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 but additional equipment (projector, suitable wall/screen) would be required. 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 £40 for a one hour talk which also includes time for questions. I will travel to anywhere within Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire but mileage is 20p per mile outside a 15 mile radius of LE9 in Leicestershire. Train travel may also incur an additional fee.

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“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!

“Victimised or Victorious?: Launde Abbey, War and the Reformation”


Enveloped by the rolling landscape of eastern Leicestershire, Launde Abbey has borne witness to centuries of English history. The discovery of the remains of Richard III has drawn attention to the turbulence of the late fifteenth century; the priory of Launde evolved through this civil conflict and the later religious upheaval of the Reformation to escape total ruin. This talk will investigate Launde and the religious houses of Leicestershire in the hands of the monarchy and the population of Plantagenet and Tudor England. Were they celebrated or simply accepted? How did they fare during the Wars of the Roses? What was the impact of the Reformation in Leicestershire? Ultimately, were religious houses the vicitimised or the victorious?

“Myself for Launde”: Ownership, Reputation and the Cromwells of Launde Abbey


After the Reformation many religious houses became vulnerable to destruction and amendment under new ownership. This talk will investigate the tempestuous relationship between these establishments and their owners, and how it can be compared to that between their owners and history. As with Richard III after the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the reputation of Thomas Cromwell has been much debated since his death in 1540. Why are the characters of prominent historical individuals so vulnerable to criticism and praise? How does Shakespeare, a contemporary of Launde as we know it, contribute to our understanding of Richard III and Thomas Cromwell? What happened to Launde after the Reformation, and how have its owners left their mark?

What people say about my talks

“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