Rededication of the Victoria County History presented to HM The Queen

Friday 4 May 2012

To mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee a celebratory event was held at Salisbury Cathedral Close on Tuesday 1 May at which Professor Miles Taylor, Director of the Institute of Historical Research and Dr Virginia Bainbridge, County Editor VCH Wiltshire, presented Her Majesty with a rededicated volume of the Victoria County History (VCH).

The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, was escorted round a medieval-themed event created with jousting-style tents packed with activities, local artifacts and displays. One of these magnificent tents housed an exhibition mounted by VCH Wiltshire and the Wiltshire Council Heritage Services. This was an important and memorable occasion for both organisations, with large crowds learning about Wiltshire’s heritage, listening to ‘Salisbury tales’ and being introduced to the VCH.

It was inside the main marquee tent that Her Majesty was presented with a volume of the VCH, The Victoria History of Wiltshire XVIII: Cricklade and Environs, and the rededication of the Victoria County History to Queen Elizabeth II by her gracious permission.

Professor Miles Taylor said: “It was an honour to represent the University on this occasion. The VCH connects the last Diamond Jubilee with the current one in so many ways, not least in linking together past and present, locality and nation, and landscape and people. The inclusion of the Wiltshire VCH in the Queen’s West Country itinerary will bring enormous pride and sense of achievement to Virginia and her colleagues, and to the VCH community more generally.”

The VCH was originally dedicated to The Queen’s great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, following her own Diamond Jubilee, and it was Queen Victoria who gave the history its title.

The Institute of Historical Research, which has managed the VCH project since 1933, will continue to celebrate the rededication of the VCH by devoting the annual Marc Fitch lecture to the Diamond Jubilee celebration.

The lecture, held at Senate House on 25 June and given by Dr David Starkey, is entitled ‘“Head of Our Morality”: why the twentieth-century British monarchy matters’.

A VCH Jubilee commemorative publication, including exciting new research by Professor John Beckett, former VCH Director, will be available to purchase at the lecture.

If you would like to attend please email


For further information on the Victoria County History contact:

Elizabeth Williamson
Executive Editor
Victoria County History
Institute of Historical Research
University of London
Senate House
London WC1E 7HU
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8777; Email:

Notes for editors:

Founded in 1899 and originally dedicated to Queen Victoria, the VCH is an encyclopaedic record of England's places and people from earliest times to the present day. Based at the Institute of Historical Research in the University of London since 1933, the VCH is written by historians working in counties across England and is without doubt the greatest publishing project in English local history.