Chalke Valley History Festival

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Wiltshire 2014

The 2014 Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival has got off to a fabulous start, with blue skies, warm sun and a gentle breeze.


This wonderful and unique history event draws speakers from the very highest order of Historical study and expertise, both to speak, discuss, and to listen. Subjects on the second day, and I was only there a short while, included a truly enthralling seminar by the 93 year old Auschwitz Concentration Camp survivor Freddie Knoller speaking on “Living with the enemy”. A packed audience listened enthralled to a 90 minute talk by this amazing survivor, full of humour and emotion.


This festival with listeners from far and wide, is truly a feature on the British Social Calendar. Sam Willis spoke with great charm and wit on the “History of Disasters at Sea” , stories and facts both amusing and rather unsavoury came tumbling out with great verve and aplomb, and questions were fielded with honesty and humour.


Typically of the Chalke Valley History Festival, there was great difficulty choosing between these lectures and that by Tom Holland on Theseus – sponsored by St Mary’s School Shaftesbury.

Aside from the lectures, a wide range of booths and areas of varied historical interest,


wartime vehicles, weaponry and everyday life from the middle ages, along with stunning food marquee by Victoria Blashford-Snell


Champagne and oysters provided by the King John Inn at Tollard Royal



Co-chairman of the Chalke Valley History Festival James Heneage.




Reflections on a festival.


© Michael Blyth Photography 2024