Plymouth History Festival

The city’s popular annual event will showcase and share the wonderful community heritage work that takes place throughout the year. The overarching themes for 2022 centre on the National Marine Park and how Plymouth’s enduring connection with the water has shaped the identities of its people and communities.

Week One

During week one you can enjoy a ‘Local History Bonanza Day’ at The Box where you can meet and chat to history groups and associations from the local area, listen to talks about the environmental impact on some of Plymouth’s most historic sites, Polish naval memories from WW2 and enjoy a series of fascinating film clips from the archives on the subject of water and the sea.


Enjoy an exhibition and associated guided walk celebrating the lives and paintings of local artists such as Beryl Cook, William Gibbons and John Oxley Nash at Ford Park Cemetery. Take a ‘Walk with History’ around Royal William Yard, St Budeaux or a meander around Frankfort Gate and the city centre with the High Street Heritage Action Zone project. 


Go on a tour of the Tamar Bridge, Royal Albert Bridge or Elizabethan House. Hear talks about Drake’s Island, the ‘three towns’ of Plymouth, Devonport & Stonehouse in the 19th Century and the Park Pharmacy Trust. Join in with a special ‘Heritage Litter Pick’ in Stonehouse or get involved in a ‘Community .Curation Day’ in Stoke Village.

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Experience a brand new performance lecture about Plymouth-born artist Solomon Hart who became the first Jewish member of London’s prestigious Royal Academy at the Synagogue.

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Week Two

While some of the events from Week One are repeated in Week Two, a host of new events will also take place.


Explore the exciting world of genealogy in a virtual talk by the Devon Family History Society. Put your walking shoes on again to explore Mount Wise, Plymouth’s Town Walls, the historic Barbican and the northern and southern parts of Plymouth’s old town boundary.


Hear talks about the crossings of the River Tamar and the Royal Albert Bridge. Use some of the city’s newly-developed Trails App to discover Plympton St Maurice and many of our historic blue plaques. Learn about some of Plymouth’s LGBT+ sites of the past and present.

Week Three

With more opportunities to enjoy events you might have missed during the earlier part of May, the final week of this year’s History Festival also includes a special day of talks about ‘Our Ocean City, Stories and Sounds of the Sea’ at the University of Plymouth. 


Guided Walks will take you from Plymouth to Saltash, Stonehouse Town Gate to Frankfort Gate, Drakes Cottage and Stonehouse Pool to The Box, as well as around the western side of Plymouth’s old town walls and the site of the former Royal Naval Hospital at the Millfields and along the waterside of St Budeaux. 


The Devon Family History Society return with another virtual talk, this time focused on Dartmoor. Meanwhile, a new exhibition and associated talk at Ford Park Cemetery will share the stories of some of the residents who met grisly ends!

Take part in a unique workshop led by the Renaissance Dance Company who specialise in the performance of 15th-19th century court and country dances.

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You can take part in another Help out at a Heritage Litter Pick or a Community Curation Event in Ernesettle, or experience a special online exhibition by Plymouth Marjon University all about its history.


As with other years, the 2022 Plymouth History Festival would not be possible without the support of a wide range of partner organisations, societies and individuals across the city. The Festival is coordinated by The Box, which also has a wide range of events taking place throughout May 


This year’s Plymouth History Festival will run from 7-27 May

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