Philip Astley celebration event

The Philip Astley Projecy set out with a grant from the Heritage Lottery to raise the profile of Philip Astley locally, nationally and internationally and to reaffirm Newcastle-under-Lyme’s role in circus history.

In the past 18-months more than 30,000 people have been directly involved via events and workshops, and over a million people have been connected to the region’s heritage via traditional and social media.

As a big thank you to many of the people who have helped to make this possible, and to celebrate the launch of the Philip Astley Resource Pack, Staffordshire University held a circus themed celebration with acts including jugglers, LED hoopers and a Charlie Chaplain impressionist.

The event, held on 28 November 2018, was attended by more than 120 guests including the Mayor of Newcastle Gill Heesom, Lord Mayor of Stoke on Trent Lillian Dodd, Chairman of Staffordshire County Council Michael Greatorex and Leader of Newcastle Borough Council Simon Tagg.

The Resource Pack, available for free download, includes original research on the life of Philip Astley and his family in Newcastle-under-Lyme and the role of Astley’s theatrical performances in shaping recreational life of the period.

Other News

AstleyFest 2018

On 4th August 2018 Newcastle-under-Lyme saw the first ever AstleyFest – a new festival celebrating the father of the modern circus in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. The festival started with a bang at 11:30am in Newcastle town centre where people proudly paraded their ...

Philip Astley Town Trail

Newcastle-under-Lyme BID have teamed up with Creative Art North Staffordshire to create a Philip Astley Town Trail Map that tells you about the life of Philip Astley, Father of the Modern Circus. The trail uses window vinyls placed at specific locations ...

Communities come together in Celebrating AstleyFest

In February 2018, The Philip Astley Project held an open call for artists, schools and community groups to take part in AstleyFest 2018, a new outd- oor festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate the life and legacy of Philip Astley – Father of ...

Homecoming by Night

  Homecoming by Night, held on Saturday 30th June 2018, was a fantastic summer event that brought circus acts to the people of Newcastle-under-Lyme, in celebration of Philip Astley, the father of the modern circus. Homecoming is a popular annual event ...