Hands on History! Living History at the Museum of Gloucester


Hands on History Festival

When: Saturday 2 July from 10am - 6pm

Where: Greyfriars Green, located behind the Museum of Gloucester

Join us for living history events in the heart of the city!

Event Entry: Free, but cash donations are welcome. Some workshops are charged and are bookable below.

Inspired by the recent discovery of an Iron Age settlement within metres of Greyfriars Green, come along and join us for a day packed full of Bushcraft, Living History, and Reconstructive Archaeology.

You can meet incredible artists and experts, try things yourself and be inspired by the past at this living history event in the heart of our city, there really is something for all ages to enjoy!


Workshops to Book

Parfleche Envelopes with Steve from Axe and Paddle Bushcraft

Learn to make a rawhide Parfleche envelope, decorated with natural pigments. Rawhide has been used since the very beginning of the hunter gatherer era. It's relatively easy to produce, has a multitude of purposes and is incredibly strong and durable. The name Parfleche is of Canadian French origin, deriving from the materials ability to deflect an arrow.

We will choose a pattern for your Parfleche, inspired by collections from the Museum of Gloucester, cut and form the shape and finish by using natural pigment paints and hide glue to decorate them, applied using handmade bone brushes. This is a truly primitive craft and skill in which you'll leave with a functional container to be treasured and well used.

Pricing/places: £25pp (All tickets are priced the same for adults and children.)

Session times: 10-11.30am, 12-1.30pm, 2.30-4pm, 4.30-6pm

Book tickets


Iron Age paints and pigments with Pario Gallico

Based on pretty recent research and archaeological finds, we will challenge the ingrained idea that art, paints and colour didn't really exist throughout the thousands of years between stone age Cave Paintings and the arrival of Roman frescoes. Caroline will show how pure colour was extracted from local minerals, what mixes could be used for painting and how to make paintbrushes from natural, foraged materials. Which everyone can then do at home! You will make your own pigments and brushes to take home.

Pricing:  £20pp (All tickets are priced the same for adults and children.)

Session times: 10-11.30am, 12.30-2pm, 3-4.30pm

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Charms and Remedies from Kingdom of the Hwicce

Saxons inspired crafts with Elizabeth Roper from TirNaNog

The Saxon Kingdom of the Hwicce covered today’s county of Gloucestershire and extended into the Midlands. It encompassed the limestone hills, the watery meadows, and the hill forts and cities of the Britons and Romans gone before. Here, people living closer to the earth than it is possible to imagine today, grew and gathered herbs and hedge plants to practice medical healing and magic – what has come to be framed in the contemporary new age as the manipulation of energy through intention.


Participants will go home with their own living ‘herbal’ – a pouch of gathered and annotated herbs to keep and press and use as a resource for future learning.

Pricing:  £15pp (Please note this workshop is for children only, aged 7-14 years, accompanying adults must stay in marquee.

Session times: 10-11am, 12-1pm, 12-1, 1-2pm, 2-3pm

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Other activities on the day will include:

Blacksmithing with Big Benyons Blacksmithing 


Roman activities with TirNaNog

Prices: Blacksmithing and Storytelling - Free | Roman activities - Donation

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Free AdmissionFree

Free entry for the day, with donations to the Museum welcome.

Bookable Activities:
Axe and Paddle Bushcraft - 6 places per session, £25pp, per ticket
Pario Gallico - 10 places per session. £20pp, per ticket
Charms and Remedies - 8 places per session. £15pp, per ticket.

Book Tickets Online

Map & Directions

Hands on History! Living History at the Museum of Gloucester


Brunswick Road, Gloucester, Gloucester, GL1 1HP

Add Hands on History! Living History at the Museum of Gloucester to your Itinerary

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