THE stories behind some of the county’s most popular foods were unravelled by food experts at Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre’s first ever historic food festival.

Over 200 people flocked to the centre for the unusual festival, which shed a light on the diet of our ancestors and old school recipes over the weekend.

“When we started to look through our archives, we were quite surprised to see how many connections there were to food,” Terry Bracher, service manager at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, said.

“There were archives relating to the diet of those in the workhouse or prison, through to rationing in World War One and World War Two and ever recipe books that some of the great households had gotten their hands on.

“All of our work is inspired by our archives and that’s the reason we put this food show on and we think it went really well.

“Over 200 people attended and all of our talks went down very well, as did the cakes from the Lacock WI.

"The children really loved making Roman relish and medieval gingerbread too.”

Cheesemaker Ceri Cryer, of Brinkworth Dairy, gave a talk and demonstration on Wiltshire Loaf, a semi-hard cheese popular in the 18th and 19th centuries and local historian Lucy Whitfield entertained the children by teaching them how to make and serve up classics from Roman olive relish, medieval gingerbread and butter.

Sally McPherson and chef Deborah Loader also gave talks on the history of food and the herbs and spices used as flavouring through the ages.

“We think the event went well but we will of course take time to assess what we have done well and what we can improve on based on the feedback we received,” Mr Bracher added.

“We will bring it back next year but we might combine it with our annual open day next year, we will see.”