Historical Society

The Kirtlington Historical Society, which was founded in 1994, meets on the fourth Thursday of each month from September until April (December excepted) to hear and discuss talks on a wide range of topics, including archaeology and literary and art history as well as themes relating to political and social history. The siege of Malta in the Second World War, satirical cartoons, the Mary Rose, and the authorship of Shakespeare’s works are among the topics covered in previous years. Although the Society is mainly concerned with general history, there have also been several talks on the history of Kirtlington from the time of Victoria onwards. Talks are not aimed at a specialist audience, and interest is more important than prior knowledge: the Society seeks to show that the study of history can be more fascinating than some people remember it to have been at school. The last meeting each session is a members’ evening: this has taken various forms, but on the last occasion members were invited to speak for five minutes each about a historical character who had taken their fancy. These Five Minute Favourites now look to become an annual fixture at the Members’ evening.

The Society attracts members from neighbouring villages as well as from Kirtlington, and in light of the current membership it has recently been renamed The Kirtlington and Bletchington Historical Society.

The programme for 2019/20 is as follows:

September 26th, 2019:   Mary Clapinson – Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1815-52), Enchantress of Number.

October 24th, 2019:        Liz Woolley – Children and War: Experiences of the Second World War in Oxfordshire

November 13th, 2019:   Charles Moore will talk about the final volume of his biography of Margaret Thatcher which tells the story of her last period in office, her combative retirement and the controversy that surrounded her even in death.

December 6th, 2019:     Tim Healey – A C17th Christmas plus festive drinks and nibbles

January 23rd, 2020:        Nick Cox – The Art of Historic Building Conservation.

February 27th, 2020:      James Hamilton – Gainsborough in Bath: Portraits of Fashion and Desire.

March 26th, 2020:           Annette Mayer – Ireland: The Great Famine 1845-50.

April 23rd, 2020:             AGM and Members’ Evening

We look forward to seeing you in the Village Hall: meetings will begin at 7.30pm. There will be a welcome drink offered at the first meeting in September but thereafter please bring your own bottle – we’ll provide the glasses.

Annual subscription £10. Visitors £3 per meeting.

All are very welcome.


Please note that the March and April Meetings listed above have been postponed until further notice. Thank you for your understanding.