Historic attractions throw open their doors this weekend
ONE of the most patriotic summers in living memory is set to be rounded off with buildings and places of interest throwing open their doors to visitors this week.
Heritage Open Days, a national event celebrating Britain’s culture and history now in its 18th year, will see free events taking place across the country from yesterday to Sunday.
Among the attractions opening for free across the Cotswolds are the 17th century Quaker meeting house in Cirencester and the lavish Chavenage House near Tetbury, which visitors may recognise from the television series Lark Rise to Candleford.
Also open to visitors over the weekend are Malmesbury’s historic town hall, a former water mill in Blockley and the only fully complete ex-RAF Brittania in the world, which will be open to visitors at Cotswold Airport on Sunday.
HOD spokesman Annabelle Thorpe said the event, part of a European Union-wide initiative taking place across 50 countries, would see more than 4,600 historic properties and places of interest opening their doors to the public for free.
“The last day of Heritage Open Days ties in with the last day of the Paralympic Games, making it the perfect way to round-off a spectacular summer and celebrate local history on your doorstep,” she said.
The event is organised and run by a range of organisations and civic societies with the help of volunteers.
For more information on Heritage Open Days visit heritageopendays.org.uk
- LIFE in the Cotswolds during World War Two will be the subject of an exhibition at The Old Memorial Hospital, Cirencester during Heritage Open Days. The exhibition, which includes and air raid shelter, will be open from 10am to 4.30pm on Saturday September 8 and 2pm to 5pm on Sunday September 9. A ‘War Walks’ at 2.30pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday will also take visitors to a range of places of interest around the town.
- THE Grade II listed Salvation Army Hall on Thomas Street, Cirencester will throw open its doors to visitors as part of Heritage Open Days. The building will be open from 10am on Saturday September 8 and 2pm to 4.30pm on Sunday September 9, followed by a special songs of praise based on the history of Cirencester Salvation Army from 6pm to 7.30pm.
- VISITORS will have the opportunity to explore the 17th century Quaker meeting house and garden on Thomas Street, Cirencester during Heritage Open Days. The building will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday September 8 and 2pm to 4pm on Sunday September 9.
- THE only fully complete ex-RAF Brittania in the world will be open to visitors from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday September 9. The Bristol Brittania XM496 ‘Regulus’ will be on show at Cotswold Airport courtesy of the Bristol Brittania XM496 Preservation Society.
- A HISTORIC Elizabethan mansion which featured in the television series Lark Rise to Candleford will throw open its doors to visitors from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Sunday September 9. Visitors to Chavenage House near Tetbury will be able to view tapestries, relics and furniture from the Cromwell period. Visitors must book ahead by calling 01666 503 552.
- THE virtually untouched St Saviour’s Church on New Church Street, Tetbury, will be open to visitors from 10.30am to 6.30pm from Thursday September 6 to Sunday September 9.
- A MUSEUM tracing the history of policing in Gloucestershire will be open to visitors from 10.30am to 3pm from Thursday September 6 to Sunday September 9 as part of Heritage Open Days. The Tetbury Police Museum is located in the Victorian former police station and courtroom on Long Street and features a number of exhibits including a magistrates court complete with waxwork models engaged in a replica hearing.
- MORE than a thousand years of history will be on show at Malmesbury Town Hall from 10.30am to 3pm on Saturday September 8. The Town Hall on Cross Hayes contains a range of documents and maps from the archive of the warden and freemen on Malmesbury, an organisation dating back to the time of King Athelstan, who ruled England from 924-39AD.
- A PICTURESQUE 18th century Strict Baptist chapel on The Street, Grittleton, near Hullavington, will open its doors as part of Heritage Open Days for the first time from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday September 9.
- A THIRTEENTH-CENTURY church in Inglesham, near Lechlade, will open its doors from 10am to 4pm from Thursday September 6 to Saturday September 8. Jane Rutherford, who has been conserving wall paintings inside the Church of St John the Baptist for the past two decades will be on hand to answer visitor’s questions.
- A HISTORIC medieval church in Eastleach will throw open its doors from 10am to 5pm on Saturday September 8. Visitors to St Michael's and St Martin’s Church will be able to see some of the church's rare treasures, including some dating back to the 13th century.
- A FORMER water mill in Blockley will be open to visitors from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday September 8 and Sunday September 9. Although the wheel at the Mill Dene water mill on School Lane is long gone, the wheel pit can be examined and a range of artefacts will be available for visitors to see.