The annual Heritage Open Days spectacle returns this week (13th-22nd September) and celebrates its 25th anniversary with this year’s theme, ‘People Power’.
Heritage Open Days celebrates architecture and heritage, revealing the stories of buildings and the people who have lived, used or worked in them.
There are over 80 Heritage Open Days buildings and events to discover for free across Cheshire, West – many of which are not normally open to the public.
In order to give everyone the opportunity to fully explore and discover the whole area, Chester buildings will mainly be open from 13th to 16th September, and Ellesmere Port and Mid-Cheshire buildings will mainly be open from 19th to 22nd September.
The programme has been coordinated by Chester Civic Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council, in association with other local societies.
Cllr Louise Gittins, leader of Chehsire West and Chester Council, said: “Heritage Open Days is firmly set in the cultural diary, it wouldn’t be possible without the help of the many building owners and local volunteers.
“There are buildings to look around and talks and tours across the borough with many hidden gems to be discovered on our doorstep.
“As with previous years some of the tours get booked very quickly but there is a lot to choose from and most of the buildings don’t require booking.”
– Blue Bell, 65 Northgate Street, the oldest domestic structure in Chester, a mediaeval inn, licensed 1494. Tell staff you have come to view. 13th-22nd September (12-9pm).
– Bishop Lloyds Palace, 51/53 Watergate Row South, Early 17th century building with fine plaster ceilings. 14th & 15th September (10am-4pm).
– Watergate House, 85 Watergate Street, Grade II* listed town house, built 1820 by Thomas Harrison, from 1907 Western Command HQ, now offices. 14 September, 10am to 4pm.
There are also guided tours around Hoole, Upton by Chester, Storyhouse, Chester Station, the city centre and more. Tours require booking and places are limited.
Ellesmere Port and Neston:
– Former Queen’s Cinema, Glowquest Bathrooms, 18 Whitby Road, 16th-21st September, 8.30am-5pm.
– National Waterways Museum, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, 14th & 15th September, 10am-5pm.
There are also tours of Ellesmere Port and a Parkgate Heritage Trail guided walk.
Helsby Railway Station, Station Avenue, Helsby Station opened in 1870 and closed to passengers in 1964. 13 to 15 September.
– Anderton Boat Lift Lift Lane, Northwich, 21st and 22nd September tours: 10.30am, 12pm and 2.15pm (booking essential)
– Lion Salt Works Ollershaw Lane, Marston, Northwich, 21st September taster tours 12pm onwards.
Other walks and tours include: Woodland Heritage Walk and Saltscape Walk, Anderton Nature Park, Tour of Tarvin Village, Northwich Rail Walk, Marbury Country Park Walk, Weaverham Plaque Walk and Talk and a Northwich Heritage Tour.
The full program brochure is available online: historyandheritage.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk.
Printed brochures are available at visitor information centres, libraries and museums and many local community centres. The brochure explains when prior booking is essential.