Stuart living-history at the Westgate Museum

Press Release: 15/09/2010

During the weekend of 18th and 19th September, visitors to the Westgate Museum in Winchester will have the chance to step back in time and experience what life was like for everyday folk in the mid-seventeenth century.

Members of the Pastpresent Living History Group will be on hand, dressed in Stuart period costume, to answer questions. There will also be replica objects from the period for visitors to handle and use.

Visitors will be transported back to the year 1650. Parliament had triumphed in the English Civil War and King Charles I was dead, yet life had to go on for ordinary people. You will discover how a widow and an ex-royalist soldier were able to survive at a time when even Christmas was banned and you needed a military pass just to go into town to shop.

Robin Iles, Winchester City Council’s Museums Education Officer said: “The Westgate Museum is an ideal setting for this event. It housed a debtor’s prison throughout the seventeenth century and still contains the graffiti carved by prisoners into the soft chalk walls. On display is a boot that was reputedly left behind by King Charles II on a visit to Winchester and a walking staff owned by Oliver Cromwell’s son, Richard, who lived at Hursley. Armour, coins and everyday belongings from the time are also on show, and there is even replica period armour to try on.”

Cllr Dominic Hiscock, Portfolio Holder for Economic Prosperity at Winchester City Council, added: “This free event at the Westgate promises to provide a fascinating insight into Stuart period life in Winchester. It is one of the year-round programme of free, family-friendly events hosted by the City Council’s museums, and is likely to be particularly popular with local families who have children studying the period at school.”

You can meet the seventeenth century re-enactors at the Westgate Museum on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September, 10am-5pm. Admission is free.