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History lovers are in for a treat this month as Peterborough celebrates the life of the first wife of Henry VIII, a woman of significant historical importance who was buried at Peterborough Cathedral in 1536.

This annual festival is a collaboration between Peterborough Cathedral and Peterborough Museum (Vivacity Peterborough) and runs from Friday January 30 – Sunday February 1.

It starts off with a Service of Commemoration at Peterborough Cathedral at 10.30am on Friday January 30 when dignitaries and local school children dressed in Tudor costume walk from Peterborough Museum to Peterborough Cathedral for a service to commemorate Katharine of Aragon.

It’s open to everyone and admission’s free. The service is followed by a Tudor history day for schools.

At 2pm there’s a guided tour of Peterborough Cathedral with a focus on the Tudor period (also on Saturday). The tour takes just over an hour and costs £7 per person (£5 concessions) with tickets on 01733 355300 or from the Cathedral Welcome Desk.

In the evening at 7.30pm Alison Weir gives an illustrated talk at Peterborough Cathedral on the The Exile of Katharine of Aragon.

The renowned historian and novelist will speak about the last years of Katharine of Aragon’s life. Banished from court in 1531, Katharine remained in exile and never accepted that Henry had divorced her. She was moved around various houses and eventually died at Kimbolton Castle. The talk will be followed by a Q & A and a book signing. A selection of Alison’s books will be on sale.

Tickets are £11 (£5.50 U18) including a free glass of wine or soft drink and are available from the Cathedral Shop or their events webpage

The festival continues on Saturday January 31 with a chance to travel back in time to the 1500s with the At Home with the Tudors event (also on Sunday), at Peterborough Museum from 10am–5pm.

You can meet Tudor characters such as the Barber Surgeon with his gruesome cures, mind your manners with a Tudor lady, handle arms and armour with soldiers or try period food. Take part in family activities and crafts with a Tudor theme or go on one of their hourly tours to the rarely-seen Tudor cellars. This is a drop-in event, so there’s no need to pre-book!

Admission is £3.50 adults, £2.50 concessions, £8 families, under 5s and Heritage Pass holders FREE. (Last admission 4pm).

Call 01733 864663 or visit for more info.

In the evening there’s music when Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 will be sung by the internationally famed choral group, The Sixteen, along with Peterborough Cathedral choristers, performing one of the most significant collections of sacred music ever written.

Tickets are £15-£30 from the Visitor Information Centre on 01733 452336 or via

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