Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest festival of history and culture which gives public the chance to visit historic monuments and buildings, particularly those normally closed to them.Advertisement
Taking place from between 8-11 September, the heritage days will open up a total of 32 prominent places in Preston, and we have listed some of the fantastic opportunities on offer.
Avenham and Miller Parks are situated next to each other on the north bank of the River Ribble.
A 60-90-minute tour taking place on Saturday 10 September will grant access to the finest examples of traditional Victorian parkland in North West England.
The tour, starting from the Modern Pavilion, will reveal the creation of the parks along with their major features such as Belvedere, Swiss Chalet, Boer War Memorial Fountain, Derby Statue and Grottos.
No booking is required for the event, however with 20 people per tour that involves steep slopes in some areas of the parks, it is not suitable for children under the age of 10.
A special guided tour of Greenhalgh Castle, near Garstang is taking place on Sunday 11 September from 10.30am-12.30pm.
This is a unique opportunity to view the castle ruin on private land, built by Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, in 1490 for defence of his estates around Garstang.
The tour has the privilege of being guided by a historian educating the public on its marvellous history.
Pre-booking is required for the event at the Visit Garstang Centre.
The monumental Harris Museum and Art Gallery in the heart of Preston is opening its doors on Saturday 10 September from 10am-5pm.
The Grade 1 listed building is bursting with architectural details, from original radiators to patterned mosaic floors, designed by artist Ian Hamilton Finlay 1990’s.
This is rare chance to discover the history of the building, along with its key features such as the Egyptian Balcony offering stunning views of the full height of the building.
A variety of tours are available including an Architectural Gem tour, Egyptian Balcony, Vitrual Egyptian Balcony tour.
No booking is required and the event is not suitable for children under the age of 7.
The Lancashire Infantry Museum has a huge amount to offer with demonstrations, displays and tours taking place on Saturday 10 September demonstrating the spectacular history inside.
To commemorate 100 years since the Battle of the Somme, members of the Great War Society will demonstrate the kit used by the British Tommy and answer any questions that you may ask.
Second Lieutenant Gabriel Coury’s Victoria Cross, awarded for bravery in the Somme in 1916, will also be on display.
The day will feature an interesting tour of the Barracks, located on Watling Street Road in Fulwood, and will showcase parts of the grounds usually restricted to visitors, along with ghost stories.
An excited guided tour of Preston’s Playhouse Theatre will take place on Sunday 11 September from 10am-4pm.
Public will be able to visit the theatre, located on Market Street West, and experience backstage, technical areas and see a set under construction.
The tour, involving three floors, will help you to learn about the history of the building, which was formerly a Friends’ Meeting House.
This is an unmissable opportunity to experience life inside Preston’s Playhouse Theatre, and no booking is required.
Read more: These are Preston’s hidden gems
A tour of Preston’s historic railway station will be taking place between 10-11 September at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
The current building dates from 1880 and the large central platform was bigger than any of the major London terminals at the time.
By World War 1 there were 15 platforms and in both World Wars, a volunteer-run buffet was provided in the current waiting room for servicemen.
Organised by Virgin Trains, the tour will commence at the station’s main entrance off Fishergate and will include areas that are normally inaccessible to the public.
Each tour has a maximum of 10 people however no booking is required.
Why not visit Preston’s Town Hall this Heritage Day weekend for a new experience like no other?
Public have the opportunity to visit the Council Chamber at the heart of the Town Hall, discovering how it works.
You will be able to see the splendid civic regalia and learn about its fascinating history.
The tour will give you the chance to meet the Mayor of Preston in the Mayor’s Parlour, making occasion unmissable.
Taking place on Saturday 10 September with tours from 9.30.am, 10.45am and 12pm, the event isn’t suited for children under the age of 10.
The Museum of Lancashire tours will take place on Saturday 10 September from 11am onwards, and will provide a rewarding day out full of entertainment and captivation.
The tours will allow you to travel back in time to the Museum’s days as a Court of Quarter Sessions.
A guide will assist your journey around the building depicting the current interior to reveal the stories and architecture from when the court was known as the worst n the whole Kingdom.
The event is not suitable for children under the age of 7.
To make bookings for the Preston Heritage Open Days visit the Heritage Open Days website.
Will you be visiting any of the Heritage Open Day sites? Have you been before? Let us know in the comments below