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Discover history of Wiltshire at Chippenham history day
Visitors can try shoot arrows from a longbow, walk through a First World War trench and write with a quill at the Wiltshire at War day in Chippenham on Saturday.
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre will demonstrate how conflict has shaped Wiltshire, from Iron Age hill forts to the First World War, at the free event between 10am and 4pm.
Those who go along will be able to see a conserved Anglo-Saxon sword found near Salisbury in the seventh century, and hear how an Anglo-Saxon warrior helped King Alfred defend Wessex against the Vikings.
Education officer Laurel Miller said: “There will be lots of family friendly activities on offer, including embossing and shield decorating. For hundreds of years, bows were the main weapon of war.
"Visitors of all ages can try out a longbow and discover for themselves the strength and skill needed to shoot hundreds of arrows per hour.”
In the 1600s England was at war with itself. Armies met at Wiltshire’s only registered battlefield, Roundway Down, where the Royalist cavalry defeated Parliamentarian troops in 1643.
Visitors on Saturday can take a peek behind the scenes to find out how the history centre has preserved 17th century documents in its archive strongrooms and state-of-the-art conservation labs. They can watch conservators at work and see rare and unique documents including letters from Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell and Florence Nightingale while she was nursing soldiers in the Crimean.
Experts from Chippenham Museum and The Wardrobe museum in Salisbury, which displays the collection of the Wiltshire Regiment, will speak about life in Wiltshire during the First World War and about the Wiltshire Regiment during the Boer War.
There will be actual letters and diaries on display as well as a replica trench to walk through.
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