Open Day success at the History Centre

on Friday, 11 October 2013.

Knights were shot with longbows, bayonets were fixed on rifles, entrenching spades were used as weapons and the archaeologists dressed to kill at this year’s Wiltshire at War event. Visitors were enthralled as staff and our special guests shared their knowledge of the martial history of the county.


From the Iron Age to the First World War the lives of soldiers, the impact on the county and the many documents, objects and monuments that they left behind were here for visitors to see. The archaeologists gave visitors an overview of 2000 years of the county’s history from Iron Age hill forts, through medieval castles to First World War airfields. With costumes to match and an impressive array of weaponry they fascinated visitors with their knowledge of the archaeology. 

The conservation labs were busy, with conservators hard at work showing visitors how they conserve archaeology and museum objects every day. They were joined by an Anglo-Saxon re-enactor who greeted visitors in Anglo-Saxon and displayed an impressive knowledge of the period, partly gained through making replica weapons and other objects. A genuine Anglo-Saxon sword, conserved in the labs, was also on display.

More Wiltshire Records Online

on Thursday, 27 June 2013.

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) have successfully secured a grant of £585,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help catalogue, conserve and digitise materials from six archives nationwide. These include the Alfred Williams collection owned by Swindon Borough Council and held at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. The project, which is also being supported by the National Folk Music Fund, will enable free public access to over 58,000 digital images through a new web portal. The site is now fully operational and can be viewed at

The ‘Full English’ project will bring together Alfred Williams’ material together with the collections of Harry Albion, Lucy Broadwood, Clive Carey, Percy Grainger, Maud Karpeles, Frank Kidson, Thomas Fairman Ordish, Cecil Sharp, and Ralph Vaughan Williams for the first time, creating the most comprehensive searchable database of British folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world. The new portal will cross-refer to the existing Wiltshire folk arts website which contains transcripts by Chris Wildridge of many folk songs collected by Williams - see:

The ‘Full English’ project will also help to increase awareness and knowledge of folk music in education by training music teachers, and through various creative educational and community projects.

New Film Given World Premiere

on Tuesday, 04 June 2013.

The Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre has been working with three Wiltshire schools alongside award-winning film maker Jamie McDine to create some amazing animations based on stories from local community members.

World’s biggest online portal of English folk music

on Thursday, 22 November 2012. Posted in Music

World’s biggest online portal of English folk music

WSHC are involved in an exciting new project to create the world’s biggest online portal of English folk music, song and dance manuscripts by giving access to the Alfred Williams collection for digitisation. The project will also include a small amount of conservation work.

Pre-historic remains unearthed on a Dartmoor

on Thursday, 22 November 2012. Posted in Archaeology

Pre-historic remains unearthed on a Dartmoor

Nationally important pre-historic remains unearthed on a Dartmoor burial site...

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