Heritage Open Days

Various locations

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Venue information

Friday 13 to Sunday 22 September 2019

Heritage Open Days returns this year to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. From 13 to 22 September historic sites and hidden locations will throw open their doors for visitors to explore – for free! 

During this 10 day cultural festival, you will be able to visit places not normally open to the public, as well as favourite heritage sites, to learn more about your local area.

This year, a special programme of ‘People Power’ themed events will focus upon highlighting historic and contemporary communities, groups and individuals. These events will put a spotlight on those that have saved buildings, created green spaces, created campaigns and made their voices heard.

For more details on any of the events listed below, call the Bury St Edmunds Tourist Information Centre (based at The Apex) on 01284 758000 or email tic@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Read on to find out where you can explore and enjoy heritage, architecture and culture as part of this year's Heritage Open Days in West Suffolk...

The Rise and Fall of Rougham Hall

Sunday 15 September

An introductory historical talk by George Agnew in the Meadow Room at Blackthorpe Barn followed by a 2 hour walk to the ruins of Rougham Hall and back, seeing parts of the old parkland and gardens.

Find out more information about the event on the Heritage Open Days website.

Clare Town Trail Guided Walk

Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September

An hour and a half guided walk around the refurbished and extended Town Trail, taking in the key heritage in the Country Park, Market Hill, the Parish Church, Common, Nethergate Street and Clare Priory. There is free access to Clare Ancient House Museum at the end of the walk.

Find out more at: Heritage Open Days - Clare Castle County Park

Clare Country Park Walk

Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September

A one and a half hour guided walk around the Park, taking in the key built and natural heritage, and the recent improvements to the Park made possible by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant. The walk will include the recently refurbished Old Goods Shed, the top of the motte, the moat, the inner and outer baileys, new interpretative features like a nature trail and model railway, the railway walk and the new cut of the River Stour.

Find out more at: Heritage Open Days - Clare Castle Country Park

Lost Bury St Edmunds

Saturday 21 September

Bury St Edmunds author and tour guide, Martyn Taylor, will take you down memory lane.

An hour long illustrated talk on the schools, shops, pubs and businesses that are no longer with us but firmly in the memory of many. From the beginnings of the twentieth century up to the present day it is surprising what you will remember of what was once here in Bury St Edmunds evoking a sense of nostalgia.

Find out more information about the event on the Heritage Open Days website

Historical guided tour of Culford Hall and Park

Saturday 14 September

Visit the beautiful Culford Hall, the former home of the Bacon, Cornwallis and Cadogan families, with its grand reception rooms, formal gardens and Humphrey Repton designed landscape, including the unique single span bridge. Learn about the people who lived in the Hall from the 1600s to 1900s and about the thriving school which now occupies the site.

Find out more at: Heritage Open Days - Culford Hall

Dissent, Riot and Rebellion

Saturday 14 September and Sunday 22 September

Civil unrest, rioting in the streets, even bloody violence- not the first association you would make with Bury St Edmunds.

Bury St Edmunds was at the centre of national and regional events for centuries. With this role came unrest, much of it with violent consequences. Walk with us and enjoy stories from the 1100’s when the Abbey ruled every aspect of our lives. Onwards through the turbulent events of the next seven centuries during which the expression ‘Bury Stirs’ was coined, right up to the very recent past.

Find out more at: Heritage Open Days -  Disent riot and rebellion - a guided walk

Ancient Library Tour

Saturday 14 September, Friday 20 September and Saturday 21 September

Come and learn more about the Ancient Library and the manuscripts in the cathedral’s collection. View and learn a little more about the books in the cathedral’s ancient library with the library guides.

The Ancient Library was founded by Dr Miles Mosse in 1595 as a resource for clergy training. There are over 550 books in the Library, mainly printed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Each session lasts 30 minutes.

Find out more at: Heritage Open Days - St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Fire Station Tour

Sunday 15 September, Wednesday 18 September

Join the firefighters for a tour of the fire station and viewing of fire appliances and equipment on site.

The trained fire crews will give visitors a tour of the fire station to see the fire engines that are used. They will give information on the roles and responsibilities of the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service. The crew will also provide information on fire and road safety to visitors.

Find out more information about the event on the Heritage Open Days - Behind the scenes look at Bury Fire Station

Rede Hall Farm Park

Monday 16 September, Wednesday 18 September

A walk round some of the farm showing fauna and flora conservation measures. A discussion of the history of the Suffolks, an indigenous rare breed, and its influence on agriculture and the countryside. An open debate and questions on anything the public consider they may like to ask.

Find out more at: Heritage Open Days- Rede Hall Farm Park

National Trust Ickworth

Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September

Explore the formal gardens, pleasure grounds and impressive Rotunda commission by the 4th Earl of Bristol.

Find out more information about the event on the Heritage Open Days - Ickworth

Former Atomic Weapons Bunker Tours, Thetford

Friday 13 to Sunday 22 September (excluding Sunday 15 September)

Tour the site where atom bombs Blue Danube and Red Beard were maintained during the Cold War. The tours can last up to three hours and ends with a voluntary climb up a 25 foot watchtower!

Find out more at: Heritage Open Days - Former atomic bunker tours

Perennial – Fullers Mill Garden, West Stow

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September

Visitors can explore the enchanting and tranquil retreat that was created by the late Bernard Tickner MBE.

Find out more at: Heritage Open Days - Fullers Mill Garden

Great War Huts

Saturday 14 to Sunday 22 September

The will be an exhibition of the work of popular illustrator Tim Godden plus tours of the Great War Huts site at Brook Farm, Hawstead. There will be a Talk & Tour on Sunday15 September and Wednesday 18 September at 11am and 2pm. There will also be a talk on the recent book, Percy: A Story of 1918, given by historian and author Professor Peter Doyle and illustrator Tim Godden on Saturday 14 September at 2pm.

For a full list of events please visit Heritage Open Days website

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