From Domesday Book to listening in for doomsday: Caversham Park’s 930 years at the centre of history

Stephen Goss

South East
Notice Period:
Short (maybe less than one month's notice)
Professional historian
Paid: £90.00
19th May 2024

First recorded in the post-Norman invasion Domesday Book, Caversham Park has played a surprisingly central role in English, British and international history for nearly a millennium.

It was the seat of the so-called ‘best knight whoever lived’, who was related to the man who brought about the English conquest of Ireland. The Manor of Caversham was embroiled in the Reformation, was owned by cousins of Elizabeth I – who not only gave their name to current streets in Reading – but guarded Mary, Queen of Scots. Caversham Park both entertained the first two Stuart Kings and became a prison for Charles I. Learn about its role in the Glorious Revolution, and its connexions to the American War of Independence.

The estate became a refuge in the First World War, and was taken over by the BBC during the Second. Hear how it became a centre for intelligence throughout the Second World War, the Cold War and the ‘War on Terror’. This talk reveals how an estate on the north bank of the Thames was a surprising tour de force in global events from the Norman Conquest to the threat of Soviet annihilation.

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About Stephen Goss

An academic historian published in peer-review journals who has been a popular speaker in local historical societies and community groups for a decade.

With me you get history based on the highest standard of research and analysis - presented in an engaging, witty and enjoyable way. I tailor my talks to suit your audience; I guarantee you will be fascinated with the insights and hear humorous anecdotes which will stay with you.

I am also a multiple award-winning tour guide with 100% positive reviews on TripAdvisor. If you would like a walking tour, or a combined talk and walk, please contact me. Each of my talks are accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation. I can provide laptop, projector, microphone and speaker if necessary.

However, as an Ulsterman, I can address any size of audience effectively without aid, and nonetheless ensure it is engaging. Let me know what you need and I am happy to accommodate.

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