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.
Hidden History: An Archaeological Amble Around Bedford,
south of the River Great Ouse.
11am – 12noon
Booking essential. £5.30 (£4.20
Meet at The Higgins
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
Friday 1st July
£5.30 (Concessions £4.20) Booking
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from the unpublished correspondence of Corporal Walter Croft.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
The Friends of the Higgins Bedford have
regular talks - read more about joining The Friends here >
Cost: £3 (Friends), £8 (Guests)
Lectures 2015 - 2016
Meetings start promptly at 7.30pm
at The Higgins Bedford
Tickets - Friends £3, Guests
Tuesday 13 September 2016
David Boyd Haycock - Carrington and
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.
Tuesday 11 October 2016
Nigel Lutt - The Duke of Manchester’s Light
Former County Archivist Nigel Lutt will talk to us about
this local regiment, which was raised in 1860 by the Duke
of Manchester at Kimbolton. The Duke was apparently inspired
by his friend, the Earl of Sandwich’s formation of the 1st
Huntingdonshire Rifles Volunteer Corps in the 1850s.
Tuesday 8 November 2016
Adrian Woodhouse - Angus McBean,
Angus McBean produced surreal and romantic photographic
portraits of the film stars and musicians of the 1930s,40s and 50s.
Adrian Woodhouse, who has written the definitive biography of
McBean, ‘Facemaker', will tell the unexpurgated story of
thephotographer’s dramatic life.
Tuesday 10 January 2017, 12
Mike Luke - The Northern Bypass
Mike Luke, who is a project manager at Albion Archaeology, will
bring us up to date on developments which have taken place on the
Northern Bypass since he last spoke to us in 2015.
Tuesday 7 February 2017, 12 noon
Chloe Cockerill - Heraldry
Heraldry is all around us, in country houses, cathedrals and
castles, as well as in our towns, from pub signs to the police
station. Chloe Cockerill will help us make sense of the heraldry
around us, and give us an appreciation of its modern
Tuesday 21 February 2017
Sean McIlroy - Ivory Products in the Antique
Concern& about the effects of elephant poaching has led to
increased scrutiny of the trade in antique ivory. In
Europe, there are no restrictions on the trade in antique worked’
ivory that dates before March 1947. But is there a connection
between an object carved hundreds of years ago and ivory obtained
Tuesday 14 March 2017, 12 noon
Stephen Cockings - The Roman Villa at Manton Heights,
In 2011 a dig at Manton Lane in Bedford uncovered the remains of
what may turn out to be one of the most lavishly decorated Roman
villas yet found in Britain. Stephen Cockings, lead archaeologist
on the project, will highlight some of the exciting finds made
Tuesday 11 April 2017
Amanda Goody - Colonel Frederick Burnaby
Amanda Goody will tell the story of one of Bedford’s most
unusual sons, the swashbuckling Victorian adventurer Colonel
Frederick Burnaby. His was a life story with episodes of derring-do
which would seem far-fetched if found in a 19th century novel.
Tuesday 16 May 2017
Kate Bostock and Helen Jones - Cowper and His
William Cowper (1731 - 1800) was England’s most respected poet
in the late l8th and early l9th centuries. While convalescing in
Olney, he was given three hares to look ager and this talk will
tell the touching story of how the creatures became an important
part of his life.
Tuesday 6 June 2017
Marion Maule - Time for Tea, Coffee and
Since tea, coffee and chocolate reached our shores from three
different continents in the 17th century, they have enriched our
lives, promoted trade and transformed the fine and decorative arts.
This fully-illustrated lecture will explore their fascinating