Gloucester History Festival & Heritage Open Days


Gloucester History Festival 2017: Revolution and Innovation

Saturday 2 September to Sunday 17 September


Download a brochure of events here History Festival 2017 brochure


The theme of this year’s Festival is Revolution and Innovation. The Festival starts with the Gloucester Day Parade on 2nd September and includes Heritage Open Days from 7th to 10th September, the City Voices events programme from 2nd to 17th Septemeber and the series of talks at Blackfriars Priory from 9th to 17th September.

Please see the brochure for details of special value day passes for the Blackfriars talks and concessionary rates for Gloucester Civic Trust Members  and GL cardholders.

Download a brochure of events above or pick up a copy at St Michael’s Tower and the Tourist Information Centre.


Gloucester Day

Saturday 2 September

If you missed this year’s parade, you can still enjoy the atmostphere by viewing Gloucester Civic Trust member, David Champion’s video of the parade here

Gloucester Day celebrates the end of the Civil War siege of the city in 1643. when King Charles II returned to the throne after the Civil War in 1660, he punished Gloucester for supporting Cromwell by reducing the city boundaries. This meant the area of Barton was outside the city and not under the control of the Gloucester Mayor. Barton elected a “mock mayor” to poke fun at Gloucester.

This tradition has been revived in recent years and the annual parade is led by the real Mayor and Sheriff of Gloucester plus the Mock Mayor, Town Crier, historical characters, marching bands and performers in the morning with a Mock Mayor Making Ceremony. The parade is followed by a Thanksgiving Service and the the Gloucester Day Parade in the afternoon.


City Voices

Saturday 2 September to Sunday 17 September

A series of talks, activities, workshops and musical events from local experts in beautiful locations. Many of the events are free. More details at


Heritage Open Days

Thursday 7 September to Sunday 10 September.

Historic buildings open FREE

FREE guided walks and tours

FREE music recitals, talks and other activities

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s fantastic historic architecture and culture by offering FREE access to properties which are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, there’s a chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of events and activities which bring local history and culture to life.

Gloucester’s events, organised by Gloucester Civic Trust , feature over 120 events, from the opportunity to see inside the Kings’s Bastion to viewing the inside one of the best examples of a Tudor Merchant’s house in the country.  The city is among the top three venues in the country with its huge range of activities during Heritage Open Days with guided tours , music and cultural activities in the City Centre, at Gloucester Docks and in the city’s suburbs.