For the first time ever, England’s biggest festival of heritage and culture will take place across two weekends, 6th-9th and 13th-16th September, offering visitors across Yorkshire and the Humber more opportunities to discover the secret history of their towns, villages and countryside. Alongside traditional Heritage Open Days events, there will be a special programme of ‘Extraordinary Women’ talks, walks and exhibitions, in celebration of the centenary of the Universal Suffrage Act. Special openings across the region include Fountains Abbey, the Royal Armouries Museum and the M&S Company Archives – with every single walk, talk, opening and exhibition FREE to visit!
Here’s a taste of some of the activities;
ROYAL ARMOURIES MUSEUM, LEEDS
Thur 6th and Fri 7th, 11am – 4pm
Take this rare opportunity to discover some of the hidden gems of the collection’s restricted stores on a tour not to be missed. Guided by expert curators, visitors will also see behind the scenes of the Conservation Department.
OTLEY COURTHOUSE, THE COURTHOUSE PROJECT, WEST YORKSHIRE
Sat 8th, 10am – 4pm
Join a walking tour around the town, recreating the ‘beat’ of the 1950-60s, using memories from the local oral history project. A fascinating glimpse of police, criminal and court life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and a look at how police work changed with the introduction of radios.
Saturday 8th. September from 10am. to 4pm
Fulneck have a themed exhibition in the church with appropriate music and dramatic interludes, a local history museum, guided tours of the village and delicious refreshments in a village building. This year the theme is “Peace at Last!” which looks at how WWI affected Fulneck, and also how innovative practices and equipment developed into modern equivalents especially in the field of medicine. The photographs give a little insight into past events.
M&S COMPANY ARCHIVE, WEST YORKSHIRE
Sat 8th, 11am – 3pm
Celebrate the work of Flora Solomon with a talk about her ground-breaking M&S Employee Welfare programme of the 1930s, and get a unique look behind the scenes with a special tour of the archival collection.
ST LEONARD’S CHURCH, WORTLEY,
Sat 8th, 10am – 4:30pm
See the church, churchyard and tower and the monuments and memorials to the Wortley family. The open day will particularly focus on the life of local aristocrat, writer and Extraordinary Woman, Lady Mary Wortley Montague, who first brought the idea of smallpox inoculation to the country after learning about it on her eighteenth century travels in Turkey.
MEDIEVAL MUSIC IN THE DALES FAMILY, BOLTON CASTLE, NORTH YORKSHIRE
Sun 9th, 9:30am – 4pm
Sign up for a day of medieval music-making, storytelling and dancing for all the family! Workshops in the castle courtyard will teach the instruments, singing and play-acting of the period, and visitors will also enjoy professional musical performances.
NABURN LOCK, CANAL AND RIVER TRUST,
Sun 9th, 10am – 4pm
Discover this scenic waterway dating from the 1750s, with unique access to the surrounding workshops and forge which are undergoing restoration. Make a day of it with a picnic, visit the stalls on site and take a boat ride!
LEEDS BECKETT UNIVERSITY, LEEDS
Fri 14th, 7pm – 8:30pm. Sat 15th and
Sun 16th, 11am – 4pm
Explore this historic campus with a variety of activities, including tours, talks and exhibitions marking the important role the site played as a hospital during WWI. The University will also be hosting guided night-time ghost tours at the 17th century monastic farm, The Grange, considered the most haunted building on campus!
FOUNTAINS ABBEY AND STUDLEY ROYAL, NATIONAL TRUST, NORTH YORKSHIRE
Sat 15th, 10am – 5pm
Visit the normally locked How Hill Tower and enjoy the views of the parkland below, as those in the Georgian times would have done. Visitors on the free guided tour will also learn all about the history and plans to restore and conserve this unique eighteenth century building.
For a full list of events visit;