Category Archives: Announcements

Britten Sinfonia – The Last Letter – Saturday 10th November Safron Walden

Britten Sinfonia, one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras with a residency in Saffron Walden are staging a fantastic concert, “The Last Letter” in Saffron Walden Hall, on Saturday 10 November.

This concert is being staged to commemorate the end of the Great War and is the premiere of a new arrangement of Nico Muhly’s poignant The Last Letter as part of a compelling and dramatic evening of music and words. This is a poignant work of words and music that come together in an evening to mark the centenary of the First World War Armistice, with the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s The Last Letter in a new arrangement for chamber orchestra and baritone (Jonathan McGovern) at its heart.  Muhly’s settings of letters sent between soldiers on both sides of the conflict and their loved ones features alongside music by Ivor Gurney, Ravel, Barber and two young composers killed during the First World War, Frederick Septimus Kelly and German composer Rudi Stephan.  Music is interspersed with words from the era, poetry and deeply personal reflections on war, family and love from those who fought, and those who were left behind read by actors including Sophie Hunter.  The programme includes writings by those who died during World War 1, including poetry by writers including Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen, the memories of family life ripped asunder by Edward Thomas’s wife Helen, Vera Brittain’s diary reflections on the growing cost of war, the poetry of German poet Leo Sternberg and Helen Mackay Brown, one of a largely overlooked group of women poets of the First World War.

For further information see 

Summer Excursions 2018

This post is just to outline to members the planned excursions for this summer period. The full details and dates of the visits are still being finalised and will be published shortly in the next copy of the  Almanack and will be announced at the AGM on the 17th May. Outline of our visits are as follows:

May (evening) – visit to Alconbury Museum

June (half day) – visit to Westminster College, Cambridge

17th July – Coach trip to Gainsborough Old Hall, Clayworth Church, Stow and possibly tea at Elton

August – trip to visit March Railway Station and Museum

September – visit to Norris Museum and Pugins Little Gem St Ives

Almanack Autumn 2017 available

The ALMANACK, the Newsletter of the Huntingdonshire Local History Society, for the Autumn 2017 period has been published and is available.

Click on the picture on the left to read the Almanack

Copies of the current Almanack and previous copies can be accessed from the Publications Tab.

You can also find out what’s going on through our diary on the right of the page or by visiting the Future Events tab at the top of the page.

2016 May Weekend – Castles of Kent

The 2016 May weekend will be to Kent, with planned visits to a number of castles and gardens. We will depart on the 13th May and return on the 16th May. For full details of the itinerary and to download a copy of the brochure please click on the picture below.


Kent Weekend Itinerary

Map of the Little Gidding Estate of Sir Gervase Clifton by John Hexham of January 1596/7

Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies has acquired for Huntingdonshire Archives a map of the Little Gidding Estate of Sir Gervase Clifton by John Hexham of January 1596/7. The map was has purchased with equal funding from Central Government (the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund) and the Huntingdonshire Local History Society,


This map is a magnificent addition to our local archives and the society’s committee was easily persuaded to support its purchase for a number of reasons:

a. It is one of the earliest maps of a Huntingdonshire village, the earliest of a whole parish within the ancient county in local repositories.

b. It is by the one surveyor of the Elizabethan ‘golden age’ of English map-making, John Hexham, who elsewhere calls himself ‘of Huntingdon’, who plainly deserves further research which this map may stimulate.

c. It provides clear cartographic evidence of what existed of Little Gidding village, a shrunken settlement that has been categorised by landscape historians as a ‘deserted medieval village (DMV)’ in 1597.

d. It shows the village, and the manor house itself in elevation, as it existed during the lifetime of Nicholas Ferrar, just 27 years before Ferrar purchased the estate and arrived to make it the centre of his extraordinary if short-lived religious community.

e. Little Gidding has iconic status in our national history thanks to the visit of the poet T.S. Eliot, who made it the subject of the best-known of his Four Quartets.

To celebrate the acquisition Huntingdonshire Archives has mounted a display about the map in Huntingdon Library which lasts until the end of September. I encourage you to go. The society’s assistance is prominently and properly acknowledged there. There will also be a privileged opportunity for members to see the original map at close quarters when it will be brought to a society meeting, probably the society’s AGM next May. Further details will be circulated in due course.

Philip Saunders
Chairman, Huntingdonshire Local History Society