The Society runs a regular programme of day trips, long weekends and conferences throughout the year. Please see below for events scheduled for this year.
The Society's Branches and Groups also run events and Study Days. Please visit the Branches and Groups page to discover what is happening in your local area and beyond.
Coventry Cathedral ruins. Credit: Creative CommonsThis year’s conference had the theme Medieval Coventry. Talks were given by Joanna Laynesmith on Margaret of Anjou and Coventry; Anne Sutton on Guilds, local civic life, parish life and civic aspirations; Fred Hepburn on the tapestries and stained glass in St Mary’s Hall in the Guildhall; Mark Hinsley on the military contributions of Coventry during the Wars of the Roses, and Pamela King on the Coventry mystery plays. On Saturday afternoon there was a visit to and tour of the Priory Visitor Centre, which is built over the remains of Coventry’s first cathedral.
A review of the event will be published in a future Bulletin.’
Harwich town © Visit EssexUnfortunately, due to lack of numbers the nature of this event was changed so that an intrepid group visited Harwich for the day. Harwich is a historic town with a wealth of maritime history: Frobisher, Drake and Hawkins all set sail from here. The Pilgrim Fathers’ ‘Mayflower’ was built here and its master, Christopher Jones, was from the town. Samuel Pepys was MP for Harwich and Daniel Defoe is known to have visited.
Laying of rosesOur annual pilgrimage to remember King Richard. Late morning service in Sutton Cheney Church and afternoon looking round the battlefield; there is an entertaining re-enactment of the Battle of Bosworth amid colourful tents.
Further information and a booking form can be found in the June 2018 Bulletin.
© Experience OxfordshireThis is a house through history and is still the family home of the Stonors, who have been in residence for 850 years, steadfastly surviving the trials and tribulations of the Recusancy period. This historic and beautiful house, set in sweeping grounds, and is filled with treasures from across the world.
Grand Hotel, LeicesterThe 2018 AGM and Members' Day will take place on Saturday, 29th September at the Grand Hotel, Leicester. The Isolde Wigram Memorial Lecture will be given by Rosie Hughes, the florist who made the floral arrangements for the reburial of Richard III.
Initial details can be found in the March 2018 Bulletin.
A registration of attendance for can be found in the June 2018 Bulletin.
TThe theme of this year’s study weekend was ‘Wales and the Marches in the Wars of the Roses’. Speakers and talks included: Sara Elin Roberts on 'Jasper Tudor'; Matthew Lewis on 'Richard, Duke of York in Wales and the Marches'; Anne Sutton on 'Shrewsbury during the reign of Richard III and Anne', and Livia Visser-Fuchs on ‘A Welshman at Troy in the 15th Century’.
There was also a group visit to Ludlow Castle.
A review of the weekend will be in the June Bulletin.
Banbury still has a cross on Horsefair, but it is a 19th Century replacement as the original was destroyed by the Puritans.
In the afternoon we visited Broughton Castle. The core of this moated and fortified manor house dates from 1306, the gateway is early 15thc and the rest is from the 1550s. Ownership of Broughton Castle has been with the same family (the Fiennes) since 1447.
A review of this event featured in the September 2017 Bulletin.
The City of Lancaster
© VisitEngland.comDisappointingly, we did not have as much interest as anticipated for the Lancaster trip and it was therefore cancelled.
Our annual pilgrimage to remember King Richard. Late morning service in Sutton Cheney Church and afternoon looking round the battlefield; there was an entertaining re-enactment of the Battle of Bosworth amid colourful tents.
The Mary Rose
© The Mary Rose TrustWe have been to see the Mary Rose at different stages of its preservation, but now she is in her new permanent home we were able to see her clearly.
A review of the visit was published in the December 2017 Bulletin.
The 2017 Members' Day and AGM took place on Saturday, 30th September at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, London.
The guest speaker was Chris Skidmore, author of Bosworth: the Birth of the Tudors, and Richard III: Brother, Protector, King.
Details of the AGM are featured in the December 2017 Bulletin.
A generous and delicious home cooked meal was provided in the village hall followed by glorious music and traditional readings in the church. A review of the event is available in the March 2018 Ricardian Bulletin.
The Norfolk Branch presented a performance of a brand-new history play, Uncle Richard, by the Tell Tale Theatre Company. The performance took place at The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich, alongside a programme of talks about Henry VII and Henry VIII.
The theme for the study weekend was based around the lives and experiences of women living in the 15th Century. Talks focused on a number of topics covering medicine, wills and witchcraft. The venue was the Hilton Hotel in York. A review of the event featured in the June 2016 Ricardian Bulletin.
Based in Antwerp, we visited Bruges, Ghent, Mechelen, Dendermonde and Lier. A day was spent in Bruges for the Procession of the Holy Blood, a spectacular pageant for which we had grandstand seats.
Adoration of the Mystic Lamb
© Getty Images
We also visited Ghent, the birthplace of John of Gaunt, and saw Jan and Hubert van Eyck’s famous Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, better known as the Ghent Altarpiece of 1432, in St Bavo Cathedral. Mechelen was, of course, the home for many years of Richard’s sister, Margaret of York, Countess of Burgundy.
A report of this visit featured in the September 2016 Ricardian Bulletin.
Faversham Town Centre
The morning was spent in Faversham, a charming, ancient town packed with historic buildings – some 500 are listed by English Heritage. King Stephen and Queen Matilda founded the Abbey and they were both buried there, together with their son, Eustace. A guided tour of the town was arranged.
In the afternoon we visited Canterbury, where a visit to England’s premier cathedral and a wander through the medieval streets was on offer.
A report of the visit featured in the December 2016 Ricardian Bulletin.
Laying of rosesAnnual pilgrimage to remember King Richard. A late morning service in Sutton Cheney Church and an afternoon look around the battlefield. There craft stalls, medieval encampment and an entertaining re-enactment of The Battle of Bosworth were to be found.
A report of the visit featured in the December 2016 Ricardian Bulletin.
Minster Lovell ruinsAn enjoyable trip, although a bit damp. Reading Museum was a great hit and those who followed the Abbey Quarter Tour (either self-guided or with an official guide) found the history fascinating.
Minster Lovell was as peaceful as ever and the sun even shone on us. Delicious tea provided by the PCC in St Kenelm's Church was much appreciated.
A report of the visit featured in the March 2017 Ricardian Bulletin.
The 2016 Members' Day and AGM took place Saturday, 1 October at The Merchant Adventurers' Hall, Fossgate, York YO1 9XD.
A very interesting talk was given by guest speaker Jennifer Morag Henderson about author and playwright Josephine Tey.
A summary of the day featured in the December 2016 Ricardian Bulletin.
Middleham CastleA perfect day for our visit - the weather was glorious and the castle as evocative as always, with Richard's standard proudly flying.
The town is always welcoming and most of us took advantage of a good traditional Sunday lunch at one of the hostelries. Being at the castle for the presentation of the new Standard was a fitting climax to our visit.
An account of the day appeared in the December 2016 Ricardian Bulletin.
The lovely old church welcomed us again for a traditional service of readings and carols, but there was also a new piece commissioned by the Society. The music is always wonderful but this year it was extra good.
The service was, of course, preceded by our delicious Christmas lunch at the village hall, prepared and served by Jo and her dedicated team.
Read all about it in the March Bulletin.
This year's conference was entitled 'Richard III Revealed' and took place at Burleigh Court Loughborough. The theme of the weekend was based around the discoveries made at Leicester in 2012. The events have already been widely discussed as they have unfolded, but two years down the line this was an opportunity to explore some of the other aspects of the discovery which have only slowly been revealed.
A summer visit to Fotheringhay where we heard the Requiem Mass postponed from 2014.
We also visited St John's church in Duxford village to see the wall paintings. In afternoon we visited Cambridge University Botanic Gardens where, among other plants, we saw some that have been with us since mediaeval times.
Annual pilgrimage to remember King Richard. Late morning service in Sutton Cheney Church and afternoon looking round the battlefield.
Chenies sunken garden. Reproduced by
kind permission of the owners.Chenies Manor is a beautiful, semi-fortified brick house; enlarged over the years, the core was built by Sir John Cheyne circa 1460. The Manor was owned thereafter by the Earls of Bedford (from 16th century until the 1950s). A warm welcome from the owners was received and a guided tour of the Manor was conducted.
St Albans was the scene of two important battles of the Wars of the Roses. We had a guided tour of the town from The Battlefields Trust and time to take in the historic surroundings.
The 2015 Members' Day and AGM took place on Saturday, 3 October at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, 2-8 Hanger Lane, Ealing, London W5 5HN. The guest speaker was the archaeologist Sam Wilson who spoke on 'Arming a Man for War in 15th Century'.
A generous and delicious home cooked meal was served in the village hall followed by glorious music and traditional readings in the church.
This year's Study Weekend focussed on preparing for death—how people wished to be buried and commemorated; and reburials—the rite of reburial and who initiated such services. The speakers included members of the research committee and new historians who have specialised in burials and commemorative practices.
The weekend concluded with a talk from Tim Tatton-Brown on Edward IV's tomb and chantry.
30 members were guided around four Inns of Court on a lovely, sunny afternoon in May. We heard about the history of the Inns and gardens. It is quite amazing how little havens of peace and quiet can be found in the heart of one of London's busiest areas.
A report on the walk is in the September 2014 Bulletin.
Stained glass commemorating the
poet Thomas Traherne, Audley
Chapel, Hereford Cathedral39 Ricardians visited Hereford, Worcester, Shrewsbury and Great Malvern Priory, among other places. We saw magnificent cathedrals, timbered houses and old ruins and one battlefield. We also had a detour along Ironbridge Gorge to see the famous bridge. To make it even better, we had lovely weather, just a bit of rain on Sunday morning.
You can read more in the December 2014 Bulletin.
This event focused on Richard III and Leicester and was be held at the historic Guildhall. Speakers included archaeologist Richard Buckley, Philippa Langley and Prof. Sarah Tatlow.
RomseyPorchester Castle is the best preserved of the Roman 'Saxon Shore' forts, the walls of which mainly still stand at their original six metre height – the only one in northern Europe where they remain this high. The Normans took it over in the 12th century and built the keep. Richard II made part of it into a palace and, in 1415, it was Henry V's embarkation point for the Agincourt campaign. Troops were housed at the castle during the Civil War and prisoners of war during the Napoleonic wars.
Romsey is an ancient market town. The present abbey was built by the Normans between 1120 and 1140, but the original was founded in 907 by St Elflaeda, granddaughter of Alfred the Great. The town was sacked by Vikings in 993. Henry I granted its first charter, which allowed a market to be held every Sunday. Romsey had a lucrative wool weaving and dying trade, and the town prospered but the Black Death killed half the population in 1348-49.
Norwich Assembly House, Norwich. The 2014 Members' Day and AGM took place on Saturday, 4 October in the Assembly Rooms, Norwich. The guest speaker was historian and broadcaster Helen Castor.
Once again this annual event was held at The Assembly House, Norwich and focused on 'Looking for Richard … and beyond'. The speakers included Philippa Langley, Dr John Ashdown-Hill, Dr Mike Jones and Dr Phil Stone.
Always a wonderful prelude to Christmas. A generous and delicious home cooked meal in the village hall was followed by glorious music and traditional readings in the church.
2013 was an exciting year for those with an interest in the life and times of King Richard III! The Society Conference was the first event following the test results to focus on the impact of the dig on the reputation of Richard III. Later in the year, Leicester University held its own major conference focusing on the detail of the excavation and its finds.
The 2013 study weekend was entitled Richard III: his Friends and Foes in the North and was once again be held at the Elmbank Hotel. The keynote speaker was Tony Pollard and other speakers included Toni Mount, Ken Hillier, Marie Barnfield, Peter Hammond and Lynda Pidgeon. The talks included consideration of various individuals and families including the lesser known Nevilles, the Pilkingtons and Miles Metcalf as well as taking a broader approach to those who fought as Bosworth and those who were planted in the south to give Richard support.
The Society last visited Beaulieu in April 1989. In 2013 the Society visited the remains of Beaulieu Abbey where the Countess of Warwick sought sanctuary after the Battle of Tewkesbury. Buckler's Hard is where ships for Nelson's fleet were built.
The Society last visited the area in 1997. In 2013 the Society visited such old favourites as Barnard and Raby Castles as well as Staindrop Church. Prudhoe and Aydon Castles were on the itinerary, as were Durham and Lindisfarne. Also on the itinerary were Flodden Battlefield, as it was the 500th anniversary of that battle. Not Ricardian — but too good an opportunity to miss!
The NSW Branch hosted the biennial Australasian Convention which in 2013 took as its theme 'Richard III: the Man behind the Myth'. The event was held at the Novotel, Darling Harbour, Sydney and all members and friends of the Richard III Society were welcomed.
Bosworth WellAnnual pilgrimage to remember King Richard. Late morning service was held in Sutton Cheney Church and afternoon was spent looking around the battlefield.
The 2013 Members' Day and AGM took place on Saturday, 5 October at the University of London, near Russell Square. The speaker was Chris Skidmore MP.
The topic of this study day was: THE SUN IN SPLENDOUR: Edward IV in Peace and War. Covering The Battle of Mortimers Cross; The Crisis of 1469-71 and its causes; The Battle of Barnet; Edward IV and the ladies, and Blades, Bills and Bows: The Battle of Tewkesbury and the nature of combat in the Wars of the Roses.
A real step back in time! This is Britain's oldest manufacturing company and is known to have been in continuous business since 1570. However, modern research has established an earlier link to 1420 and to one Master Founder Robert Chamberlain of Aldgate and Whitechapel. It is quite possible that Richard heard bells cast at Whitechapel Bell Foundry.