Heritage Open Days Festival returns to Warwick district this month

Pictured with the chairman of Warwick District Council Cllr George Illingworth are the custodian of Bagots Castle David Hewer, secretary Delia Whittle, and two of the sites nine volunteers Rheba and Roger Horsfall.
Pictured with the chairman of Warwick District Council Cllr George Illingworth are the custodian of Bagots Castle David Hewer, secretary Delia Whittle, and two of the sites nine volunteers Rheba and Roger Horsfall.

Once again dozens of buildings in the Warwick district, of which some are not normally accessible to the public, will be opening their doors for the Heritage Open Days Festival.

This year’s event, which is part of England’s biggest heritage festival, will take place over ten days from today (Friday September 13) to Sunday September 22 with 48 local venues taking part.

The Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick

The Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick

Highlights this year include guided literary and heritage walks of Leamington with The Leamington Society, as well as tours of The Court House, The Yeomanry Museum and of St Mary’s church in Warwick with an opportunity to visit the church tower and see the bells. There is also the chance to experience a Victorian school day at St John’s House Museum or take a guided tour of St Mary’s Priory and Abbey Ruins in Kenilworth.

Kenilworth Abbey Barn Museum and Heritage Centre will also be open for free tours.

Many of the district’s churches will be open with volunteers on hand to show visitors around their fascinating interiors designed by the leading architects and artists of the day.

Other attractions including Packwood House, Baddesley Clinton, Lord Leycester Hospital and Hill Close Gardens will be offering free admission at limited times during the festival.

St Mary's church in Warwick

St Mary's church in Warwick

Bagot’s Castle in Baginton, a fascinating ancient monument lost in time for hundreds of years, will be open from 12 noon to 4.30pm each day for the entire Heritage Open Days event.

The castle’s custodian David Hewer said: “This is the tenth consecutive year that we have taken part in Heritage Open Days.

“We think that this is a great opportunity for local people to discover a hidden treasure right on their doorstep.

“From small beginnings our visitor numbers for this event have grown year on year, with people of all ages, from families with young children to individuals or couples with an interest in local history enjoying an afternoon at our stunning 19-acre site.”

The chairman of Warwick District Council, Cllr George Illingworth, said: “The council is pleased to support and coordinate the district’s annual Heritage Open Days Festival.

“As this year’s events are taking place over ten consecutive days, there are even more opportunities for local people to take part in a guided tour or visit buildings and places of interest some of which are not normally open to the public, free of charge.

“I would like to thank the large number of volunteers who have once again given up their time to organise the fantastic range of activities taking place.”

A guide listing all the venues taking part and opening times is available from libraries and visitor information centres.

Further information is available on the Heritage Open Days www.heritageopendays.org.uk and Warwick District Council (https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/info/20377/conservation/538/heritage_open_days) and on the

@warwick_DC Twitter page and ‘Warwick District Council’ Facebook page.

Other nearby sites outside of the district which are part of the festival include The Chesterton Windmill, Princethorpe College, Charlcote Park, Baddesley Clinton and Marton Museum of Country Bygones.