Heritage Open Days return to Preston and there’s 28 different buildings and places to go and explore.Advertisement
Now running for two weekends in September there’s the chance to go behind often closed doors in the city.
Here’s a run through of what’s on each day to explore in Preston.
All of the venues and tours are free to go on and visit.
Lasting about an hour and a half the walk takes in the key features of the parks along the River Ribble.
Meet at Avenham Walk at the top of the park at 1pm.
Tucked away off Garstang Road the cottage is a 16th century gem and this tells the story of the building’s lives as a Tudor dwelling, an 18th century inn, a Victorian schoolroom and a 20th century home. It’s open from 12noon to 5pm and is also open on Sunday 9 September.
From the ice age to the Vikings, to Oliver Cromwell and an old brickworks. This tour of the Fishwick rec and beyond explains the areas heritage during a two to three hour walk. You’ll need sturdy shoes. Meet at 1pm at the Rec car park.
Read more: Tours of St Joseph’s Orphanage have been postponed
In Watling Street Road this tour of the mosque also includes history on the early South Asian migrants to Preston. It’s open 10am to 5pm and is also open on Sunday 9 September, Saturday 15 September and Sunday 16 September.
It’s grade-I listed and this tour allows you to see the Egyptian balcony as well. That’s open from 1pm to 3pm and the building itself is open 10am to 5pm.
Given to the city by Mary Haslam, the daughter of a local millowner, this walk focuses on the history of the park while another walk focuses on the history of the Lancaster Canal which borders the park. Meeting point is Bristow Avenue car park off Blackpool Road. First walk at 11am, the other at 2pm.
Newly refurbished the observatory in Moor Park was built in 1927 and is now being opened up with more regularity. It’s open to visit from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and from 10am to 2.30pm on Sunday.
Read more: Some of our picks for Preston’s Heritage Open Days
A special display is on to show how the women of Lancashire helped to gain the vote 100 years ago. There’s also the chance to watch conservation demonstrations and see beind the scenes at the archive. It’s open from 10am to 4pm and tours are at 11am, 12noon, 1pm and 2pm.
St Mary’s Church in St Mary’s Street, off New Hall Lane, is being opened up to show how historic objects and art are cleaned and restored. It’s open from 10am to 4pm and tours are every 30 minutes.
The grade-II listed church was almost entirely rebuilt in the mid-1850s and it played a key role in the 1715 Battle of Preston. It’s open 10am to 4pm on Saturday and 2pm to 4pm on Sunday.
It’s in the midst of redevelopment as a new hotel for the city, the Shankly Hotel on the Flag Market. There will be a chance to go and see what’s happening inside from 10am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Read more: Shankly Hotel sets a new opening date for Old Post Office conversion
See inside the Dock Control Tower in Navigation Way and discover the history of the city’s docks. Tours are 10am, 11.30am and 1pm and you need to book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You must be 16-years-old or over. And there’s no lift access, only stairs. Tours are on Saturday and Sunday.
Take a look around the new Preston Market and also under the market canopies. The Markets manager hosts the tour and you need to book on for it at 10.30am on Saturday by emailing email@example.com. It has full wheelchair access. You get a free drinks voucher to use in Preston Markets at the end of the tour. Meeting point is the Markets office.
Read more: See the latest on Preston’s new market
Opened in 1944 on the site of a methodist church, it dates back to 1860 in Ashlar House in Saul Street. Visit the lodge rooms and museum. It’s open 11am to 4pm and tours are on the hour. Also open on Sunday.
There’s been a railway station on the site since 1838 and it’s a chance to hear how the station, which once had 15 platforms, has developed. Tours are at 11am, 1pm and 3pm Meet at the front of the station. Also taking place on the Sunday with tours at the same time.
Read more: See the latest on Preston Railway Station
Go inside the council chamber in the grade-II listed Town Hall. You can also see the Mayor’s Parlour. Tours at 10am and 11.30am.
The grade-II listed red sandstone church in Tulketh Road dates to 1908. Also include an exhibition about Alice Livesey who is commemorated in the Lady Chapel. Open from 10am to 4pm.
It’s grade-I listed and you know you’re home when you see that spire – the tallest of any parish church in the UK. And you’ll need a head for heights if you want to go and climb it. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday and 2pm to 5pm on Sunday.
A grade-II listed church in Chapel Street, off Fishergate. It was opened in 1793 by Father ‘Daddy’ Dunn who made Preston the first gas-list town outside London. Open from 1.30pm to 5pm on Saturday and 1pm to 4pm on Sunday.
The recently restored Georgian square gardens are seen during these tours, and also take in eight of the houses around the square. There’s four different tours taking place. One exploring former residents of the Square takes place at 10am, 12noon, 2pm and 3.30pm. Extraordinary women is 11am and 1pm. Edith Riby tour, who lived on the Square, is 10.30am and 2.30pm. There’s a tour, on Saturday only, of the gardens at 11am. All the other tours also take place on Sundays too.
Read more: See all the latest Winckley Square news and events
Grade-II listed and the first of the city’s municipal parks, it’s also the largest. This tour takes in when there was horseracing there, to the refurbished grotto and paths. Tour is 11am and meeting point is at the bowling pavilion.
Tucked away behind the shopping centre between Lune Street and Friargate the grade-II listed church is one of the oldest surviving in the city. It dates back to 1725. It’s open from 12noon to 4pm.
Off Fylde Road and now part of the University of Central Lancashire it is not normally open to the public. It was financed by the Act of Parliament after the Napoleonic Wars. It’s open from 11am to 3pm and there’s tours of the church at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2pm.
A one-hour tour will take you round the graves of famous Prestonians dating back to 1855. Also features a stop at the newly grade-II listed Abstinence Memorial. Tours are at 11am, 12noon and 1pm.
Someone has to keep the city clean, and since the 1880s the binmen of the city have been heading out from the Argyll Road depot. Meet outside the reception building for tours at 10am, 11am and 1pm.
Take a guided tour of the theatre in Market Street West and see a stage set under construction. It’s open 10am to 4pm and tours take place throughout the day.
This year the Heritage Open Days span a second weekend on Saturday 15 September and Sunday 16 September.
Fulwood Mosque and St Walburge’s are both open for both of these days, at the same times as the previous weekend.
Two other venues join for the second weekend, with Lancashire Infantry Museum at Fulwood Barracks open on the Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
Great War Society members are demonstrating their kit and you can take a tour of the usually inaccessible Barracks. You must take photo ID with you to gain access. Tours are at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2pm.
St Thomas of Canterbury and the English Martyrs Church is also opening up. Standing in Garstang Road the Gothic-style church is grade-II listed. Open on Saturday from 11am to 3pm.
You can check full details for the Heritage Open Days in Preston, and further afield, on the Heritage Open Days website.
What will you be exploring for Heritage Open Days? Let us know in the comments below