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Festival celebrating Nene Valley communities past and present to take place

Culture and tourism

15 June 2022

Roman soldier reenactment group

A summer festival showcasing the history, archaeology and heritage of the Nene Valley will launch at the Chester House Estate on Saturday 25 June and at Stanwick Lakes on Sunday 26 June.

The Chester House Estate, Stanwick Lakes and the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester, with support from Rushden Lakes, are running the month-long festival.

At the Chester House Estate, the launch will be Roman themed with fun for all the family, including Roman re-enactments, find out about everyday life as a Roman solider, with the University of Leicester on hand to answers questions.

Whilst on the Sunday at Stanwick Lakes, the theme will be ‘Traditional Crafts past and present’ and activities will include an exciting 'Travel through Time' trail and demonstrations of traditional crafts, including blacksmithing, jewellery making and chainsaw carving.

I am delighted that a festival celebrating the history, archaeology and heritage is coming to the Nene Valley. There is going to be something for the whole family, from activities for children and those interested in a career in a history through to exciting re-enactments and workshops. I hope that you will be able to join us across the Festival and don’t forget - entrance to the Chester House Estate is free.Cllr Helen Howell, Deputy Leader of North Northamptonshire Council and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism
Despite still being in its first year, The Chester House Estate is going from strength to strength and I am so pleased that the team have joined forces with partners along the Nene Valley and further afield to bring you what is surely going to be a fantastic festival.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the council

The month-long festival also includes a day of activities for children and young people at Chester House on Saturday 2 July, with archaeology taster activities and drop-in sessions for those thinking about careers, apprenticeships and university study in archaeology, history, heritage, conservation, sustainable tourism and related fields. Experts from the University of Leicester, together with archaeology and heritage professionals, will be on hand to answer questions and provide guidance.

Further activities will continue through the month including, at Chester House Estate on Saturday 9 and Saturday 16 July opportunities to find out how people of all ages can get involved with archaeology, history and heritage in the Nene Valley and beyond. On the final weekend of the Festival, The Lace Wars, an 18th Century re-enactment group will be onsite with activities including leather craft workshops with experts from the Leather Conservation Centre at both Chester House and Stanwick, including iron-age shoe making. Bookable talks and tours will be on offer throughout the month at both Chester House and Stanwick, with information available online.