Manuscripts and Special Collections

Weston Gallery Exhibition

Charging Against Napoleon: Wellington's Campaigns in the Peninsular Wars and at Waterloo


Friday 22 May to Sunday 6 September 2015

Admission free

The Napoleonic Wars, which were fought between Britain, France and their allies from 1803, came to an end with the Battle of Waterloo on the 18 June 1815. This exhibition, timed to coincide with the bicentenary of Waterloo, reflects on the conflict in its later stages, from the Peninsular Wars in Spain and Portugal in 1808 to the end of hostilities seven years later.

Drawing on the material from The University of Nottingham's collections, the exhibition assesses the nature and impact of the war and its consequences.

  Detail from 'The Battle of Waterloo' by H. Chartier, poster image for Charging Against Napoleon exhibition


The displays describe key moments in the conflict, chart the rise to prominence of military commanders such as the Duke of Wellington and reveal Nottinghamshire's contribution to the war effort.
The exhibition also explores the wider legacy of the wars. In Spain, British forces fought alongside those seeking liberation from foreign conquest. In Britain, the return of peace was accompanied by new demands for political and social change.
Napoleon and Wellington, from Edward Cotton, 'A Voice from Waterloo'.

The exhibition has been jointly curated by Richard Gaunt (associate Professor of History in the School of Humanities) and Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham.

Location and Opening Times

Weston Gallery
DH Lawrence Pavilion
Nottingham Lakeside Arts
University Park

Box Office: 0115 8467777

Opening times:

Monday to Friday 11am-4pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays 12pm-4pm.

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Lunchtime Talks

1PM – 2PM



A series of talks will be held to accompany the exhibition. Places are limited so please book in advance with the Box Office on 0115 846 7777

Thursday 18 June

Waterloo after 200 years - the Curator's View

Richard Gaunt, curator of the exhibition 'Charging Against Napoleon', reflects on the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, 200 years to the day since it was fought.

This talk replaces the previously-advertised 'From the Ballroom to the Battlefield'.

Wednesday 8 July

'Hard pounding gentlemen!": The Tactics of Waterloo

Professor Charles Esdaile from the University of Liverpool re-considers Wellington's command of the Allied forces and the tactics which delivered his 'immortal victory'.

Wednesday 5 August

Commemorating Waterloo 1815-2015

For years, Britons commemorated the Battle of Waterloo in a myriad of ways. However, after Wellington's death in 1852, official acts of public commemoration declined as the legacy of Waterloo was both contested and politicised. In this talk, Dr Russ Foster, a specialist on Wellington, considers why this remains the case to this day.


Special Events

Please book in advance with the Box Office on 0115 846 7777.

Thursday 18 June, Djanogly Recital Hall, 8-10pm

Special concert by the New Scorpion Band

New Scorpion Band is one of the most original groups in British traditional music. Performing on over 20 traditional instruments and dressed in splendid costume, their concert to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo will include folk songs and instrumental pieces from the period.

Prior to the concert, there will be a Waterloo-themed meal in the Pavilion Cafe. Call the box office for further details.

Saturday 25 July

Living History Day, Highfields Park

Join the 5/60th Rifles re-enactment group at their Living History camp!

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651
email: mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk