Plymouth History Festival 2021
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For the last seven years, the Plymouth History Festival has featured hundreds of events which have been attended by thousands of residents and visitors. 

These have ranged from talks, guided walks and behind the scenes tours, to performances, family activities, exhibitions and displays, all designed to inform and entertain by engaging the public in Plymouth’s heritage.

This year the Plymouth History Festival will explore the theme of Wellbeing.

Scroll down to view the events linked to the University.

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Today's events

Friday Night Pub Quiz | 7, 14, 21 and 28 May

One of the aspects of the previous festival that enabled everyone to show how much they knew (or didn’t) about local history was a quiz running through the festival. 

This year the quiz has been handed over to an intrepid bunch of students, studying history and heritage at the University of Plymouth. Join them for a Friday night virtual pub quiz and win prizes from The Box.

This evening event is open to all and will be delivered via Zoom:

NB: Times to be confirmed - visit the PHF website for updates or contact

Image credit: Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives

Image credit: Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives


The enigmatic John Marshall: Founder of Plymouth emigration depot, Baltic Wharf | 7 and 11 May

A Historical Association and University of Plymouth history department talk with Dr Liz Rushen, Monash University.

Join Liz for an insight into the career of John Marshall, Founder of Plymouth emigration depot and master of logistics who has been all but forgotten today. Owner of at least 30 ships, and responsible for the reform of ship classification and Lloyd’s Register of Shipping in the 1820s, during the 1830s John became Britain’s busiest emigration agent. Realising that emigrants needed a safe place to stay before departure, in 1835 he established Britain’s first major emigration depot on Baltic Wharf, creating a template for the government’s later facilities at Deptford (London) and Birkenhead (Liverpool).

Join the live event and Q&A session on 7 May, 10:30-12:00. The recording of the live event will be available from 11 May, 19:00-20:30.

Baltic Wharf, Plymouth. Photograph - Liz Rushen

Baltic Wharf, Plymouth. Photograph - Liz Rushen


University of Plymouth Research Seminar: Modern Ireland: Politics, Memory and Identity | 12 May, 16:00

Speakers: Dr Ciaran Wallace (Trinity College Dublin) and Deputy Director of the Beyond 2022, ‘Beyond 2022: the creation and destruction (and re-creation) of Ireland’s Archives’ and Dr Claire Fitzpatrick (University of Plymouth) ‘Posting an Ideal? Identity, Culture and the Post Office in Ireland’.

This event is open to all and will be delivered via Zoom.

Email to register attendance and be sent the link to the webinar.


The archaeological complex at Calstock | 18 May, 19:00-20:30

A Historical Association and University of Plymouth history department talk with Dr Chris Smart, University of Exeter.

In this talk Chris will uncover the findings of The Bere Ferrers archaeological project, which investigates the development of the royal silver mines on the Devon bank of the Tamar between 1292 and the mid 16th century.

This illustrated talk will introduce the audience to the rather chance discovery of a Roman auxiliary fort on the hill above Calstock, where it held a dominant position over the lower Tamar Valley. It will outline the key structural features of the fort, but also explore other aspects of the archaeological complex – including a marching camp, possible early mineral exploration, and a lost medieval village.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A session with the speaker.

Image courtesy of Chris Smart

Image courtesy of Chris Smart


Plymouth's Powerful Women trail

The Powerful Women trail app celebrates 100 years of the important and influential women who lived or worked in the vicinity of The Hoe and who made a real difference to Plymouth, pushing boundaries, enhancing living conditions, promoting social justice and creating educational opportunities for all. 

Those featured include Nancy Astor MP, language school founder Suzanne Sparrow, scientist Marjorie Wilson, suffragist Clara Daymond and the South West’s first female GP Dr Rosa Bale, among others.

The 1.2 mile trail has been developed by the Hoe Neighbourhood Forum for their National Lottery Heritage Funded project, “100 Years of Plymouth Powerful Women” in association with the University of Plymouth. The research was conducted by Dr Judith Rowbotham (Honorary Professor) and content and images were sourced by Professor Kim Stevenson (Emeritus Professor) from the University. 

The free Plymouth Trails app is available from the AppStore or PlayStore.

Event photography and video

Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events (both online and offline) may be attended by University staff, photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If you, or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed or recorded, please let a member of staff know.