12,000 Years of History: Heritage Open Days (7 to 10 September)
24 August 2017Heritage Open Days weekend sees historic properties, walks and talks across the borough between 7 and 10 September.
The 23rd year for Heritage Open Days includes buildings and attractions opening their doors free of charge across the country. Thanks to the generosity of building owners and managers the event in West Cheshire organised by Chester Civic Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council keeps getting bigger every year.
Over 60 buildings will be open across West Cheshire including Parkgate, Ellesmere Port, Chester, Frodsham, Malpas, Winsford and Northwich plus over 20 bookable tours.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said: “Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture with over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers.
“I’d like to thank all of the businesses and property owners welcoming visitors to their historic properties. Our buildings are open free of charge but please check the brochure for opening times, the guided tours are always very popular with limited numbers and advanced booking is required for most of them.” http://historyandheritage.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk/heritage-open-days/
The Chester Rows will take centre stage for a special artistic presentation. All Things Considered Theatre and artists Heinrich & Palmer will create two new artistic activities using public spaces along the Rows, making them accessible, in a new form. The artworks will mix multimedia installations and live interactive performance to create a unique insight into Chester’s historic Rows. ‘Meet me on the Rows’ is a new immersive theatre experience taking a small audience (maximum six people) on a journey up and around the Rows bringing to life stories they have researched. The free event can be booked through www.eventbrite.co.uk.
Artists Heinrich and Palmer will use technology to create a site specific artwork in response to the heritage and history of The Rows.
Amongst the many historic buildings in Chester, Watergate House a fine Grade II* listed building will be open on Saturday 9, and explore Sally’s Secret Garden on Bridge Street Row.
Less well known, don’t miss the exhibition from the world of medicine at the University of Chester Riverside Museum (which will be open on Thursday 7 and Saturday 9 between 10am and 4pm, for visitors to drop in), and the University of Chester Chapel on Parkgate Road (open between 10am and 4pm during the Heritage Open Days).
There will be guided tours of Chester Rail Station, Chester Racecourse, Bridgegate House, Poulton research project (the site has produced 12,000 years of finds from a large Iron Age, Roman and Medieval settlements), Chester Blue Coat CE Primary School, the Albion Inn and Western Command (the University’s Churchill Building) amongst others. Tours of Western Command must be booked in advance and will be available on Thursday only, between 2pm and 3pm, and 3.15pm and 4.15pm.
The former Queen’s Cinema in Ellesmere Port, the National Waterways Museum and Action Transport Theatre (Whitby Hall) are included in Ellesmere Port.
There will be guided walks in Parkgate on both Saturday and Sunday. Frodsham includes The Ring O’Bells, Bear’s Paw Hotel and Old Hall Hotel.
Northwich has more buildings than previous years; both the Anderton Boat Lift and the Lion Salt Works will be offering free guided tours.
CRS Consultants are opening their Parrs Bank building on Friday 8 September for two booked tours including a film and talk. Visitors to The Plaza Cinema on Witton Street can view the ornate auditorium and stage of the Grade II listed 1928 cinema. There are tours of the Victoria Club on both Saturday and Sunday. The Dock Road Pumping Station, a Grade II listed Edwardian building dating from 1910 is open on Sunday 10 September.
Winsford Library has displays from the Local Studies Collection, Crosshatch Gallery’s ‘History of the River Weaver and it’s Salt Legacy’ on Thursday 7 whilst local historian Tony Bostock gives a free talk ‘Winsford a Town Built from Salt’ at the library on Friday 8 September.
Harbutts Field in Middlewich was the site of a Roman Auxiliary Fort and associated ‘Vicus’, and is a scheduled monument. Middlewich library, the Roman trail and interpretation boards tell the history of the site. The Roman festival Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September will explore these roots through activities, re–enactment, mini tours and Living History.