Peterborough Cathedral has enjoyed a special year in the spotlight celebrating its 900th anniversary and now 2019 gets off to a great start with another big event – the annual Katharine of Aragon Festival.
If you’ve watched any of the TV shows about the Tudors, or just like a bit of history, this is a great opportunity to find out more and enjoy some unique activities.
The Tudor-themed festival organised by Peterborough Cathedral and Vivacity takes place from January 25 – 27 and always proves another popular draw for the city’s iconic landmark where Katharine is laid to rest. The Festival marks the date in January 1536 when King Henry VIII’s first wife was buried at Peterborough Abbey having died in exile at Kimbolton Castle.
The Festival programme includes a talk by the bestselling historian and author Tracy Borman at the John Clare Theatre, Tudor history tours of the city and cathedral, drop-in living history days for families at Vivacity Peterborough Museum and a candlelit ‘A Merrie Tudor Evening’ with hog roast and period musicians at the cathedral.
On Saturday and Sunday there is a drop-in living history event for families at the Museum ‘At Home with the Tudors’, where visitors can meet the barber surgeon, an armourer and a Tudor lady. On Saturday at 7pm A Merrie Tudor Evening takes place in the beautiful 16th Century New Building at the cathedral, with a Tudor-style supper, period music and a candlelit tour. Meanwhile, at 7.30pm in the John Clare Theatre, Tracy Borman will be speaking on the theme of ‘Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him’. King Henry is famous for his tumultuous marriages, but this talk will see his personality through different eyes.
With family activities, tours, talks and music, there is plenty to interest people of all ages. For more details of the full programme visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/katharine.aspx or www.vivacity.org, or call Peterborough Information Centre on 01733 452336.
Here are some of our highlights…
Friday January 25 and Sunday January 27
Tudor Peterborough Walk, 2pm
Meet at Peterborough Museum
Explore Peterborough’s historic city centre with a costumed guide and find out what the city was like during the time of Katharine of Aragon. The tour then enters Peterborough Cathedral where you will hear about the funeral of Queen Katharine.
Saturday January 26
Guided Tour of Peterborough Cathedral, 2pm
A full and fascinating historical tour of the Cathedral interior, with a Tudor focus.
Old Scarlett Tours
This family friendly tour of the Cathedral will be led by ‘Old Scarlett the Tudor gravedigger’, who lived to be 98 and buried both Katharine of Aragon and Mary, Queen of Scots.
Tickets: £4 adults, £3 children*, £12 family. * Includes free copy of ‘Monks, Mischief & Marauders’ activity book.
A Merrie Tudor Evening
After a candlelit guided tour of the Cathedral’s dramatic Tudor past, feast at a 16th century-style hog roast in the beautiful, fan vaulted New Building. The costumed musicians of A Merrie Noise will entertain and plenty of Old Scarlett ale will be served. Who knows, you may like to end the evening with some dancing or singing with the musicians. Wearing Tudor costume positively encouraged, but not essential. Full details online www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk.
Saturday January 26
Henry VIII And The Men Who Made Him
At John Clare Theatre, Peterborough Central Library
A talk by Tracy Borman.
King Henry VIII is well known for his tumultuous relationships with women, and he is often defined by his many marriages. But when we see Henry through the men in his life, a new perspective in this famous king emerges.
In this talk, Tracy will tell the story of England’s most famous monarch through different eyes, revealing his personality in all its multi-faceted, contradictory glory.
Tracy Borman is an historian and bestselling author of a number of highly acclaimed books on the Tudors.
Saturday January 26 and Sunday January 27
At Home with the Tudors, 10am – 3pm
Travel back in time to the 1500s, with a chance to meet Tudor characters such as the Barber Surgeon with his gruesome cures. Mind your manners with a Tudor lady, handle arms and armour with our soldiers and try some period food, take part in family activities and crafts with a Tudor theme.
Book online to beat the queues via www.vivacity.org.