Where you can explore with Heritage Open Days 2018 in Preston

Posted on - 19th August, 2018 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Broughton, City Centre, Deepdale, Fishwick, Flag Market, History, Moor Park, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston, Winckley Square
The Old Post Office is becoming the Shankly Hotel, and you can go for a look round Pic: Tony Worrall
The Old Post Office is becoming the Shankly Hotel, and you can go for a look round Pic: Tony Worrall

Heritage Open Days return to Preston and there’s 28 different buildings and places to go and explore.

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.

Saturday 8 September

Avenham and Miller Park heritage walks

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.

Church Cottage Museum, Broughton

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.

Fishwick Bottoms

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

Fulwood Mosque – Masjid e Salaam

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.

Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library

A crisp day on the Flag Market with the Harris Museum in the background. Pic: @jg_hickey

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.

Haslam Park

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.

Jeremiah Horrocks Observatory

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

Lancashire Archives

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.

Lancashire Conservation Studios

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.

Preston Minster

Police were near Preston Minster on Tuesday evening Pic: Tony Worrall
Preston Minster in the sunshine Pic: Tony Worrall

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.

Old Post Office – Shankly Hotel

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

Preston Dock and Riversway Control Centre

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 You must be 16-years-old or over. And there’s no lift access, only stairs. Tours are on Saturday and Sunday.

Preston Markets

The new Market Hall in Preston under the Victorian Covered Market canopy Pic: Paul Melling
The new Market Hall in Preston under the Victorian Covered Market canopy Pic: Paul Melling

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 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

Preston Masonic Hall

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.

Preston Railway Station

Sunset on platform four Pic: Andrew Harrison
Sunset on platform four Pic: Andrew Harrison

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

Preston Town Hall

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.

St Michael and All Angels Church

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.

St Walburge’s Church

St Walburge's Church where the procession starts and ends
St Walburge’s Church – you could go up the spire!

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.

St Wilfrid’s Church

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.

Winckley Square Gardens

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

Sunday 9 September

Moor Park Heritage Walk

Restoration work has been ongoing in the park in the last 18 months Pic: Jim Beattie
Restoration work has been ongoing in the park in the last 18 months Pic: Jim Beattie

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.

St George’s Church

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.

St Peter’s Church and Arts Centre

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.

Preston Cemetery

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.

Preston Cleansing Department

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.

Preston Playhouse

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

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