Our Story

Who we are

Founded in 2019, the Chelsea History Festival is a partnership between the National Army Museum, the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden. Its aim is to entertain, educate and inspire through local, national and global history.

Marching drill at the Chelsea History Festival

History is not only fascinating, popular and fun but it really matters if we want to truly understand the adventures of our forebears, our world today and our place within it. Come to the Chelsea History Festival with family and friends and be entertained, enriched and inspired by our past. There is something for everyone.

Justin Maciejewski, Director, National Army Museum

What we do

Every year, the Chelsea History Festival brings the past to life through an immersive programme of events, featuring a brilliant blend of storytellers and performers from different walks of life.

Military bandsman at the Chelsea Physic Garden

Caring for a heritage site like Chelsea Physic Garden means always having one eye on the past and the other on the future. Our living collection connects us with the history of those who nurtured it before us and their mission of discovery. They used the Garden to educate and heal, and we do the same today. Chelsea History Festival is a chance for everyone to do the same, to look into the past and see what it can teach us about the future.

Sue Medway, Director, Chelsea Physic Garden

Where to find us

The festival’s venues are all situated in the heart of Chelsea, along the historic Royal Hospital Road. This is the perfect place to contemplate the past and its continuing significance in our lives today.

Royal Hospital Road street sign

Although the Royal Hospital is a living, thriving community, history feels ever-present here. We are always learning from the past, helping us to constantly improve the care and quality of life we offer. This not only benefits the Chelsea Pensioners, but can be shared more widely, ensuring our continued relevance. The Chelsea History Festival reflects this and strengthens vital connections with our neighbours and the wider world.

Gary Lashko, CEO, Royal Hospital Chelsea