UK exhibitions, events, and heritage from home in Winter 2022 and Spring 2023

There are many great historical and archaeological events on offer this winter, including newly opened heritage experiences and exhibitions, lectures, and events. Or, if you would prefer to get involved in history and heritage at home, there are plenty of resources online, ranging from new digital collections and virtual tours to podcasts, social media accounts, games, and much more. Amy Brunskill has put together a summary of some of the options available.


The Children’s Country House

Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire

The National Trust has unveiled a novel heritage experience at Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire. The Children’s Country House, which was created in collaboration with a team of young ‘ambassadors’, puts children at the centre of the experience and encourages them to engage with the hall and its collections in the hope of sparking a lifelong love of heritage. As part of the experience, as they explore, visitors can take part in activities and games inspired by the historical use of each part of the hall. Advance booking is required, see the website for prices.

Image: National Trust Images_Robert Morris


Blood and Battle: Dissecting the Life of William Beatty

Old Royal Naval College, London
Until 25 March 2023
https://ornc.org/whats-on/ blood-battle-dissecting-the-life-of-william-beatty/

This new exhibition at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich explores the surgical practices of the Royal Navy under Admiral Nelson through the life and work of 19th-century naval surgeon and physician, Sir William Beatty. Marking 200 years since Beatty took up his post as Physician to the Royal Hospital for Seamen in Greenwich, the exhibition features objects including Beatty’s own medical chest, 18th- and 19th-century surgical instruments, and a replica of Nelson’s life mask. Tickets cost £6, with concession prices available.

Treason: People, Power, and Plot

The National Archives, London
Until 6 April 2023

A new exhibition at the National Archives presents a combination of iconic and unknown history-defining archival documents connected to stories of treason, from the Gunpowder Plot and Anne Boleyn’s trial to lesser-known cases through the ages. Presenting a unique selection of letters, pamphlets, posters, maps, and trial papers, Treason: People, Power, and Plot investigates the motives and actions of – and consequences for – those accused of being traitors, and explores the changing nature of justice across 700 years of history. The exhibition is free to visit. See the website for opening times.


Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology

British Academy, London
5, 6 & 8 December

The British Academy presents three lectures from Professor Jodi Magness on the subject of ancient synagogues. The first, ‘Ancient Synagogues: An Introduction’ (5 December), will explore the origins and development of synagogues in ancient Palestine; the second will discuss ‘The History of Ancient Synagogue Studies and the Dating of Galilean-type Synagogues’ (6 December); while the third, ‘More than Just Mosaics: The Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee’ (8 December) will review the latest finds from excavations at that site. The events are free, but booking is required.

Riots, Revolts, and Revelations: Scottish History seen through Edinburgh’s Collections

City Art Centre, Edinburgh
9 January 2023, 2pm

This gallery talk will explore some of the remarkable objects in the Museums & Galleries Edinburgh collections, which tell the story of Scotland’s turbulent past. Presented by Nico Tyack, Collections Information Officer at Museums & Galleries Edinburgh, the talk will follow the key moments of Edinburgh’s history, as well as looking at some of the recent discoveries made by curators at the city museums as part of the ‘Auld Reekie Retold’ project. The event is free but booking is essential.


• Larnaca, Cyprus

Take a virtual trip around nine Larnaca museums, including the Larnaka Historic Archives Museum, the Kyriazis Medical Museum, and the Byzantine Museum of St Lazarus, with these interactive 360° tours.

• The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA

Enjoy a video tour of the Met’s new exhibition The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England, led by the curators, and discover more about the transformation of the arts in Tudor England.

• Muchelney Abbey, UK

Explore the buildings of Muchelney Abbey in Somerset with this virtual tour from English Heritage, and learn about the lives of the monks who lived there over the centuries.

• Athenian Acropolis, Greece

Step back in time to ancient Greece and explore the streets, temples, and buildings of the Acropolis in Athens as they would have looked in their prime, with this virtual reconstruction.

• Blenheim Palace, UK

Discover the State Rooms of Blenheim Palace with 360° tours, complete with an audio guide, or go behind the scenes and find out more about the work involved in maintaining the palace and its collections.

Image: Wikimedia Commons, DeFacto


• Digital Benin


This new online database brings together information about thousands of objects looted from the Kingdom of Benin in the 19th century, which are currently held in more than 100 museums around the world.

• The Women of Scotland

Discover the stories of Scotland’s well-known women through a series of online exhibitions, blog posts, and more, covering the achievements of individuals ranging from historical royals to pioneers in the sciences.

• Dive & Dig

The maritime archaeology podcast presented by Bettany Hughes and Lucy Blue returns for a second season, with new episodes exploring key underwater sites, including Wadi al-Jarf in Egypt and Yenikapı in Istanbul.

• Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon TikTok

Enjoy a selection of entertaining short videos from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, featuring works of art of the museum’s collection, ranging from ancient Egypt to the 21st century, combined with the latest social media trends.

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Gonedelyon


• The Descent of the Serpent

Go back in time to ancient Mesoamerica and help save the world by finding items hidden in the past with this online game from the Museo Nacional de Antropología and Google Arts & Culture.

• Redbridge Museum

Get involved in a variety of activities and games at home with these resources from Redbridge Museum, including online jigsaw puzzles, downloadable children’s activities, and more.

• Tutankhamun’s Secrets


Join Dr Janina Ramirez for a special episode of Raiders of the Lost Past, as she finds out more about the true story behind the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb and its treasures 100 years ago.

• Westminster Abbey: Behind Closed Doors

Go behind the scenes at Westminster Abbey and discover more about the daily life of this famous church and the people who work in it, from the staff caring for the historic buildings to the members of its choir.

Image: Wikimedia Commons, August Schwerdfeger

• Villages by the Sea

In Series 3 of Villages by the Sea, archaeologist Ben Robinson returns to explore more coastal villages that have been on the front-line of history, from Cornwall’s Tintagel to Ravenglass in Cumbria.