On the ground

Nene Valley Communities Past and Present: Festival of History, Archaeology and Heritage

Runs throughout festival

The Chester House Estate, Stanwick Lakes and the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester, with support from Rushden Lakes, are running a month-long festival showcasing the history, archaeology and heritage of the Nene Valley. The festival will launch at the Chester House Estate on Saturday 25 June and at Stanwick Lakes on Sunday 26 June.

At the Chester House Estate on Saturday 25th June, the launch will be Roman themed with fun for all the family, including a living history camp and demonstrations by the Ermine Street Guard re-enactment group, lots of hands-on family activities, with talks, workshops and Q&A sessions with archaeologists from the University of Leicester.

On Sunday 26th at Stanwick Lakes, the theme will be ‘Traditional Crafts past and present’ and activities will include an exciting 'Travel through Time' trail, the Bifrost Guard Viking re-enactment group and demonstrations of traditional crafts, including blacksmithing, jewellery making and chainsaw carving.

The month-long festival includes a day of activities for children and young people at Chester House on Saturday 2 July, with archaeology taster activities and drop-in sessions for those thinking about careers, apprenticeships and university study in archaeology, history, heritage, conservation, sustainable tourism and related fields. Experts from the University of Leicester, together with archaeology and heritage professionals, will be on hand to answer questions and provide guidance.

Activities will continue through the month including, at Chester House Estate on Saturday 9 and Saturday 16 July opportunities to find out how people of all ages can get involved with archaeology, history and heritage in the Nene Valley and beyond. On the final weekend of the Festival, The Lace Wars, an 18th Century re-enactment group will be onsite. Family activities will include leather craft workshops with experts from the Leather Conservation Centre at both Chester House and Stanwick Lakes, including iron-age shoe making workshops.

Bookable talks and tours will be on offer throughout the month at both Chester House and Stanwick Lakes


The Chester House Estate, Chester House , Claudius Way, Little Irchester , Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 2DH, United Kingdom

Additional location/direction information

Chester House Estate:

Claudius Way (Main Visitor Car Park)

Claudius Way is our main visitor car park and can be accessed through the Prologis Park Wellingborough. Please use postcode NN8 2DH to find this entrance. Our main visitor car park at Claudius Way is a 5 to 10 minute walk to the main building complex through our beautiful historic and natural landscape. There is a hard standing footpath in place which is push chair friendly. Please note there are no toilets at the Claudius Way Car Park with the nearest toilets located in our courtyard within the main building complex (5-10min walk).

Lime Avenue, A45 Entrance (Blue Badge Holders, Conferencing Guests and Wedding Guests Only)

Lime Avenue straight off the A45 is only accessible to Blue Badge Holders, Conferencing Guests and Wedding Guests. Please use postcode NN29 7EZ to find this entrance.

Information about parking and access to Stanwick Lakes can be found at



Duration of event

Saturday 25th June to Sunday 24th July