Katie Bridger

Location: Leicestershire
About the Speaker...

Katie Bridger is currently a PhD student in the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester. She has developed a passion for Leicestershire’s history having lived locally since birth and is involved with a number of heritage projects including the county’s Victoria County History Trust.Katie’s research to date specialises in the social and cultural history of fifteenth and sixteenth century England and this is reflected in her talks. Current and previous interests include influential nobles at the court of Henry VIII; expression of power and identity in the landscape of Leicestershire; church monuments and architecture; terms of endearment, heraldry, linguistics and portraiture.

About her Talks...

Katie’s presentations are lively, engaging and fully-illustrated with PowerPoint. She has her own laptop and projector.  A screen or clear wall is her only requirement. Whilst she does have an academic background, Katie feels very strongly about making history accessible for everyone and will therefore cater to a wide range of audiences.


I charge a fixed fee of £80 for a one hour talk which also includes time for questions. (This applies to talks booked after 1 January 2019). I will travel to anywhere within one hour’s travel of LE9 in Leicestershire with mileage costs at 25p per mile beyond a 15 mile radius of my home address (LE9). Train travel may also incur an additional fee. Due to work commitments I am only able to accept evening bookings.

My Contact Details:


Heading for Kew: A Trip to The National Archives

Public Speaker Katie Bridger talks about Heading for Kew: A Trip to The National Archives

So, you have a topic you’d like to research and your investigations have led you to The National Archives. What next? This talk will take you through the steps needed to help you to make the most of your trip to Kew, from the initial research process to the journey, from ordering your document to getting to grips with it. I’ll share my experiences at Kew in terms of my own research, victories and defeats included… It’s a wonderful place, so why not find out more?


“The fate of them both will soon be known”: Thomas Howard, third duke of Norfolk (1473-1554), Henry Howard, earl of Surrey (c.1516-1547), and the wrath of Henry VIII.

A talk by Public Speaker and historian Katie Bridger called “The fate of them both will soon be known”:   Thomas Howard, third duke of Norfolk (1473-1554), Henry Howard, earl of Surrey (c.1516-1547), and the wrath of King Henry VIII.

Thomas Howard, third duke of Norfolk, is often remembered for being the uncle of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard, the second and fifth wives of Henry VIII. His son, Henry Howard, the earl of Surrey, has been credited with being one of the first poets to use the sonnet form before Shakespeare. The careers of both men rose and fell with the favour of the King, culminating in family treachery, accusations of high treason and the miserable fate of Henry VIII’s last victim. What did these two men do during their lives to make themselves so powerful, yet so vulnerable? How have they been remembered since? Ultimately, were they victims or villains of the King’s court?

“Power in the Landscape: The Families of Grey and Hastings in Leicestershire”


The landscape bears the scars of history. It is the site of battles – of victory and defeat – but there is so much more than meets the eye. This talk will explore the fascinating evidence of conflict and dominance left behind by the families of Grey and Hastings from the mid-fifteenth century to the mid-seventeenth century. Residual architecture and archival records are testimony to this incredible period of history. How were the Wars of the Roses fought away from the battlefield? What did these two families have to do with Edward IV and Richard III? What can we actually see today? Let the battle commence for the stage of north west Leicestershire!


Where the local meets the national: Launde Abbey, Thomas Cromwell, and Richard III.

Public Speaker and Historian Katie Bridger talks about Where the local meets the national: Launde Abbey, Thomas Cromwell, and Richard III.

Do we really know our historical figures, or are they just caricatures? This talk uses the fascinating characters of Thomas Cromwell and Richard III to explore how we think about history. Is it really possible to find a connection between the last king of England to die on the battlefield and the chief minister of Henry VIII? How did they want to be remembered, and how have they descended to us in the modern day? From architecture to Shakespeare and tombs to documentaries, you might find that there are some surprising connections to be made…

‘Almighty god, my maker and redemer, by whose passion and not by my defects I trust to be savyd…’: the life and times of Sir William Turville (1472-1549).

Public Speaker Katie Bridge talks about ‘Almighty god, my maker and redemer, by whose passion and not by my defects I trust to be savyd…’: the life and times of Sir William Turville (1472-1549).

Sir William Turville was a Leicestershire justice of the peace, landowner and litigant who lived through both the Wars of the Roses and the English Reformation. He appears to have been a particularly cunning thorn in the side of the social hierarchy, from the peasantry to the Crown. The archives are testimony to the numerous occasions in which he found himself on the wrong side of the law. What can we find out about Turville’s life; who did he think he was, and who did he want other people to think he was? Could this account for his behaviour? This talk takes the audience on an exploration of the life and times of this fascinating and colourful character. Why did Turville choose to be buried away from his family; why was he so determined to enclose a local hill, and exactly what was he doing throwing a deer over a park pale?


Landscape history – what’s that all about, then?

Public Speaker Katie Bridger talks about Landscape history – what’s that all about, then?

What is landscape history, exactly? What can we learn from it, and why is it valuable? Come along to find out why we should be thinking about history through a landscape lens. From getting muddy boots outdoors to dusty hands in the archives, it’s a great way to think about history with some surprising conclusions. Do people influence the landscape, or does the landscape influence people? Using the examples of the Leicestershire gentry in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, this talk explores how we can use archives to reconstruct lost landscapes and societies. Is it really possible?

What people say about Katie Bridger's history talks

“I just wanted to thank you again for a wonderful talk last night – our members certainly enjoyed it and were very complimentary.” – Friends of Leicester and Leicestershire Museums

“Thank you so much for giving my group such a fascinating and thought provoking talk on Saturday. It was enjoyed by everyone and we would love you to speak to us again when you have more topics available!” – Lincolnshire branch of the Richard III Society

“Thank you so much for your talk this afternoon. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and went home having had an excellent end to a great day.” – English branch of the Marie Stuart Society

“Many thanks for a fascinating talk last night. The members all found it both informative and an interesting insight into local politics at the time.” – Loughborough Coin & Search Society

“Would like to say a big thank you on behalf of the Wolvey Local History Group for the wonderful talk you gave to the group last night.
Hopefully you will come back to the group in the future with another interesting presentation.” – Wolvey Local History Group

Katie Bridger Contact Details: