Hampshire Cultural Trust

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This map pinpoints some of the most exciting cultural venues in Hampshire.

We will showcase, connect and empower its creative economy



Andover has a long and fascinating history, but how much do local people really know about their town?

Actors from the Theatre of Dark Encounters will bring the town’s history alive over four days in August by taking people on a historical tour of the town to mark the official relaunch of the Andover Heritage Trail. The actors will be dressed in period costume and will share stories about how England’s peace with the Vikings was secured, how a scandal in the town’s workhouse led to the reform of the Poor Laws, and how the arrival of the railways affected people living and working in the town.

The tours are free and will take place on Friday 12, 19 and 26 August at 11.30am and 1.30pm and Sunday 21 August at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. They will last around 75 minutes and are suitable for ages eight and over. Tours start at Town Mills and finish at Andover Museum. Tickets must be booked in advance through The Lights Theatre box office or by calling 01264 368368.

The relaunch is part of Test Valley Borough Council’s Four Fun Fridays project, which will see a vibrant programme of street entertainment, live music, creative workshops and competitions for all the family to enjoy each Friday in August.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “The tours will be informative and engaging and give a unique experience for locals, or visitors, to learn more about Andover. We hope they will give people, especially the younger audience, a rare insight into the lives of some of the inhabitants from years gone by when it was one of the most important coaching towns in the south.”

The relaunched Heritage Trail has been made possible through a Heritage Lottery Grant and a partnership between Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire Cultural Trust.


BBC History Magazine's weekend festival is back this autumn for a fourth year running. This year’s festival sees a new historic setting in the centre of Winchester, with a tremendous line-up featuring some of the biggest names in popular history.

The history weekend is working with Hampshire Cultural Trust on the county’s big theme for 2016, Royal Blood, a year-long series of historical exhibitions, performances and events bringing Hampshire’s history life. The county has played host to many crucial moments in English history and the Royal Blood events have been planned to both excite and educate visitors about its rich and illustrious royal past.

Running from 7-9 October, the festival will this year be making is debut in Winchester. The ancient capital of England is steeped in Anglo-Saxon and medieval history, and one of the lecture venues will be the amazing 13th-century Great Hall. Speakers for the weekend include Antony Beevor, Dan Snow, Suzannah Lipscomb, Jonathan Dimbleby and Michael Wood amongst many more.

This fascinating weekend is a rare opportunity to hear from some of the world’s leading historians and authors on a range of topics from Richard III and The Norman Conquest, to the Last Royal Rebels and The Private Lives of the Tudors. There are also special events to enjoy such as The Historical Trips Debate, where four expert historians will debate the Second World War, as well as a fun H for History Quiz. For a full list of ticket prices, a talk programme and to book tickets please visit www.historyweekend.com/winchester.

The weekend will be running alongside the Royal Blood events schedule, which throughout the year will include gallery exhibits, re-enactments and outdoor performances to transport everyone back to the Hampshire’s past. For a full line up of Royal Blood activities please visit http://www.royalbloodhants.co.uk/.

Southampton City Art Gallery awarded £450,000 from Arts Council England

Southampton City Art Gallery awarded £450,000 from Arts Council England’s Museums Resilience Fund

Southampton City Art Gallery, along with its partner Hampshire Cultural Trust, has been awarded £450,000 to transform the quality of cultural experiences across the county and raise the profile of Southampton’s world class fine art collection.

Cllr Satvir Kaur, Cabinet member for Communities, Culture and Leisure at Southampton City Council said "I’m really delighted that Southampton City Art Gallery has been successfully awarded money from the Museums Resilience Fund. This exciting project, which will be run in conjunction with Hampshire Cultural Trust, will ensure many more people will get to enjoy the gallery’s outstanding collection. The city is quickly becoming one of the south coast’s cultural capitals, and this vote of confidence from Arts Council England is another major step forward."

Over the next 18 months, Southampton City Art Gallery will work with Hampshire Cultural Trust’s four flagship galleries in Hampshire - The Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke; The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre; Gosport Gallery; and St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery - to develop a bold and ambitious artistic programme.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust said, "We are delighted that Arts Council England have awarded £450,000 towards delivery of this exciting vision for culture in Hampshire. We are looking forward to working in close partnership with Southampton City Council and other partners to bring great art to local people through vibrant gallery programmes in Basingstoke, Gosport, Lymington, Southampton and Winchester."

Announcing the award this morning, Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: "This is an exciting scheme bringing together the galleries in Hampshire’s Flagship project to showcase some of the world class art held in Southampton City Art Gallery. Southampton City Art Gallery and Hampshire Cultural Trust are working together to raise the profile of top quality exhibitions and give more people the chance to enjoy them. These museums and galleries are looking to build a more secure and resilient future and we’re delighted to be supporting them through the Museums Resilience Fund."

We Are Here

We Are Here

Summer Arts College ran in July 2016 with a group of vulnerable young people aged 15-17 referred by Hampshire Youth Offending Team. The group took part in photography sessions with professionals from In Focus and poetry workshops with performance poet, Femi Martin; the project was held at the University of Winchester. The group were inspired to think about their place in the universe, from home to outer space. All individuals in the group grew in confidence, positive behaviour and creative expression. Four vulnerable young people gained Explore and Bronze Arts Awards.

One young person who has been a victim of abuse and has a challenging home life said: “This has been the best part of my rollercoaster and I don’t want it to stop…the course has kept me out of trouble, I feel I can achieve things…it has changed the way I feel about myself and the way I see others, it has been good for my confidence.”

A young man who is in the care system said: “I have been on a lot of projects but this is the best thing I’ve been on…this project has helped me step forward in my life, I have learnt that I can be mature and more confident…I want to go to college in September.”

The group of young people performed their final poems to an audience on Friday 29 July in the gallery café at Theatre Royal Winchester where an exhibition of their photographs is displayed until end of August 2016.  One audience member commented: “What an amazingly brave and talented group of young people who are all sure to set the world on fire in their own individual ways. Well done to you all.”

“A great sharing of poetry and images. Powerful and moving words. Glad to have supported the programme,” commented Peter Taylor, Strategic Manager, Artswork.

This project was managed by Hampshire Cultural Trust, in partnership with Hampshire Youth Offending Team. It was funded by a co-investment from Artswork and the Police & Crime Commissioner. The co-investment aims to realise a number of shared objectives including reducing antisocial behaviour, youth offending rates and supporting those who are vulnerable and at most risk through sustainable high quality arts and cultural programmes that will also have Arts Council England’s Quality Principles at their heart.

Pop in to see the exhibition at Theatre Royal Winchester before the end of August!




100 awe-inspiring photographs from The Natural History Museum’s world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will be on display to the public at the Gallery @ Gosport Discovery Centre this summer.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition opened at the Gallery, which is run by the Hampshire Cultural Trust, on 9 July, and will run until 3 September. Admission to the exhibition is free of charge.

This touring exhibition, which is on loan from the Natural History Museum, showcases the very best wildlife imagery in the world, from captivating animal behaviour to breathtaking natural landscapes.

The photographs illustrate the abundance, majesty, and vulnerability of life whether on land, sea or sky. From intimate portraits to layered motion stills, they blend startling visuals, compelling narratives, and a passion for the natural world.


Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "We are thrilled to be hosting this prestigious exhibition once again. It is a fantastic showcase for some of the natural world's most astonishing and challenging sights, and an honour for Gosport to be part of the exhibition's international tour, which allows the photographs to be seen by millions of people across the world."

Wildlife Photographer of the Year has provided a global platform for images taken across the world for over 50 years.

Launched in 1965, when it attracted just 361 entries, today the competition receives over 42,000 entries from 96 countries, highlighting its enduring appeal. This year’s 100 award-winning images are on an international tour which crosses six continents.


Portrait of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, c.1770-1775, Cosway, Richard, (1742-1821) / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images

2016 marks 300 years since the birth of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, England's most famous landscape designer, who changed the face of eighteenth century England.

As part of the Capability Brown Festival in Hampshire celebrating this landmark anniversary, Hampshire Gardens Trust is putting on three events at Hampshire Record Office over the summer.


Thursday 30 June 2016, 1:00pm - 1:30pm

An Introductory Lecture to the HGT ‘Brown in Hampshire’ Exhibition

A lunchtime talk by Sally Miller, Chair of the Research Group. Admission is free of charge, no booking required.


Thursday 30 June - Thursday 29 September

Exhibition of Brown Sites in Hampshire By HGT

This exhibition by Hampshire Gardens Trust marks the 300th birthday of landscape architect and gardener, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. He designed over 170 parks and gardens, several of which can be found in Hampshire. The exhibition is open Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm, and on every first and third Saturday in the month 9:00am - 4:00pm. Admission is free, no booking is required.


Thursday 21 July, 12:30pm - 1:45pm

Lancelot Brown's Kitchen Gardens in Hampshire with Susan Campbell

Brown included kitchen gardens in his landscapes, a fact that is generally overlooked. His landscapes in Hampshire are no exception. This talk examines eight Hampshire examples, with a possible ninth thrown in for good measure. Admission free - donations to Hampshire Gardens Trust welcome on the day.

Susan Campbell has been researching the history of walled kitchen gardens for over 20 years and is a well-known authority on the subject. She leads the Walled Kitchen Gardens Network – click here for the website








Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape is moving to The Sainsbury Gallery at The Willis Museum, Basingstoke, on 18 June.

The exhibition ran from 28 March until 12 June in The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre, and welcomed over 10,000 visitors from across the UK through its doors.

The exhibition celebrates the pioneering eighteenth-century landscape designer and was formally opened on 31 March by much-loved television presenter and writer Alan Titchmarsh, a great admirer of Brown’s work.

Also on show at the Willis Museum from 11 June until 23 July, is a complementary exhibition, the Capability Brown Community Exhibition. Students from Hampshire schools and Basingstoke Young Carers have created images, photographs and artwork inspired by Capability Brown's landscapes in this exhibition which is a partnership between Hampshire Cultural Trust, NADFAS and Four Lanes Trust.

2016 marks 300 years since the birth of Capability Brown, England’s most famous landscape designer. Visitors to the fascinating Master of the Landscape exhibition will discover how Brown radically changed the face of 18th century England, and will be able to step into the landscape to reveal his genius and find out what it takes to move a mountain.

Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “We are delighted to bring Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape to Basingstoke, particularly after its huge success in Winchester.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to view the captivating displays and find out more about this hugely influential figure. The legacy he created is still enjoyed by visitors to his many landscapes both locally and throughout the UK during this, his tercentennial year.”

Admission to Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape is free of charge and opening hours are Tuesday – Friday, 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm.

The tercentenary is being celebrated with the Capability Brown Festival 2016: www.capabilitybrown.org



A 700-year-old gold ring found by a metal detectorist in the Winchester area has been acquired for the City Council’s museum collection by the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

The ring has one sapphire and two garnet settings. Its large size, a little more than 20mm in diameter, makes it likely to have belonged to a man rather than a woman.

The metal detectorist submitted the find to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), run nationally by the British Museum in London.  It was declared treasure by law and offered up for sale.

Hampshire Cultural Trust, which cares for the museum collections of Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council, was able to purchase the ring with substantial grant aid from the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and The Headley Trust, matched by a contribution of £3,000 from Winchester City Council.

“In addition to its age - it is quite unusual to find an object of this type after all this time - there are a number of things which make this ring so important,” explained Helen Rees, Curator of Winchester Archaeology at Hampshire Cultural Trust.

“Objects made of precious metals were often melted down and re-worked, so they were much less likely to survive: most of the rings of a similar age that we curate are made of base metal and much plainer. How such a valuable object came to be sitting in a muddy field is a puzzle that we may eventually solve, although it won’t be easy.”

Cllr Steve Miller, Portfolio Holder for Estates and Local Economy at Winchester City Council, said:

“Winchester City Council is delighted to have acquired this well-crafted, precious and beautiful object.  Metal detectorists play an active role in contributing to museum collections across the country, and I can only guess how exciting it must be to come across a find of this quality.

“Thanks to the good offices of Hampshire Cultural Trust and the financial support of The Headley Trust and Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Fund, we can keep the ring locally and ensure that residents of this district are able to enjoy it in the future.”

The ring is now with the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Winchester-based conservators being prepared for display in ‘Births, Battles and Beheadings’, the Royal Blood exhibition at the Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre, which runs from 5 November 2016 to 8 January 2017.  After that, it will join the other archaeological treasures on permanent display at Winchester City Museum, which are enjoyed by over 50,000 visitors a year and many more online.


The Search for Alfred the Great on Tuesday 14 June kicks off the Royal Blood Summer Lecture Series, a joint venture between Hampshire Cultural Trust and the University of Winchester in association with the Royal Studies Journal.

The first of three lectures in the series, The Search for Alfred the Great is by Dr Katie Tucker, Research Fellow in Human Bioarchaeology at the University of Winchester. The lecture will detail the archaeological, osteological and historical detective work involved in the search for the remains of King Alfred, which featured both in a 2014 BBC Two documentary and a book, In Search of Alfred the Great: The King, The Grave, The Legend, by Katie Tucker and Edoardo Albert.

On Wednesday 22 June, the second lecture focuses on a monarch who has long held a fascination for historians and the general public alike, Elizabeth I.

Estelle Paranque will begin the evening with a talk Daenerys Targaryen and the Shadow of Elizabeth I of England examining the links between Elizabeth and the well-known central character of George R.R. Martin’s historically inspired novels and TV series, Game of Thrones. Carole Levin, internationally noted scholar on Elizabeth I and her era, will give a talk on Elizabeth I and the Art of Doing Biography which will draw together the continued interest in the life of Elizabeth I and the challenges of capturing her life and reign in biographical studies.

The final lecture, on Wednesday 29 June, turns to Eleanor of Castile, the remarkable queen behind England’s greatest medieval king, Edward I, and her half-brother, Alfonso, king of Castile. Delivered by authors Sara Cockerill and Simon Doubleday, the talk will trace the sibling’s interwoven lives, from their childhoods in Andalusia to the height of their power in England and Spain, following the story of their personal passions, their influence and their afterlives in European memory.

The lectures will all take place at the University of Winchester’s King Alfred’s Campus on Sparkford Road and cost £7 per person, with free entry for University of Winchester staff and students. Click here for full details and to book tickets.



Visitors stepped back in time and explored Hampshire’s rich royal history with the coming of the kings at Westbury Manor Museum, Fareham, last weekend.

Throughout the day, there were timed presentations by local Anglo-Saxon re-enactment specialists, Weorod, which included the weaponry of the time and how it may have been used.  Visitors were alsoable to discover more about the history and archaeology of the sixth and seventh centuries, a time when the kingdoms of Kent, Wessex and Mercia fought for control of Hampshire, a time of tribal societies where people wore their wealth and fought for their rank.

A visit to the Heads and Tales exhibition inside the museum offered two different historical periods to explore, Tudor times and the English civil war in the reign of Charles I, as well as a focus on the remarkable Wriothesleys. Supporters of Henry VIII, patrons of Shakespeare, at odds with Elizabeth I and friends with King Charles I, the Wriothesley family lies at rest in nearby Titchfield Church.

Both the Anglo-Saxon Road to Royal Blood and the Heads and Tales exhibition are part of Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Royal Blood programme of re-enactments, exhibitions, performances and workshops taking place across the county throughout 2016, celebrating Hampshire’s rich and illustrious royal heritage, visit http://www.royalbloodhants.co.uk/ for more details.

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