May 2024 Nottinghamshire Heritage Events

The month of May is promising to be a month full of exciting historic events. Take a list at our list below:

Thursday 2nd May: Opening on Thursday 2nd May, an exhibition on ‘Counter Culture’ showcasing how shopping has evolved since 1849 when John Boot opened his Boots store in Goose Gate, Nottingham. The exhibition uses historic artefacts, architecture, and images to explore the changes to the experiences of the high street. As well as the exhibition, which you can see free of charge at the Djanogly Gallery, there are also a number of gallery tours and special related talks, such as ‘The Story of Boots' 17: Selling Cosmetics to the Post-War Teenager’ on Thursday 9th May. Check out the exhibition and the organised talks here.

Saturday 4th May:  An extended version of Palace Theatre’s ‘Besieged (but never beaten) Tour’ will be taking place in Newark. The tour takes a deep dive in the British Civil War and will take you around some of the 17th century sites, including Newark Castle, while discussing the experiences of the war. The tour runs for 2 ½ hours and includes approximately 3 miles of walking. Tickets cost £10 per person. Book your place here.

Saturday 4th- Monday 6th May: A vintage fun fair will be open at Rufford Abbey between Saturday 4th and Monday 6th May. Enjoy traditional rides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s over the extended bank holiday weekend. Visit the fair information here.

Thursday 9th May: Take a tour around the Nottinghamshire Archives in which you will get the opportunity to view special and unique items from their collections. As part of the tour, you will also get to visit the Conservation Studio and learn about the techniques used to treat and preserve artefacts of different materials. Tickets cost £3 per person. Book your tickets here.

Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th May: To celebrate National Mills Weekend, head over to Green’s Mill and Science Centre to climb the 19th century windmill and learn 200-year-old methods of turning grain into flour. Entry is free. For more event information visit here.

Wednesday 15th May: At Worksop Library, local historian Adrian Gray will be presenting an in depth look at some of the women of Nottinghamshire who have had a significant impact in challenging the man’s world that they were forced to live in. Tickets cost £3 per person. Book your place here.

Thursday 16th May: Join staff at Nottinghamshire Archives to discover the history of mental health care in Nottinghamshire, from the records of the people who experienced it first-hand. Learn about the reasons for admittance as well as how caring for those suffering from mental health has evolved from asylum to hospitals. Tickets cost £5 per person. Book your place here.

Thursday 16th May: Take a fascinating gallery tour of the ‘Dear Sisters’ exhibition with the Nottinghamshire Feminist Archive Group at the Weston Gallery to learn the about the stories of the items on display. The tour is free, but booking is required. Book your place here.

Friday 18th May: Mansfield Central Library will be hosting an amazing Hands on Heritage Day. Visit local and family history stalls, browse the books for sale, explore pop-up museums, and view old Nottinghamshire photographs, maps and more. You can also get hands-on with fun crafts and activities for all the family including a virtual reality coal mine, traditional circus skills, toys from the past, and amazing archaeology. No booking necessary! For the full event information, visit the event page here.

Friday 18th May – Saturday 19th May: Be taken back to World War 2 at Thoresby Park the weekend of the 18th-19th May. You will get the opportunity to experience life in military camps, see how life on the Homefront was and vehicles that would have graced our roads. You can also buy yourself a treat at the Vintage Village or listen to live 40’s music. Entry is free. Weekend camping is available, book your camping place here.

Tuesday 21st May: Join photographer Neil Pledger for a hands-on workshop on heritage photography. You will learn techniques, specifically tailored to architectural and heritage photography, and head into Mansfield Town Centre to practice what you’ve learnt. This workshop is for ages 16+ and tickets cost £5 per person. You must also bring your own camera or phone. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear for the outdoor part of the workshop, taking weather conditions into account. Book your place here.

Thursday 23rd May: Author, and British Museum exhibition curator, Richard Abdy will be hosting a ‘Legion: Life in the Roman Army’ talk to accompany the current exhibition at the British Museum and the recent book of the same title. Hear about stories of everyday aspects of the army in the heyday of the Roman Empire – from life in a tent to the food soldiers consumed – and explains its hierarchy, roles, equipment and place in a vast multi-ethnic society divided between citizens and subjects. Tickets cost £3 per person (free concessions) and takes place at the Djanogly Theatre, Lakeside Arts. Book your place here.

Friday 24th May: At the University of Nottingham Museum, explore fascinating finds from Nottingham’s caves that show everyday people at work and at leisure with exhibition curator Dr Chris King. This event will allow you to get up-close and personal with some finds from the cave and you will also get the opportunity to handle some of them. There will be two identical talks on 24th May and tickets cost £3 per person (free concessions). Book your place here.

Saturday 25th May: Fancy completing a heritage-based escape room? Nottinghamshire Archives will be hosting an exciting opportunity to explore the heritage of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire by solving puzzles and gathering clues around Nottinghamshire Archives. There will be a time limit to complete the challenge that will test your deductive skills, powers of reasoning and teamwork. Tickets cost £5 per person. There will be four timed events on 25th May. Book your place here, just click on your time-preferred ‘Archives Escaped!’ to book.

Tuesday 28th May: At West Bridgford Library, the ‘Footpads, Kings and Highwaymen’ talk given by Ian Morgan will explore the old Great North Road through Nottinghamshire, which saw scenes of horrific battles, was the haunts of highwaymen, and the sites of murder. Tickets cost £3. Book your place here.

Photograph of Newark Castle

Above: Newark Castle