From Winchester to Barchester: Anthony Trollope’s links with Hampshire

Anthony Trollope was one of the most popular authors of the 19th century, and his novels, including the Barchester and Palliser series, continue to attract new fans. This talk will explore Anthony Trollope’s links with Hampshire including family connections with Heckfield and Winchester, and some Hampshire locations that may have inspired places in Barchester.

The event also marks the 150th anniversary in 2021 of the publication of Ralph the Heir, much of which is undisguisedly set in northern Hampshire.

This is an online talk using Zoom. Participants will be required to download and use Zoom.

Previous knowledge/experience required: All you need to attend a talk on Zoom is some basic computer skills and experience in using the internet. Don’t worry if you have not used it before as we will send you some basic guidance when you book.

Book your tickets

Join Hampshire Record Office for this fantastic talk on Monday 27 September at 6pm. Tickets are just £5 and can be booked by clicking the ‘Book Now’ image.

Barchester Towers, which was published in 1857, as the sequel to The Warden wryly chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester. It opens with the Bishop of Barchester lying on his death bed; soon a battle begins over who will take over power, with key players including the rather incompetent Dr Proudie, his fiendishly unpleasant wife and his slippery curate, Slope. This is a wonderfully rich novel, in which men and women are too shy to tell each other of their love; misunderstandings abound; and Church of England officials are only too willing to undermine each other in the battle for power.

The only autobiography by a major Victorian novelist, Trollope’s account offers a fascinating insight into his literary life and opinions. After a miserable childhood and misspent youth, Trollope turned his life around at the age of twenty-six. By 1860 the ‘hobbledehoy’ had become both a senior civil servant and a best-selling novelist. He worked for the Post Office for many years and stood unsuccessfully for Parliament. Best-known for the two series of novels grouped loosely around the clerical and political professions, the Barsetshire and Palliser series, in his Autobiography Trollope frankly describes his writing habits. His apparent preoccupation with contracts, deadlines, and earnings, and his account of the remorseless regularity with which he produced his daily quota of words, has divided opinion ever since.

Winchester offers a veritable feast of history, much of it unrecognised by twenty-first century visitors. This history of the Saxon capital of Wessex is told through evocative photographs of its buildings and intricate nooks and crannies. Brought to life with intriguing accounts are: St Catherine’s Hill, the site of a hill fort in 150 BC; the Peninsula Barracks, once a military establishment and now home to a range of museums; Winchester College, built in 1352, and its fourteenth-century gothic chapel; Winchester Cathedral, parts of which date from 1079; the resting place of novelist Jane Austen; the working water mill, still on its original medieval site; and King Arthur’s Round Table. Featuring a map showing points of interest, this is a must-read for locals and visitors alike.

To reserve ‘Heckfield: A Village History’ by Gordon Timmins, click here:

To reserve ‘History of a Hampshire Parish – Heckfield and Mattingley:

What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?…Was ever anything so civil?”

Anthony Trollope

Red tape and sealing wax? Using old title deeds for local and family history.

Have you discovered that one of your ancestors, or a house you are researching, features in a bundle of parchment title deeds? Are you feeling defeated by line after line of repetitive text reading ‘whereas’ this, ‘whereas’ that, ‘of the one part’, ‘of the other part’? Help is at hand!

This talk will show how most deeds fit into one of a few standard categories, and once you have understood how each type works, you can quickly jump to the key details to find out what they contribute to the story of a house or family.

This is an online talk using Zoom. Participants will be required to download and use Zoom.

Previous knowledge/experience required: All you need to attend a talk on Zoom is some basic computer skills and experience in using the internet. Don’t worry if you have not used it before as we will send you some basic guidance when you book.

You will receive an email confirming your booking from Hampshire Archives and Local Studies or Wessex Film and Sound Archive, which will contain the Zoom link.

Join us for this fantastic talk on Monday 16 August at 6pm. Tickets are just £5 and can be booked by clicking ‘Book Now’.

Books you can borrow…

Reserve the books today by clicking on the book cover:

Property title deeds are perhaps the most numerous sources of historical evidence but also one of the most neglected. While the information any one deed contains can often be reduced to a few lines, it can be of critical importance for family and local historians. Nat Alcock’s handbook aims to help the growing army of enthusiastic researchers to use the evidence of these documents, without burying them in legal technicalities. It also reveals how fascinating and rewarding they can be once their history, language and purpose are understood. A sequence of concise, accessible chapters explains why they are so useful, where they can be found and how the evidence they provide can be extracted and applied.

This publication is a practical guide combining genealogy with growing interest in tracing the history of your own house, buildings and community. It explains how to follow your own trail of discovery using a range of sources, starting with the building itself and progressing to who lived there.

Anyone who wants to find out about the history of their house needs to read this compact, practical handbook. Whether you live in a manor house or on a planned estate, in a labourer’s cottage, a tied house, a Victorian terrace, a 20th-century council house or a converted warehouse – this is the book for you. In a series of concise, information-filled chapters, Gill Blanchard shows you how to trace the history of your house or flat, how to gain an insight into the lives of the people who lived in it before you, and how to fit it into the wider history of your neighbourhood.

This guide will enable individuals to construct a history of their own house, a childhood home, or another property, and describes the many sources of information available to the house detective.

If we tried to sink the past beneath our feet, be sure the future would not stand.

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘Here be hogs’: Maps for local and family history in Hampshire

Maps have an instant appeal, giving us insight into the changing appearance over the centuries of our localities or the places where our families lived. This talk will introduce you to some of the key series of maps that cover most places in Hampshire, mainly from the 17th to 20th centuries, and will provide advice on how to use them.

It will be illustrated with examples from the collections of Hampshire Record Office, and will also include a few of the more quirky and intriguing maps you can see there.

This is an online talk using Zoom. Participants will be required to download and use Zoom.

Previous knowledge/experience required: All you need to attend a talk on Zoom is some basic computer skills and experience in using the internet. Don’t worry if you have not used it before as we will send you some basic guidance when you book.

You will receive an email confirming your booking from Hampshire Archives and Local Studies or Wessex Film and Sound Archive, which will contain the Zoom link.

Join us for this fantastic talk on Monday 19 July at 6pm. Tickets are just £5 and can be booked by clicking the ‘Book Now’ link.

Find My Past in Hampshire Libraries

Did you know with your Hampshire Libraries membership you have access to Find My Past on our library computers? Through Find My Past you can browse thousands of census, parish, military and migration records.

Ancestry Books

Hampshire Libraries also have a range of fantastic ancestry books that you can borrow, including the following titles. If you would like to reserve a copy of any of these books, just click on the book image.

Mark D. Herber provides a comprehensive illustrated guide to tracing British ancestry as far back as the Middle Ages. Chapters include advice on obtaining information from relatives, drawing a family tree, and researching census records.

Do you know where your forebears lived in 1840, 1915, 1943 – or what their house and locality was like? Maybe you are researching your own area. This guide shows you how three great land surveys can provide information on your ancestor’s home as well as fascinating historical snapshots of your area.

Family history should reveal more than facts and dates, lists of names and places – it should bring ancestors alive in the context of their times and the surroundings they knew – and research into local history records is one of the most rewarding ways of gaining this kind of insight into their world. That is why Jonathan Oates’s detailed introduction to these records is such a useful tool for anyone who is trying to piece together a portrait of family members from the past. In a series of concise and informative chapters he looks at the origins and importance of local history from the 16th century onwards and at the principal archives – national and local, those kept by government, councils, boroughs, museums, parishes, schools and clubs.

“We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.”

Liam Callanan, The Cloud Atlas

VE Day – 75 years!

Friday 8 May marks 75 years since Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day as it’s better known. The Second World War was finally over as the (slightly modified) act of military surrender was signed on 8 May 1945 in Berlin.

As many others, there had been plans to commemorate this day with street parties, talks and activities in our libraries. But, what better way to remember all those who fought for our freedom, then by showing restraint and do our part in keeping our country safe – and stay home.
It’s a strange time, and whilst it’s not the time to celebrate with neighbours, family and friends, it’s a good time to read about the past, or share stories of why we celebrate VE Day.

Through RBdigital, our eMagazine provider, you can find this month’s issue of BBC History Magazine, which includes a VE Day special! It explores the moment of victory, told through the voices of soldiers and civilians who experienced it.

We’ve also put together a collection of amazing book titles, both fictional and non-fictional, about WWII, that you can download and read and/or listen to through the BorrowBox app – our eBook provider. Featuring such titles as Hampshire at War 1939–45, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Paris Echo, VE Day, Why Britain is at War, The Message Bird, Hitler’s Secret and The Boy in Striped Pyjamas. You can find these, and many more, in the VE Day collection in the BorrowBox app.
Unsure how to download the app? Check out this blog!

Even with our libraries closed, we’ll still be having celebrations happening – just virtually instead of in person. So check out what’s happening at different libraries – and the best part/ It’s online, so even if it’s not your local library you can still tune in!

Over on Facebook Alton library will be celebrating VE day with have a special film review of A Royal Night Out. As well as a general piece about VE Day; what it means and how it was celebrated in Alton, including a recipe for potato scones to wear for your VE Day Virtual Tea Party’ fashion feature!

There will also be a virtual tea party, where everyone is encouraged to share pictures of our tea parties – so head over to their Facebook page to join in this Friday.

Join the staff at Aldershot Library over on their Facebook page as they do a special VE day decoration craft and share printable colouring in sheets.
For adults there will be war poetry recordings, local history link, book readings and book reviews.
Why not share your VE day tea party with them?

Leading up to Friday, you will be able to find some great VE day decoration ideas as well as ideas for creating a ‘stay at home tea-party’.

On the day, you will be able to find some lovely photos of staff’s own decorations, World War Two poetry and book reviews.

Leading up to VE Day, you will find some amazing colouring sheets available to download, all made by a member of staff. Staff will also be taking part in the #GreatBritishBuntingShare – so keep an eye out for different ways of making your own bunting!

On the day, there will be a special guest over one their Facebook page, who will talk about her real-life account of VE Day. If you have any stories to share about VE Day, personal or passed down to you, you’re welcome to share them.

For the younger audience, there will be a special reading from Goodnight Mr Tom, available as both eBook and eAudiobook through the BorrowBox app.

Join the staff of Gosport Discovery Centre over on their Facebook page for some wartime bake off, decorating, bunting making, VE Day stories and a special VE Day craft – ‘How to make a glider’.
Don’t miss the fun!

Leading up to the day, you will be able to find instructions on how to make bunting as well as how to make your windows colourful.
As well as a special VE Day hat craft and a ‘Write a coded message’ activity. Head over to their Facebook page to not miss out on the fun!

Leading up to the day you will be able to find some wonderful craft videos on their Facebook Page, on how to make bunting as well as how to make your own medals.

On the day, at 3pm, there will be a special message from all the staff; so tune in!

On Friday 8 May, Hampshire Archives will be live streaming This is Your Victory on their Facebook page from 11.30am to 12.30pm.
They will also be live streaming Working in the Shadows on their Facebook page – time to be confirmed, so check their events on the day.

And of course we will be sharing as many of these wonderful events, activities and videos over on the Hampshire Libraries Facebook page.

It may not be the VE Day celebration you expected, but with these wonderful books and range of crafts and ideas, we’re sure to all be celebrating together, despite being apart.

I love choo-choo read!

Train books are very popular, and we have some lovely books for all ages!
We’re not solely talking about the Rail Collection at Winchester Discovery Centre – a collection of hundreds of books all about trains!

If you’re a train enthusiast, we can highly recommend a visit to browse through the Collection. These are books about specific trains, about the history of the railway, history of trains, how different routes came about and anything else you could ever wish to know about trains and the railway

The Rail Collection is best for older children and adults as the books have a lot of text in them, if these books are a bit too advanced still for your little train enthusiast, than these lovely books, all about trains, are bound to put a smile on their face!

First book of trains
by Isabel Thomas

From trams to rollercoasters and everything in between! Find out all about 30 types of train – steam trains, monorails, cable cars, electric trains and many more – in this illustrated and annotated first guide to trains.

City trains
by Nikki Bruno Clapper

All aboard! Hop on a city train to see where they go, how they work, and why so many people use trains to get around. Train types include underground trains, elevated railways, and light rail.

It’s all about… speedy trains

Speedy Trains tells you everything you want to know about trains, from building the first railways to steam engines and trains that hover above the rails. Learn about trains that go underground, across water, through rock and more.

Freight trains
by Nikki Bruno Clapper

All aboard! Hop on a freight train to see where they go, what they carry, and why they are used around the world.

Cars, trains, ships & planes : a visual encyclopedia of every vehicle
by Clive Gifford

This is a comprehensive kid’s encyclopedia packed with photos of all modes of transportation, from classic cars and motorbikes to sailboats and spaceships. The book displays exciting vehicles that float, fly or speed across the land, including the record breakers – the fastest, largest, longest, and costliest modes of transportation ever to zoom, sail or soar.


For the older train enthusiasts; these are just a handful of books you can find in the Rail Collection at Winchester Discovery Centre:

50 famous British locomotives
by Peter Herring

A nostalgic guide to 50 of the most famous locomotives of the steam train and early diesel age, including the people, power and popularity that made them famous.

For the love of trains : a celebration of the railways
by Ray Hamilton

More than just a means of transport, trains connect communities, evoke memories, and promise adventures galore. This fact-packed miscellany tracks their development from the earliest locomotives to today’s superfast trains, stopping off along the way to explore great railway journeys, iconic stations, and memorable depictions in the arts.

APT : the untold story
by David N. Clough

The story of the APT is one of ultimate failure. The pioneering project for a tilting train was headline news in the 1970s and 1980s but it failed as much for political reasons as it did for technical reasons. The story is still controversial, and many still see it as a missed opportunity. Yet the legacy of the original APT project is that tilting trains built by foreign competitors run almost unnoticed on Britain’s railway network today and much of the power car technology heavily influenced the design of the later InterCity 225s and the Class 91 locomotives. Now David Clough has delved into recently released archive material and has unearthed a story never before told. He reveals some of the top-level thinking behind the APT project, internal politics and some of the real reasons for APT’s eventual, and expensive, demise.

The early morning milk train : the cream of Emett railway drawings
by Rowland Emett

by Wilfried Kopenhagen

British main line services in the age of steam, 1900-1968
by Michael Harris

British Mainline Services is a detailed survey of scheduled passenger trains on Britain’s main line railways from the beginning of the century to the end of the steam haulage in 1968



Dementia Support Services

Dementia Support Services

Hampshire Libraries are committed to supporting those living with Dementia across Hampshire.

Many of our Hampshire Library Service staff and volunteers have attended Dementia Awareness sessions – taking the opportunity to become Dementia Friends. The aim is to offer positive, Dementia friendly environments in all libraries.  Living with Dementia can create feelings of isolation and problems communicating with family, friends and carers. For many carers it can feel difficult to break through these frustrating barriers.  Hampshire County Council’s Library Service offers a range of materials and resources to borrow to help improve and stimulate discussion and memories.

Books on Prescription – Dementia Collection

This is an informative collection of titles chosen by The Reading Agency, and recommended and endorsed by health professionals.  It is designed to provide information and advice about dementia plus support for relatives and carers. The selection Includes personal stories and activities to share.

Reminiscence Collection

The collection helps to stimulate memories and past experiences. It includes posters, games and quizzes, postcards,  recorded music, smell boxes and memory boxes, jigsaws, photographs and books which can be used to stimulate and support reminiscence.

Audio Resources

Sometimes listening to the rhythm of a voice reading a story can be relaxing in itself. Audio resources can also help if someone wakes during the night, or when attending medical appointments.

Individual books are pre-loaded onto an easy to use MP3 player about the size of a pack of cards. The user can slow down the reading pace to suit their needs.

A whole book on 1 or 2 discs that can be listened to, paused, rewound or fast forwarded as needed so that people with dementia can still enjoy the pleasure of a book.

National Talking Newspapers and Magazines

Library staff are happy to load your favourite newspapers and magazines onto your own memory stick. Over 150 audio titles are  available including, Reader’s Digest, Which?, Country Living and People’s Friend.

Quick Reads

Shorter, easy to read paperbacks by popular authors in larger clear print.

Pictures to Share Collection

Books with large simple images designed for people with dementia to help stimulate conversation between them and their families and carers.

Home Library Service

For anyone who finds it difficult to get to the library because of ill health, disability or caring responsibilities. We carefully match customers with local volunteers who are DBS checked, recruited and trained by library staff. Each month these volunteers will select and deliver library items based on your preferences.
Many of our Hampshire Library Service staff and volunteers have attended Dementia Awareness sessions and are experienced in talking with people who have dementia. Please do ask for more information about any of the services and resources listed here and other services we provide such as the Good Neighbour scheme. Read our Home Library Service blog for more!

A Celebration of 2017 at Hampshire Libraries!

So 2017 draws to a close and at Hampshire Libraries we close our doors for the year. And what a fantastically varied and successful year we’ve had across the service and our 48 library branches! Here is just a selection of highlights from across the last 12 months…

Summer Reading Challenge 2017

The theme this year was ‘Animal Agents‘ which proved very popular relating to both animals and detective themes for our young readers. This year 26,638 children have taken part in the scheme which means that 4% more children and their families have been into our libraries and discovery centres over the summer. We also broke our record for schools visited – 84% this year which provides a platform to engage with schools and promote the scheme through school assemblies.

This year we also trialled a new way of delivering the challenge to a Special Educational Needs School which has been very successful; with 70 children completing the challenge through a combination of assemblies and story sharing. We look forward to taking the challenge to more special schools in the summer of 2018.

The Makery Spaces

Both Fareham and Fleet Libraries each contain a Makery space: a flexible digital space which has been equipped with high specification equipment. The Makery was created for technical enthusiasts and amateurs alike to learn and develop new skills and experiment with creative digital concepts in a collaborative style using: Apple iMacs running Sketch Up Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud, Apple iPads, Lego EV3 Robotics, Raspberry Pi and Crumble kits for explore coding, electronics and the world of micro computers, 3D printing, and more!

The events, classes and workshops available at the sites continues to grow and prosper, and 2018 is a real time of development so expect to see much more announced throughout!

Jane Austen 200

2017 marked 200 years since the passing of perhaps Hampshire’s most famous and celebrated author. Naturally we couldn’t resist the chance to celebrate her fantastic books and Austen’s impact on both local and literary heritage.

While there were events, talks and exhibitions throughout the county during the summer months, perhaps the most notable was Hampshire Cultural Trusts’ ‘Mysterious Miss Austen’ exhibition at Winchester Discovery Centre. Hampshire Archives and Local Studies provided a fascinating collection of Austen related artefacts, including a fake marriage entry Austen wrote as a teenager, which went on display at The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre from May through to July.

Winchester Discovery Centre’s 10th Birthday

The final weekend of November saw the celebration of Winchester Discovery Centre‘s 10th anniversary, a weekend bursting with activity and an opportunity to reflect on the 10 years since Winchester Library was refurbished and reopened to huge success.

The celebrations included a public open day, showcasing some of the best attractions that the building offers. From book groups to dance troupes, the Winchester Discovery Centre has been at the heart of the local community, and the staff were proud to be part of a day packed with fun and fascination. Also a ceremony for invited dignitaries celebrated the individuals and organisations which launched the Discovery Centre in 2007 and which have supported it since. For more details see our special celebratory blog.

1 Millionth eBook and eAudiobook Download

Sometime on the 16th October 2017 our service recorded its 1,000,000th download from our fantastically successful Overdrive eBooks website. While being a significant landmark, it also demonstrated the changing offer of the library service and Hampshire’s ability to lead by example for all modern library services. All indications are that no other public library service has reached this milestone so far.

DOTS iPad Lending Service

Thanks to nearly £250,000 awarded by Arts Council England, we launched Library DOTS  (Digital; Options, Training and Support), our tablet computer lending project to help tackle social isolation and improve digital literacy.

120 3G enabled tablets were made available for eligible Hampshire residents for a four week loan period, during which training is provided.

The tablets are pre-loaded with relevant online library services, and useful applications linking to themes such as health and well being and information about local communities and services.

Micro:bit Lending

Hampshire Libraries took another step into technological lending with the micro:bit lending service. This compliments the other STEM offers, such as the Code Clubs and Makery spaces.

Micro:bits are small programmable computers, designed to make learning and teaching easy and fun. Library members over the age of 11 will be able to borrow, free of charge a micro:bit pack for a loan period of 4 weeks! Micro:bit loaning packs include: one micro:bit, battery packs, USB cables and a start up leaflet. Check the library catalogue for availability.

Libraries Week

The first annual Libraries Week, following on from the tradition of a February Libraries Day, took place between 9th and 15th October 2017. This was a fantastic time to really show the sheer variety of what libraries off local communities. While events and promotions took place throughout, a huge highlight in the celebrations was the arrival of popular broadcaster and writer Gemma Cairney to Basingstoke Discovery Centre on Tuesday 10th October. Her smaert, sassy and brilliantly animated style wowed our largely youthful audience, all the while dealing with issues of huge significance with deft and humour. We only hope to have more events like this during next years’ Libraries Week!

So here it is, goodbye 2017. We’ve been amazed by the successes and inspired by the variety, so we look forward to providing an even better year in 2018. Join us!


New Forest and Hampshire County Show 2017

The New Forest Show 2017 has now begun, three days of agricultural fun and entertainment for all the family on 25th, 26th & 27th July 2017 between 8.30am and 6.30pm.

Taking place in Brockenhurst in the heart of the National Park, the New Forest Show offers visitors 30 acres of showground for the whole family to explore. 2017 marks the 97th Show which takes place annually at the end of July and is now rated among the top ten agricultural shows in the country. If you, friends or family are at the Show, please show your support by visiting our stand located in block 25 on Southern Avenue. See below for more information.

The variety of attractions on offer reveals the richness of experiences Hampshire has to offer. What better time to explore the county’s rich heritage in Hampshire Libraries’ countryside or local studies collections?:

Glorious Hampshire : the beautiful and varied landscapes of a very English county by Colin Roberts.

This book celebrates the character and contrast of Hampshire’s countryside with a collection of fine art photographs taken in all seasons. The sweeping landscapes of two National Parks – the New Forest and the South Downs – are represented in panoramic style, as are the lush green valleys of the county’s renowned chalk streams.

Also you can loan from our extensive magazine collections in branch, or via our online RBdigital magazines service :

Country Living UK

August 01, 2017 issue of Country Living UK

Whether you live in the town or countryside, in Country Living you’ll find a wealth of ideas for your home and garden, learn about traditional crafts, keep informed of rural issues, enjoy irresistible dishes using seasonal produce and, above all, escape the stress and strain of modern-day life.

Country Life

July 19, 2017 issue of Country Life

The Quintessential English magazine, undoubtedly one of the biggest and instantly recognisable in the UK today. It has a unique core mix of contemporary country-related editorial and top end property advertising. Editorially, the magazine comments on a wide variety of subjects, such as architecture, the arts, gardens and gardening, travel, the countryside, field sports and wildlife. With renowned columnists and superb photography Country Life delivers the very best of British life every week.


See how the ‘Must See Top 10 Attractions’ listing offers everything from a daring Motorcross Show to a Cake Baking competition to a Magical Fairy Garden Meadow:


Jamie Squibb Freestyle Motocross Display

Jamie Squibb is returning to the Show in 2017 and we can’t wait to welcome him back with his exciting motocross stunt display.

Jamie and his team from squibbfreestlye will be entertaining visitors twice each day in the East Ring!


find out more

Agricultural, Cattle, Dairy, Show

Cattle Milking Demonstrations

Watch live milking demonstrations in the Cattle Section and learn about the milking process from our much loved dairy farmers.

Find out all about the history of the cattle section at the Show.


find out more

Bake and Cake

Admire entries into our first ever baking competition where men, women and children are invited to enter their pastries, preserves, cakes and more!

Or if you enjoy baking, why not enter for yourself?


find out more

Fun Kitchen Workshops

This new addition to the Show will provide families with the opportunity to learn new skills, explore tastes and cook up some tasty treats.

Six workshops will be taking place each day at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm.

Visit Fun Kitchen at the Show on 7th Avenue to book your space on a workshop at the Show! Available for children aged 5 & over (children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult)


Local Produce Market

Foodies will be in heaven when they visit the Local Produce Market where they will find live cooking demonstrations from top local chefs, lots of fresh local produce to taste and the opportunity to meet producers from across Hampshire.

Don’t forget to say hello to Roy with his Sow and piglets!



find out more

Family Fun Area

– Enjoy all day entertainment for all the  family in the wonderful area of the  showground dedicated to children.

-Watch a fun packed programme of  entertainment including: circus workshops,  Sing Now Choir and Nasira Belly Dancers.

-Participate in a variety of children’s activities  including face painting, colouring walls.


Celebrate 100 Years of Ford Tractors

Join our Old Time Farming Section in celebrating 100 years of the Ford Tractor. See how the tractors have changed over the years and watch them take part in the Grand Parade in the Main Ring every day.


find out more

The Stewarts Meadow

Visit The Stewarts Meadow which has been transformed into a Magical Fairy Garden for 2017! Meticulously grown on the showground, the meadow is unique and a wonderful backdrop for photographs!


Heavy Horse Musical Drive

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to watch sixteen pairs of heavy horses take part in the World Famous Musical Drive.

find out more


Keeping the Memory Alive in Hampshire Libraries

The 27th January marks Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, promoted and supported by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. It’s a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The theme for 2016 is Don’t Stand By;

“We need to take into account the lives of other people who live around us. We need to look after each other.” Kemal Pervanić

To mark this important and poignant day, Hampshire Libraries are going to be providing resources, displays and booklists for you to learn and remember.

In Hampshire Libraries you will also be able to pick up Holocaust Memorial Day booklets produced by the HMD Trust.

As well as our activities in libraries, we’ll be sharing, tweeting and posting on our social media accounts using the hashtag #HMD16, so follow us @hantslibraries for even more content.

It is important for us to hear your thoughts, stories and feedback, share your comments with us below or find us on Twitter @hantslibraries.



The last kingdom

Starting on Thursday, 22nd October, is the BBC dramatisation of Bernard Cornwell’s series of books about King Alfred the Great. The Last Kingdom is the first of eight novels in Cornwell’s Saxon Stories, which centre on the life of the fictional narrator Uhtred, about how King Alfred became the first king of the Anglo-Saxons and created England.

Cornwell said the BBC was interested in the story because it had echoes of today. “That’s why they [the BBC] picked it”, he said. “I do see something modern in it – that we are all immigrants. The Saxons are immigrants – according to the British, the Celts, they have stolen the land they have. The first shield wall battle which Uhtred takes part in is [for the Saxons] against the Welsh”. “The Saxons were very successful colonisers, and neighbours, then the Danes, the Normans, the Huguenots, you name it … right through to this century, we are all immigrants.”

Hampshire Libraries and Discovery Centres have the book and the digital book available for you to read or there is the Spoken Word version to listen to.

If you would like to read about the historical background to the books, try some of the links to the digital resources available through Hampshire Libraries. We also have many books available for both adults and children. For an introduction to the Anglo-Saxons for younger readers, try “Anglo-Saxons” by Neil Tonge.

If you are in Winchester visiting the Discovery Centre, you might like to take a look at the King Alfred statue in The Broadway.