British and American History


Some courses will run as online courses and some will start at Stoke Lodge or St Pauls. You can see the starting venue/format for each course listed below. We reserve the right to change the format of the course, in term, should safety advice change.

PLEASE NOTE: Online and telephone booking will
open at 9.30am on Thursday 27 August


The American Civil War and Reconstruction

An overview of the causes, carnage and conclusion of America’s bloodiest war; a war that still resonates in the headlines of today.

  • Tuesdays 6.45pm to 8.45pm Russell Walker
  • 10 sessions 22 September  £140 / £84  HACW  : Stoke Lodge  


  • Thursdays 6.45pm to 8.45pm  Russell Walker
  • 10 sessions 24 September   £140 / £84  HAWR  : Online

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The Spanish Civil War and its implications for Contemporary Spain

The course will examine the origins and consequences of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), for the understanding of contemporary Spain. Taking a historical approach, we will use films, documentaries, literature and history texts to illustrate the issues generated by the conflict, past and present.

  • Thursdays 9.45am – 11.45am Gorka Diaz
  • 12 sessions 17 September  £168 / £100 HSCW : Stoke Lodge 

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Early Stuart England, 1603-1660

We explore a turbulent era, in which the English fought a civil war, executed their King, endured Puritan military dictatorship – and then restored the dead King’s son.

  • Thursdays 1.15pm – 3.15pm John Stevens
  • 10 sessions 24 September  £140 / £84   HESEStoke Lodge

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The British Empire: Rise and Fall

Spreading civilisation or capitalist exploitation? The controversies about our imperial past continue, but whatever your viewpoint it is a dramatic and important story which we will discuss in these eight weeks.

  • Wednesdays 1.15pm – 3.15pm John Stevens
  • 8  sessions 30 September  £112 / £68   HERF : Stoke Lodge

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The Black Death in Bristol 1348-1349

History talk about the Black Death pandemic in Bristol during the years 1348 and 1349.  In the year 1348 the Black Death pandemic arrived in Bristol resulting in catastrophic economic consequences for the elite and manufacturing classes of Bristol.  Rosemary Caldicott will discuss how the local population reacted to the seismic changes that swept through Bristol: Did the immediate years that followed become the ‘golden age’ of English peasantry? Can we draw any parallels with today?

  • Saturday 2pm to 4pm Rosemary Caldicott
  • 1 session 17 October £16 / £10  HBDS : Online


  • Monday 2pm to 4pm Rosemary Caldicott
  • 1 session 2 November £16 / £10  HBDM  : Online

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Nautical Women – Women sailors and the women of sailor towns  

Author Rosemary Caldicott will be talking about the intriguing history of nautical women. These include stories of cross-dressing women who went to sea to earn a living and the mad, tragic and often funny consequences they encountered and endured. The focus is usually on the men who built or worked on ships. Rosemary will bring to life a forgotten history – women sailors and the women of sailor towns with a focus on the South West and Bristol.

  • Monday 2pm to 4pm Rosemary Caldicott
  • 1 session 19 October £16 / £10  HTNW : Online

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‘The Consequences of the African Slave Trade on Women’: The story of the disastrous voyage of the slave ship Hannibal.

The true story of the slave ship Hannibal as told in the diary of its Captain, Thomas Phillips of Brecon. John Brown was a black woman found to be a sailor employed by the Royal African Company. As the events of her discovery unfold far more is disclosed about the 700 other people on board the ship.

  • Wednesday 2pm to 4pm  Rosemary Caldicott
  • 1 session 18 November £16 / £10  HTBH  : Online

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‘The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire – A Case Study of Bedminster Union Workhouse’

The talk focuses on the draconian workhouse system that housed the vulnerable poor, and women and children.  Rosemary will be examining the history of the workhouse by offering an illustrated talk based on evidence extracted from reports published at the time about the violent death of Hannah Wiltshire who resided in Walton in Gordano.

  • Wednesday 2pm to 4pm Rosemary Caldicott
  • 1 session 9 December £16 / £10  HTBW : Online

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