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The Higgins Bedford

Castle Lane
MK40 3XD

t: 01234 718618

f: 01234 718619

e: thehiggins@bedford.gov.uk

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Talks & Tours

talks and tours

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Get more from your visit by coming along to one of our regular talks or tours. If you're a member of a group that may be interested in coming along to a talk or tour, have a look at our Bringing a group page.


Georgian Day

Saturday 7th May , 11am – 5pm

Free event

Find out more about Georgian life, music and culture at this celebratory event. Bedford Gallery Quire will bring to life 18th and early 19th century Bedfordshire, using original musical instruments and wearing costume styled around the fashions of the period. Join in and learn some traditional Georgian dances. Find out more >


Tea and Tour of the Settlement Gallery

Wednesday 11th May

10 – 11am

£7.40(Concessions £6.30) (Tea included)

Booking essential

Join Liz Pieksma, Keeper of Archaeology, for a cup of tea followed by an in depth look at the items on display in the Settlement Gallery. We will explore the rituals, traditions and everyday lives of people living in our area in the past through the objects and evidence they have left us. The tour will end with a chance to get up close to selected items from our Collection stores.


The Archaeology of Food: From larder to table

Wednesday 18th May

11.30 am – 12.30pm

£5.30 (Concessions £4.20)

Booking Essential

This session will continue to explore the theme of what people in the past ate. We will explore the influences of culinary techniques and preferences brought in by a steady stream of incomers, changes in technology and why status is everything. The session will begin with a short presentation followed by an informal discussion and chance to handle a wide range of artefacts from excavation archives and collections held at The Higgins.


Bawden Archives Session

Saturday 21st May, 11-12.30pm

(repeated on Wednesday 24th August and Wednesday 21st September)

Cost: £10.50 (£8.40 Concessions)

Booking Essential


Between 1981 and 1989 Edward Bawden donated the contents of his studio to the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery. The collection of over 3,000 items covers every medium he worked in and includes examples from his student days at the Royal College of Art in the 1920s right up to commissions he received in the 1980s. This session is a chance to have a delve into the archive, seeing works that have never been on display as well as  old favourites with an introduction to each by the Keeper of Fine and Decorative Arts.


Hidden History: An Archaeological Amble Around Bedford, south of the River Great Ouse.

Wednesday 29th June

11am – 12noon

Booking essential. £5.30 (£4.20 Concessions)

Meet at The Higgins Bedford


Join us on a walk back in time and discover the wealth of archaeological heritage hidden beneath our feet. We will start at The Higgins Bedford and on our way explore Ice Age mammals, Saxon churches, hidden defences and why the siege of  Bedford Castle in 1224 was such an important and gruesome power struggle. We will end up back at The Higgins where we can get up close to some of the archaeological artefacts found in our town. The walk is suitable for most ages and abilities. Coats and brollies just in case!



The Letters Home of Walter Croft read by Mark Steinhardt

Friday 1st July 2016


£5.30 (Concessions £4.20) Booking Essential


Earlier in 2015 Mark Steinhardt was commissioned by the Fusilier Museum London to create a performance from the unpublished correspondence of Corporal Walter Croft. This archive of some 70 letters from the trenches has only recently been deciphered and transcribed. Follow the journey of one young signaller through the steady physical and mental erosion of the Somme.



The Friends of the Higgins Bedford have regular talks - read more about joining The Friends here >


Friends lectures

Tuesdays, 7.30pm

Cost: £3 (Friends), £8 (Guests)


Lectures 2015 - 2016

Meetings start promptly at 7.30pm at The Higgins Bedford

Tickets - Friends £3, Guests £8


Tuesday 17th May 2016

Thomas Williams - The Origin of The School of London 1925 - 1945

Painters grouped under the School of London banner include Francis Bacon, Leon Kossof, Euan Uglow, Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach; they are united by a special interest in figurative painting and a particular fixation on the human body itself.


Tuesday 7 June 2016    

Dr Jenny Powell - Gaudier Brzeska and Dance           

The French-born sculptor and draughtsman Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891‐1915) made a significant contribution to the development of modern sculpture, before his tragically early death at 23. Dr Powell will explore the artist’s engagement with dance and movement, discussing sculpture, drawing and photography by both Gaudier Brzeska and his contemporaries.


Tuesday 13 September 2016

David Boyd Haycock - Carrington and Gertler            

David Boyd Haycock will examine the tempestuous relationship between these two artists, both of them central figures in the exceptional generation that attended the Slade in the years immediately before the Great War.