Sunday 19 September 2021Editor's Choice Free
Known as being one of England’s largest occasions celebrating history and culture, this year’s Heritage Open Days take place from Friday 10 until Sunday 19 September 2021 across Gloucestershire, with free events, tours, and activities on offer throughout the festival.
SoGlos has handpicked a small selection of Heritage Open Days highlights in Gloucestershire to get history buffs started, with more events being confirmed all the time… visit heritageopendays.org.uk for more information.
If you have always wanted to take a peek inside some of Cheltenham’s most magnificent buildings, now is your chance at the annual Heritage Open Days 2021, when buildings of every age, style and function will be taking part in the festivities.
Highlights in Cheltenham include the ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ tours at Cheltenham Ladies’ College to see the places that inspired Robin Stevens to create Deepdean School. Taking place on Saturday 11 September 2021, during the one-hour tour guests will visit the gym, the library corridor, the assembly hall, and the original tunnel. What’s more, visitors will be provided with a bun break – you may even spot Deepdean’s Daisy and Hazel. Pre-booking is essential for this event.
There’s a chance to see behind-the-scenes at Cheltenham Playhouse, with a guided tour around the ground floor of the grade-II listed building on Sunday 12 September 2021, with tours every 10 minutes from 12pm to 4pm. The route takes in the scenery workshops and stage and talks about its time as a salt works, slipper baths and swimming pool – which you will descend into! Pre-booking is required.
Walk Cheltenham’s Bath Road and The Suffolks on a journey through 200 years of trading history. Taking place on Sunday 12 and Sunday 19 September 2021, those taking part in the tour will hear about the history of the vibrant area, stopping to look at some of the shops, pubs, and other notable buildings. Pre-booking is required for this event.
Enjoy a semi-outdoor programme of short talks during the ‘These Magnificent Rooms’ event at Pittville Pump Room on Saturday 18 September 2021. Visitors can discover what ‘the season’ was, what ‘taking the waters’ involved and who lived at the pump room, as well as sampling some sweet treats of the period. Pre-booking will be required.
Or explore Cheltenham Minster, St Mary’s, a grade I listed building which happens to be the oldest in the town. Running from Friday 10 September to Sunday 19 September 2021, guests will be able to tour the historic church and marvel at the building which is mentioned in the Domesday book. Booking isn’t necessary for this event.
Visitors can also head to venues such as Annecy Gardens, Dean Close School, Linton House and many more, to discover the rich regency history of the town.
Populated with some of the most picturesque villages in the country such as Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bibury, the Cotswolds boasts an impressive host of buildings full to the brim with fascinating history.
Between Sunday 12 and Sunday 19 September 2021, visitors will have the chance to explore the beautiful area in depth, peeking into the buildings that occupy the scenic area.
Experience a guided walk through the Churchyard and grounds at Cirencester Abbey on Saturday 11 September at 2.30pm. The grounds contain over 25 listed monuments and many specimen trees, as well as an icehouse and the only remains of the Roman city walls, which visitors will be able to see for themselves. Two new wooden statues will also be seen for the first time this year. Pre-booking isn’t necessary for the tour/session.
With a rich heritage, and originally used exclusively as a royal hunting ground for the Tudors, and subsequently a source of food for the royal court at the time. The Forest of Dean also has a long history of trade and manufacturing.
From Friday 10 until Sunday 19 September 2021, visitors to the Forest of Dean will have the chance to explore its rich history.
Just one of the interesting highlights is that The Forest Bakehouse, based in Longhope Industrial Estate, will be inviting guests to watch as locally grown heritage grain is milled on Sunday 12 and Sunday 19 September between 10.30am and 2pm. Experience the bread-making process and taste a little of the produce, too. Pre-booking isn’t essential for this day.
With its famous docks, iconic cathedral and history that dates all the way back to the Roman times, Gloucester boasts a fascinating history. Find out more about the city’s rich heritage as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days.
Highlights in Gloucester include the chance to explore Britain’s most complete Dominican Priory, owned by English Heritage and managed by Gloucester City Council at Blackfriars Priory on Saturday 11 September 2021. Guided tours last an hour, with those attending getting the chance to see the 13th century church remains, including a rare scissor braced roof.
Go on a Victorian Walk around Gloucester Docks, taking place on Monday 13 September 2021, between 2.30pm and 3.30pm. The event will be entirely illustrated by old photographs, with visitors hearing the stories of everyday life, special events and the tragedies of life in the Victorian era.
Step inside the Beatrix Potter Museum to explore the world that inspired the author to publish one of her most loved tales, The Tailor of Gloucester. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the building she based her story on and meet the Tailor, Simpkin the cat and a host of other characters. The event will run between 10am and 4pm between Friday 10 and Monday 13 September 2021.
Learn how Single and Double Gloucester cheeses are made on a visit to the Cheese House at Smarts Gloucester Cheese. The process still uses a traditional Victorian curd mill along with a Victorian cheese press. This event will run on Tuesday 14 September 2021 from 10.30am until 2pm and requires pre-booking.
Visitors can also head to venues such Brockworth Court for a Medieval Manor house tour; an educational children’s walk at St Michael’s Tower; or St Mary De Crypt to watch Gloucester Brass perform.
Famous for mustard back in William Shakespeare’s day, as well as being home to the beautiful Abbey featuring medieval stained glass in its seven quire windows, Tewkesbury is painted with a rich history to discover this Heritage Open Days 2021.
Between Friday 10 and Sunday 19 September 2021, keen explorers can wander around museums, exhibitions and indulge in Tewkesbury’s heritage.
Running on both Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 2021 between 10am and 4pm, visitors to Tewkesbury Abbey will have the chance to engage with the Edible England knitted monks’ event. Guests will discover what the monks used to eat, plus an exhibition of the knitted monks donated to celebrate the 900th Anniversary of the consecration of the Abbey in 2021.
Visitors can also wander around the John Moore Museum and its gardens, free of charge on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September 2021, between 10am and 3.30pm. Explore the natural history collection; a restored Tudor Merchant’s House and Shop; and one of Britain’s oldest Baptist Chapels.
Brimming with independent shops, cafes and galleries, Stroud is a popular destination for tourists with a bursting art scene.
Known for its industrial heritage, visitors can spot a range of attractions and take part in guided tours this Heritage Open Days 2021.
One of the highlights is the chance to visit the 200-year-old St Mary’s Mill on both Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 2021, between 11am and 3.15pm. With one of the original waterwheels surviving, the mill will demonstrate a Tangye horizontal steam engine the largest of its type in the country. Local cloth and clothing will be shown, explaining the processes of willeying, mending, milling, and braiding. Pre-booking will be required for this event.
By Zoe Gater
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