Heritage & Culture

#SummerFun | Heritage Festival events

A cornucopia of historical delights to complement Heritage Festival weekend (10 – 24 June)

Celtic Day
10 June 10.30am-12noon & 1.30pm-3pm
Ferry Meadows
Go back to the time of the Celts and experience methods and tools used in fire lighting, clothes dyeing and cordage making. £3 per child. ● Age: 8+ Book online at www.neneparktrust.cloudvenue.co.uk

Hidden Heritage Tour
10 & 24 June at 2pm
Meet outside Peterborough Museum
The essential guide to Peterborough’s past. Find out more about the fascinating and often undiscovered history of Peterborough, from the foundation of the Saxon abbey to the modern city. Tours last approximately 90 minutes. £5 Adults, £3 Children. ● To book, call (01733) 864663 or email

Railworld Wildlife Haven Tour
10 June at 12 noon
Railworld Wildlife Haven – meet at Railworld entrance (parking available)
A two-hour tour and a talk by volunteer Brian Pearce highlighting artefacts of historical interest from Victorian Aqueducts to the RTV 31 Hovertrain. Tea and biscuits provided. Suggested donation £5. ● To book, please call/text Brian on 07746922707

Peterborough Cathedral Civil War Talk and Tour
13 June 7.30pm
Knights’ Chamber Peterborough Cathedral
Join Cathedral Director of Operations and local historian Stuart Orme to find out what happened in Peterborough – most particularly at the Cathedral – during the English Civil War. After an introductory talk in the historic Knights’ Chamber, the event continues with a brief tour in and around the Cathedral to see some of the evidence of this tumultuous period. Event lasts approximately 90 minutes. £9 adults, £6 children. ●For more information and tickets, visit the Cathedral’s website at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk visit the Visitor Information Centre on Bridge Street or call (01733) 452336.

Late Night Priestgate Vaults
14 June at 7:30pm
Peterborough Museum
The doors creak open for a late night tour, offering more opportunities to experience the Museum Vaults and celebrate 500 years of local history. Tour lasts 45 mins. Not suitable for under 8s or those of a nervous disposition. £4 Adults, £3 Children and Concessions. ● To book, call (01733) 864663 or email

Crime and Punishment Tour
15 June at 7.30pm
Meet outside Peterborough Museum
Venture into the city’s criminal past and discover Peterborough’s place of execution, prisons and grisly deeds from our history. Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes. £5 Adults, £3 Children. ● To book, call (01733) 864663 or email

Friends of Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, Lunchtime Lecture: Grandma, What did you do in the Great War?
15 June at 1pm (buffet lunch from 12:15)
Peterborough Museum
An illustrated presentation by Mr John Dewis of the lives of ordinary women performing extraordinary deeds, and often unacknowledged heroism in their workplace and local community. Their contribution was essential to civilian life and military success, and created a tumultuous change in the role of women in society. £4 members, £5 visitors. ● Tickets only available on the door.

Civil War Banquet
16 June at 7.30pm
Knights’ Chamber, Peterborough Cathedral Visitor Centre
To tie in with the Civil War theme of this year’s Heritage Festival, partake of a special 17th century style banquet in the historic surroundings of the Knights’ Chamber, presided over by Oliver Cromwell and his entourage, and accompanied by music from Hautbois. Ticket includes 3 course meal, drinks and entertainment. £50 per ticket. ● For more information and tickets, visit the Cathedral’s website at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk visit the Visitor Information Centre on Bridge Street or call (01733) 452336.

The Clockwork Infirmary
17-18 June, 10am – 5pm
Peterborough Museum
It’s a Steampunk takeover! For two days entertainers and traders will fill Peterborough Museum. Umbrella Fencing, Tea Duelling and Clockwork Snail Racing… it’s all happening alongside trade stalls to kit you out for your new look. There’s no need to book for this event, just drop in. Free! ● For more information call (01733) 864664 or email

The Words in My Hand
20 June at 7pm
John Clare Theatre, Central Library
Author Guinevere Glasfurd brings 17th Century Amsterdam alive. The Words in My Hand is based on the true story of the affair between a Dutch maid desperate to educate herself, and philosopher René Descartes. It is a story that was hidden at the time and almost entirely lost from history. £5 (£4 concessions). ● Tickets available at any Peterborough Library, Peterborough Museum or Waterstones Bridge Street.

Festival Special Ghost Walk
20 June at 7.30pm
City Centre – depart from Peterborough Museum
Explore the city’s spooky side! Be spellbound by our haunted heritage with our ever-popular ghost walk. Find out about phantom monks, a slaughtered cavalier and creatures from the underworld. Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes. £5 Adults, £3 Children. ● To book, call (01733) 864663 or email

Peterborough Cathedral: Revealing the 800-year-old Secrets of the Painted Nave Ceiling; a talk by Historian and Broadcaster Dr Jonathan Foyle
21 June at 7.30pm
Peterborough Cathedral
One of the unique features of Peterborough Cathedral is its painted wooden medieval nave ceiling. Join Jonathan Foyle for a fascinating insight into this 13th century treasure and a brand new theory into the political skulduggery behind its design. Jonathan Foyle has written a new book on Peterborough Cathedral, due for publication in November 2017. £12 adults, £10 under 16s (includes refreshments). ● For more information and tickets, visit the Cathedral’s website at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk; visit the Visitor Information Centre on Bridge Street or call (01733) 452336.

Peterborough Pub Quiz
22 June at 7pm
The Brewery Tap, Westgate
The quiz returns! Can you tell your Baker Perkins from your Perkins Engines? Have you any idea which Peterborian founded Pizza Express? Then this could be the quiz for you… come and test your knowledge of Peterborough in a special pub quiz. Teams can be 3 to 6 people and there are prizes to be won! Free! ● To book your team, call (01733) 864663 or email

Vivacity Volunteers

Volunteers are vital to Vivacity – but never more so than during the Heritage Festival, when numbers swell to a veritable army!
‘The Heritage Festival just could not run without our volunteers,’ says Vivacity Heritage Programmes and Commercial Development Manager Rachel Walmsley. According to Rachel, many are ‘regulars who are always there, come rain or shine’, but some are also recruited specially for the weekend swelling the ranks to about 60 Vivacity volunteers over the weekend. Husband and wife Rex and Annie certainly qualify as regulars. Both retired and in their 70s, they have been involved in voluntary work for many years.

‘I volunteer at Flag Fen or the Museum every week between May and December as a guide with the occasional extra day as required,’ says Rex. ‘I’m a great believer in keeping my mind active and love the heritage that Peterborough has. I really want to pass on my interest on to other people and encourage them to be proud of our great city.’ Annie’s philosophy, she says, is ‘to try and make a difference’.

‘It is important to celebrate our rich history,’ she adds. ‘There are lots of opportunities within Vivacity in many different fields whatever interest you have, including history, crafts, libraries, sport, theatre and art. It is good both physically and mentally to keep active when you are retired, to engage with projects and be part of a team. Meeting people of all races, religions, ages, lifestyles and backgrounds and sharing the same experiences – it enriches our lives.’

The Heritage Festival is an experience they both cherish. ‘I love seeing thousands of people smiling after watching events in Cathedral Square and having fun,’ says Annie. ‘One year on the Saturday of the Heritage Festival I met a man who was visiting Peterborough and discovered the Festival. He said he was going to bring his family the next day as he had been so impressed with what he had seen.’ ‘The Heritage Festival is a great introduction to volunteering with us,’ says Rachel, ‘because there are so many different things that people do, many of which go unnoticed by visitors but which take an army of volunteers to achieve.’

● Want to get involved with some of Peterborough’s vital services and have some fun in the process? Become a volunteer for Vivacity, Peterborough’s culture and leisure charitable trust, and you could be helping out at the Heritage Festival, Key Theatre, Peterborough Museum, Flag Fen, Longthorpe Tower or Vivacity’s libraries and leisure centres.

● Getting involved is easy – just email or visit www.vivacity-peterborough.com/volunteering for application information.

● The latest opportunities can also be found on Twitter by following @VivacityVols

Keep up-to-date with great summer activities around Peterborough this summer with our hashtag #SummerFun

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