Andrew Thompson Heritage
Andrew Thompson Heritage 

Talks & Lectures

If you would like a talk or lecture for your organisation or community group please contact Andrew.


Here are just a few of the talks Andrew can offer:

Tavistock: 1000 Years of History

For nearly 1000 years Tavistock was dominated by two wealthy and powerful institutions: the medieval Benedictine abbey and the Dukes of Bedford. This talk traces their influence in the street patterns, medieval ruins and Georgian and Victorian architecture of one of England’s most attractive market towns. It also examines how the Bedford estate’s urban planning and Tavistock’s industrial archaeology are so highly valued by heritage professionals that the town is included in the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Tintagel: The Making of an Arthurian Landscape

Tintagel has been connected to stories about King Arthur since at least the 13th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed that the king was conceived there. This lecture explores how Tintagel came to be associated with Arthurian stories and the impact that this association has had on the subsequent history of the village and the castle. Drawing on literature, history and archaeology it looks at how Tintagel has been represented as an Arthurian site by medieval writers, the Victorians and the modern heritage industry and examines recent archaeological understanding of this evocative and beautiful place.   


Arthurian landscapes: putting myth and history in their place

For centuries places as diverse as Tintagel, Glastonbury and Winchester have claimed connections with a real or imagined King Arthur. Medieval pilgrims, Victorian artists and poets and modern tourists have all been attracted to these sites by their association with stories about King Arthur’s castle, burial place and round table. This talk uses archaeology, history, art and literature to examine how from the Middle Ages to the present these places have been associated with Arthurian narratives and the impact this has had on their own histories.


History and the Heritage Industry

From visits to National Trust properties to television series such as Time Team, public interest in the past has grown enormously in recent decades. But has Britain become too obsessed with history and how do we decide which aspects of our heritage to preserve? Is heritage really just a modern “industry” which sells fake or dumbed down history as its detractors often claim? Or does it reflect a popular hunger to know more about the past and offer exciting new ways to make history accessible to more people? This lively and provocative talk, which usually stimulates much debate among the audience, draws on 25 years’ experience of working as both a historian and heritage manager.


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