Heritage Open Days: 16 historic places to explore in Preston this weekend

Posted on - 10th September, 2014 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, City Centre, History, Kid's stuff, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Recreation, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
harris museum

Tours of the Harris Museum are just one of the buildings opening their doors

Preston’s historical buildings, parks and some lesser known spots of the city are being opened up this weekend.

The Preston Heritage Weekend invites you to find out more about those buildings you might walk past on a daily basis and wonder what’s actually inside.

From the Playhouse to the Preston Cleansing Deparment (yes, really) there are all manner of buildings inviting Prestonians in.

It’s part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days which runs from September 11 to 14.

Here’s all the buildings which are opening their doors and when you can visit them during Saturday 13 September and Sunday 14 September.

The Playhouse is currently undergoing refurbishment after staff and volunteers raised the funds themselves

Preston Playhouse

You may have seen a play there, or some comedy, but take a look backstage at the venue on Market Street West – which used to be a Friends Meeting House. Open 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Lancashire Conservation Studios at St Mary’s Church

The church on St Mary’s Street, which nestles behind the Museum of Lancashire, is a grade II listed site and houses specialist conservation studios where museum and art gallery objects are cleaned and repaired before display. Tour times are 2pm and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Pre-booking is essential.

Haslam Park, Ashton, Preston

Haslam Park, Ashton, Preston

Haslam Park heritage walking tour

Not a building, but there are buildings dotted around the park. Designed by Thomas Mawson, Haslam is often overlooked for its beauty. The tours take place on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 3pm, no need to book. Meeting place is the car park at Bristow Avenue.

Amounderness House

This was build in 1857 on Lancaster Road and was a police station and magistrates court. It is now being considered for an art studio among other uses. Tours are at 2.30pm and 3.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, but you need to book in advance.

Harris Museum and Art Gallery

You may have been in to look at an exhibition, but what about the building itself? There’s some breathtaking architectural work going on there as it overlooks the Flag Market. Building tours at 12noon on Saturday only, pre-booking recommended for tours.

P.C. Carpets and Beds

On Lune Street, find hidden ‘art noveau’ on the corner with Fishergate. What were the offices of the Friendly Society have some classic touches. Open 10am to 5pm on Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sunday. No need to book.

Inside the Archives on Bow Lane

Inside the Archives on Bow Lane

Lancashire Archives

Not just dusty paperwork, the archives have 9 miles of shelving inside. They are back open on Bow Lane in their 1970s building, tours are 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm on Saturday only.

Re-opening ceremony of the Lancashire Infantry Museum

Re-opening ceremony of the Lancashire Infantry Museum

Lancashire Infantry Museum

It’s just had a £200,00 refurbishment and based within Fulwood Barracks lift the lid on life for the military. Tour times are 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2pm and the museum is open 10am to 4pm on Saturday only.

Museum of Lancashire

Down Stanley Street, what was originally a court building, is allowing you to discover the stories of soldiers from Preston killed during the First World War. Tours take place 11am, 12noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm on Saturday and 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 3pm on Sunday. No need to book.

Preston Cleansing Department

Hold your nose and head to Argyll Road. Established in the 1880s find out about what was the manure depot for the city. Tour times are 10am, 11am and 1pm. Saturday only. Pre-booking is recommended.

Preston Dock and Riversway Control Centre

Take a guided tour around the foundation stone set in the dock and visit the control room to find out how they run the Docks. Tour times are 10am, 11.30am and 1pm on Saturday only. Children aged 10+ welcome. Pre-booking is recommended.

Preston Masonic Hall

Opened in 1944 on Saul Street, you can still see the gable of the 1860 Sunday School too. Tours on the hour on Saturday between 11am and 4pm, last tour at 3pm.

Preston Town Hall

When they aren’t getting themselves twisted up in knots over which flag to fly, the Town Hall is home to the city council and has some impressive architecture. Take a peek behind the scenes of the council on Saturday with tours at 10am, 11am and 1pm. Pre-booking is recommended.

Preston Minster of St John

Another grade II listed church, the Minster is the Parish Church of the city. Open on the Saturday from 10am to 4pm. The Preston Historical Society will be based here throughout Saturday.


Starlings swoop over St Peter’s Church and the UCLan Library

St Peter’s Church Arts Centre

Nestled in the heart of what is now the University of Central Lancashire’s Preston campus find out more about the church which was one of 100 built across the country during the Napoleonic Wars. Open on Saturday only with tours at 11am and 12noon, no need to book.

avenham park

Avenham and Miller Park

One of Preston’s most impressive features, the grade II listed park is to be explored along the banks of the Ribble. Tours showing off its heritage starts at 2pm on both Saturday and Sunday, and lasts up to 90 minutes. Meet by the Pavillion.

For any events which require booking you need to contact Preston Visitor Information on 01772 253 731, email or visit them in the Guild Hall.

More details about the Preston Heritage Weekend are on the city council website.

Are you planning to visit any of the buildings? Let us know in the comments below and if you snap any pictures add them to the Preston Flickr group or in the comments

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