprehensive details of Warwickshire events, see our Bulletin.

Outings for 2018: the Christmas outing is on 1st December. Download Invitation.

Publications: A new cumulative Warwickshire Bibliography is now available. See link on 'Publications' page;  please let us know of any errors or omissions. 

The winter lectures are free to WLHS members and members of affiliated Local History Societies. We now charge non-members £3.00 -- refundable on the night when joining the Society!

For enquiries and bookings for forthcoming events, contact Neville Usher, info@warwickshirehistory.org.uk, 01789 205043

Meetings from October to April 8.00pm,
with coffee from 7.30pm,
Friends Meeting House,
39 High Street, Warwick,
CV34 4AX
Link to Google Map of location

For the Society's programme see Events

The Society's twice-yearly news bulletin includes contains society news and details of forthcoming local history lectures.
Read the latest Bulletin