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We offer an exceptional range of history and culture courses, including; family history and genealogy, art and music appreciation, literature, architecture, religion and philosophy. Our tutors are experts both in their subjects and in drawing parallels with our lives today. Our history and culture classes are active, and you will have opportunities to get involved and develop your research skills. We also offer trips and day schools. (See also – languages and writing)

1066 and all that - Herefordshire from Alfred the Great to Henry I View details

Herefordshire was one of the few areas of Midland England that avoided the Viking raids. It was annexed as part of Alfred’s kingdom and ruled by his daughter Aethelflaed. Hereford itself became a ‘burh’ –a fortified town – and subsequently a new shire was established as an area of tribute around it. This flourished until the Norman Conquest when Herefordshire became a militarized zone, intensively covered in earthwork castles, as the Normans set-out to annex Wales. This situation is reflected in Domesday Book (1086), which provides a unique portrait of the social and economic state of the region and suggests the framework for a discussion of the church and the revival of urban life. These issues will all be discussed and illustrated in this course.

1387-1485. England in the drama and change from Medieval to Early Modern Society View details

Art, expansion of printing and with it literature, magnificent architecture and painting, a century of glorious achievements yet at the same time one of frequent turmoil as rival claimants and their supporters engage in deadly conflict for the ultimate prize; the throne. The course considers not only the unfolding dramas between 1387 and 1487 when battle finally catapulted the Tudors onto the throne, but also lives and achievements in all walks of society as the people of our towns and villages move from the medieval to early modern England.

A Family at War: The Prince Regent, his Wife and Daughter View details

Behind the romance and glamour of the Regency period lay the deep social and political problems of a nation at war. In this period the personal was political and the Regent's feud with his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, and his problems in controlling his daughter, Princess Charlotte, had implications of national importance.

A Guide to Understanding Paintings View details

The fourth instalment of our stroll through western art history, this course aims to increase your enjoyment when looking at paintings through a series of lectures on artists and their lives, this time including Rembrandt, Matisse, Magritte, British War Artists and some Contemporary Art for good measure...


This ten week course identifies ten important ideas that shaped human development. Where do these ideas come from and where does the actual word originate from that describes the ideas. The ten ideas are: Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Industrialization, ideologies, Feminism, Darwinism, environmentalism, postmodernism, Islam. What has been the impact upon society from these ideas.

A History of the Music Hall in Leicester View details

'Your Very Own!' - Little Tich, Vesta Tilley, Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno - entertained the music hall masses with their skills, repertoires, and songs. Leicester as a city was a highlight of the theatrical calendar for many acts, boasting the biggest theatre outside London. Come to a day workshop on the people's entertainment, and share the joys, tragedies and triumphs of many acts, theatres, and theatrical workers. Taught by author and music hall historian Deborah Tyler-Bennett, and using objects and pictures from the period.

A Taste of History View details

Have you ever wondered what frumenty was, or what Roman Army bread was like? What happened when potatoes arrived in Britain? How important was the invention of baking powder? Do you call the mid-day meal lunch or dinner, and why? We will explore how the food on our plate, and the ways we eat it, has changed over time. Each session will focus on a particular period of history and as part of the session we will cook a key dish together to illustrate - and illuminate - how people cooked and ate at the time. Students can join in the practical cooking as much or as little as they wish and no previous experience is necessary.

Alexander the Great View details

Alexander the Great is one of the most famous individuals in history. This course examines how far he deserves the title “the Great”. We will trace his rise from the obscurity of Macedonia to the conquest of the Persian Empire and an early death in Babylon. The day will focus especially on his military campaigns that took him to Egypt, Persia and the Indus Valley. Does he deserve to be called "the Great" or not?

Alfred The Great - Who was he? View details

Overcoming many personal and political problems ‘who was hopeful in defeat and generous in success’, noted author Charles Dickens, Alfred is the only English monarch to be known as ‘The Great’. That said, some have hinted his achievements have been significantly exaggerated.

American Art (1850-1990) View details

A leisurely stroll through American Art, starting with James Whistler in the 1850s, through to the War years with Jackson Pollock and the Abstract Expressionists, then the invention of Pop and Conceptual Art with Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, and finishing with the embrace of Street Art with Jean Michel Basquiat in the 1980s