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History Group

Group Leader

David Cheshire (01202 820823)

The Hub


Tuesday 10.00 - 11.30


Please ensure you contact the Group Leader as places are limited.

Topic for 2022-23

English Pastoral: The Dawn of Everything”

This topic will explore the dawn of our history, in particular how our identity emerged and evolved, what it meant to be offshore islanders living on the edge of the world, becoming a Christian people, a chosen people, all the time caught up in geopolitical forces, Roman, Irish, Nordic, Frankish, Norman.

1. The dawn of patriotism: John of Gaunt’s speech
2. The dawn of the offshore island: Doggerland
3. The dawn of everything: prehistory and Stonehenge
4. The dawn of the pastoral: the geographical endowment
5. The dawn of Britannia: how “Romanised” were the Offshore Islanders?
6. The dawn of faith: Bede, Christianity and the nation
7. The dawn of the chosen people: Arthur and the visionary kingdom
8. The dawn of England: the Anglo-Saxons
9. The dawn of kingship: Mercia and Wessex
10. The dawn of culture: hoards, heroes and treasures
11. The dawn of the north: Cnut to Hardrada
12. The dawn of Norman England: 1066
13. The dawn of industry: the last wolf Winder, sheep, coal
14. The dawn of empire: the English and their history



Notes from previous sessions can be seen in

History Archive click here


I joined Verwood U3A when I moved here in 2009 as a way of meeting people and keeping my brain active. I have been a member of various U3A Groups, including Family History, Current Affairs and the Reading Group and was a Committee member for a time. I used to be a history teacher and I volunteered to re-start the History Group in 2010. The enthusiasm here for history is tremendous. We enjoy learning together  and I have can safely say that I have never enjoyed history more.


The History Group is a friendly group of enthusiasts from all backgrounds. No previous knowledge is required or assumed and we agree different topics each year. We strongly believe that history should be fun. We enjoy discussion and debate, sometimes in small groups, and look at a lot of historical documents to help us get into each topic. All my notes and handouts are posted on the website after each session by our webmaster Tony Bird (also a History Group member). If you like history, or would like to try it as a new interest, we will give you a warm welcome. No previous knowledge is assumed or needed, just your interest and enthusiasm and a wish to learn.