You can take a look inside some unusual places at Peterborough Cathedral when doors that are normally closed to the public will be thrown open as part of the national Heritage Open Days weekend (September 10 and 11).
Amongst some of the extraordinary spaces on view will be the Cathedral Library, above the Gothic porch at the Cathedral’s West Front, and the King’s Lodging with its neighbouring medieval prison by the archway leading to Cathedral Square. There will also be rare access to the 15th century Table Hall and the remains of the abbey’s Infirmary.
On the Saturday, the beautiful Deanery Garden will be open for tours (at 12.00 noon and 2.30pm) and children’s activities such as storytelling and making a knight’s helmet will take place on Tout Hill, the remains of Peterborough’s castle (10.00am until 12.00 noon, £3 per person).
At 2.00pm, the Cathedral’s new Visitor and Learning Centre will open to the public for the first time, after two years of careful building conservation, and research to create some exciting new displays. The centre is part of a wider project to improve access to the cathedral and its history, supported by a £2.4 million Heritage Lottery grant.
Inside will be displays which bring the story of the cathedral to life, including a timeline of objects and an interactive touch table. The newly restored 13th century Knights’ Chamber will also be open to view and the exhibition room at the centre will host its first show, an Arts Council funded collection of photographs by Richard Denyer, entitled “Affinity and Kindred”.
To add medieval colour to the weekend, look out for knights in armour on the green outside the cathedral, giving talks and displays to illustrate life in the Middle Ages.
There will also be additional cathedral guided tours and Tower Tours during the weekend.
Due to limited space it is advisable to book a place in advance for some of the more unusual tours Details are on the Cathedral website at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk