University supports BBC History Magazine’s Chester weekend.

Chester in the English Civil War, Viking warrior women, and the history of German Jews during and after World War One, are just some of the talks provided by University of Chester academics at BBC History Magazine’s History Weekend in the city from October 25 to 27.

BBC History Magazine is bringing its festival to Chester for the first time, and has been liaising with staff from the University of Chester’s History and Archaeology Department, who will be well represented at the event, sharing their broad and varied expertise.

The University has also launched a photography competition on its social media channels, offering the lucky winner two free tickets to attend two of the festival talks taking place over the weekend. Full details of the competition can be found at:

The three main speakers from the University are Professor Peter Gaunt; Professor Howard Williams and Professor Tim Grady.

Professor Gaunt’s lecture takes place on Friday, October 25 between 5pm and 6pm.

From Autumn 1642 until early 1646 Chester was a major royalist base, a garrison and a stronghold in the northern Marches and the North West. Professor Gaunt’s talk

explores the role which Chester might have played and was expected to play in the Civil War, assessing its potential and value to the king’s cause and its threat to the parliamentarians. It argues that in fact Chester was viewed very differently, not only by the two sides but also when placed within local, regional and national contexts, and that for a variety of reasons in reality it never served as a dynamic regional capital.

Peter Gaunt is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Chester. A specialist in both the Civil War and the Cromwellian Protectorate, he has written or edited 16 books, including studies of the civil war in Wales, in England and Wales and in Britain and Ireland as whole, as well as two (different) biographies of Oliver Cromwell. He is a past Chairman and current President of The Cromwell Association.

To book on to his talk, visit:

Professor Tim Grady’s talk, entitled German Jews, the First World War and its Deadly Legacy, takes place on Sunday, October 27, between 2pm and 3pm. Whether at home or at the front, German Jews played a central role in the First World War. Almost 100,000 Jews served, 12,000 died and across the country the Jewish communities dedicated themselves to the war effort. Professor Grady’s talk discusses the diversity of Jewish wartime experiences, while also considering the conflict’s multiple legacies.

Tim Grady is Professor of Modern History at the University of Chester. He has published widely on the history of the First World War and 20th-century Germany. His most recent book – A Deadly Legacy: German Jews and the Great War – was shortlisted for the Wolfson and the Cundill History prizes 2018.

To book on to his talk, visit:

Professor Howard Williams’ talk about Viking women, which takes place on Saturday, October 26 between 10 and 11am, is already sold out, as are the historical walking tours of the city, which are also hosted by the Department of History and Archaeology.

As part of the weekend, the Department of History and Archaeology has also put together the History Fringe, which showcases free 15 minute sessions, held between the talks, with speakers from the University of Chester.

Topics include the day-to-day activities of the siege of Chester, Isaac Newton at the Royal Mint, and how medieval people handled ‘ancient’ discoveries.

The full line-up can be found at:

Head of the Department of History and Archaeology, Professor Meggen Gondek, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the University, and our Department, are represented in such an excellent and varied way at the BBC History Magazine Weekend in Chester. We have so much knowledge and expertise to celebrate and share, and this is a wonderful way to do it. Tickets are still available for many of the events, so I would urge everyone to come and experience what’s on offer.”

Linked in to the BBC History Magazine Weekend, the Department of History and Archaeology has also produced two ‘Expert explains’ videos, presented by speakers at the event, Professor Tim Grady and Dr Katherine Wilson.

Professor Grady’s can be found at: and Dr Katherine Wilson’s, exploring one of the world’s most famous paintings, can be found at:

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