Voice of the Past. Stories, Music and Language workshops

Stories, music, language. Come and hear the voice of the past.

Traditional stories, ancient language and the sacred sounds of the past.


Engraving by Gustave Dore

Saturday 18 May Faerytale, folk and fable,  £35.

Join local writer and storyteller, Dawn Nelson for a workshop that explores Faerytale, Folk and Fable, the stories of our childhood and the oral storytelling tradition. In this all day workshop, we take a look at who the story collectors were, what makes a classic faerytale, the evolving nature of these stories and then share our own stories. In the afternoon, there will be exercises that explore the structure of our traditional tales and how they are written, giving you the opportunity to create your very own faerytale to tell.

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Saturday 22 June, 10am to 12.30, £25.

Language of the Britons

Did you know that a form of Welsh was once spoken here in England? This workshop delves into the earliest recorded language of the Britons – Brittonic or Old Welsh – giving a unique chance to hear and study some exciting poetry from the 6th-9th centuries whilst sitting round the fire in our 8th century Anglo-Saxon hall. As well as giving a taste of some stirring early literature in the original and translation, the workshop will also look at the influence of the early Celts on English and show how many common English words and local place names have evolved from Celtic roots. Come and explore the origins of British language.

Harriet Earis is a fluent Welsh speaker and has a degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies from Trinity College, Cambridge. She will also be giving a harp concert in the Iron Age roundhouse later in the day.

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Saturday 27 July. £60. Sacred sounds of the past

This is a sound research workshop, with a creative and spiritual outlook. Listening is not a passive activity. The way we listen plays an important role in how we understand the past as well as ourselves in the modern world. Using modern research and cross-cultural techniques, combined with archaeological and historical evidence, we will explore the importance of sound in the past, with a focus on primal sacred sound. Multi-sensory aspects of sound will be considered in detail, looking at how it can improve creativity, spiritual focus, wellbeing and healing. By exploring sacred sound through discussion and practical activities, we can not only begin to understand more about our ancestors and how they lived and listened, but also pave the way for a better future for ourselves and a better connection with our own natural environment. The more we begin to truly listen, the more we hear. The workshop will involve basic playing of instruments and some simple singing/chanting, no musical experience is necessary. The course leader is Jez Smith, a period musician and historic life interpreter working in museums and heritage.

Workshop FAQs

Book here