Salisbury History Festival Reveals The City


INTRIGUE, mystery and murder will be laid bare during an upcoming festival that returns this year with a comprehensive line-up of speakers and topics.  

The Salisbury History Festival with its unique, intimate and quirky feel has been going strong since 2017 and this year, audience members can enjoy talks on the Salisbury Giant which dates back to the 15th Century. It was used originally by the Salisbury Guild of Tailors on the eve of the feast of St John.

Film enthusiasts can go on The History of Salisbury Cinema Walk which details cinema from the golden age of the 1930s to what is happening in 2023. It will include all the cinemas, the history, cameras, lenses, and films that were filmed here and the history of the buildings and the city hall.

True Crime fans can take part in Salisbury’s first-ever True Crime Conference where event organiser, Frogg Moody reveals secrets relating to Jack the Ripper. 

Frogg Moody said: “The Grandaddy of all whodunnits is Jack the Ripper and I am going to focus on Bowerchalke, and how an agricultural labourer could leave the area and become one of the most important detectives.

“I have solved much of it but it brings up a whole new mystery and some unbelievable stuff.”

As part of the True Crime Conference, Ruby Lesley Vitorino is the speaker for the Salisbury Poisonings, and audience members can find out more about the 19-year-old girl who died tragically from strychnine and the jilted lover who would have faced the gallows. 

Ruby said: “I have been delving into the case. She was an heiress and the father had two daughters but Emily who was 19 was in line to inherit the lot.

“The father’s apprentice apparently fell in love with her, and there are question marks over whether he seduced her. He was sacked and went back to Cornwall but before he left, it appears he gave Emily some tablets. She died horribly of strychnine.

“So, did he mean to murder her or not? He besmirched her character by saying she was pregnant and that she might have taken the tablets to stop the pregnancy.”

The festival is a not-for-profit event because the organisers believe that giving back to the community is an important consideration.

The Salisbury History Festival Line-Up

Milford Hall as a Family Home – by Neil Leacy

Tuesday, August 22

The talk includes rarely-seen photos and film

Salisbury Library 7.30 pm.

Tickets £3.00 are available from the front desk at the Library

The Salisbury Giant – A Concise History by Councillor Paul Sample

Wednesday, August 23

Salisbury Library – 2.30 pm.

 Tickets £3.00 are available from the front desk at the Library

The History of the Cinema – Frogg Moody and Matt Pike

Thursday, August 24

Tickets £5 (cash only)

Starting point: City Hall at 7pm.

Tickets available from the History Bookshop & the Rocketship Bookshop

Salisbury’s first True Crime Conference – United Reformed Church, Fisherton Street

Saturday, August 26 


Frogg Moody on Sergeant William Thick and the Jack the Ripper Case

Ruby Vitorino on The Salisbury Poisoning Case 

Lindsay Siviter on Lord Lucan 

Sally Hendry on Rebecca Smith.

Starts at 1pm.

Sunday, August 27 – United Reformed Church, Fisherton Street


Ruth Butler – Extraordinary Wiltshire Women

Fliss Bell – Edith Olivier

Christine Mason – Rex Whistler

Starts at 1pm – Tickets are £8 (cash only).

Tickets available from the History Bookshop and the Rocketship Bookshop

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