Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or charge an entrance fee.
Twenty six venues in and around Peterborough will be taking part at some time over the four days of celebration, starting today. Peterborough Cathedral, Vivacity Peterborough, Peterborough City Council and Peterborough Civic Society have come together to promote this year’s event.
It is a once-in-the-year’s chance to discover fascinating buildings and to enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring life to local history and culture.
Dr Fenwick Skrimshire’s House, Thorpe Road
A Regency house built in 1817 for Dr Fenwick Skrimshire, who was the first hospital doctor in Peterborough, and the last house from the Georgian era in the city that has remained as a family home.
Friday 8 September, Tours at 10am and 2pm. Booking is essential, places are limited. To book, call 07455 297911.
Former wartime RAF Officers’ Mess, Axiom House, Cottesmore Close
Explore the former RAF Officers’ Mess, built in 1931, which are now offices for Axiom Housing Association.
A wartime training base, RAF Peterborough, in 1948 it was used for trials with helicopters to deliver mail.
Friday 8 September: 11am – 1.30pm
Key Theatre, Embankment Road
Special tours of the theatre will be held on Friday and Saturday.
Friday 8 September: Tour at 4pm; Saturday 9 September: Tours at 1pm & 3pm. Booking is essential, places are limited.
To book, call 01733 207239 or e-mail: key.theatre@vivacity- peterborough.com
London Brick History, St John’s Church, Cathedral Square
Discover the story of the London Brick Company, which for many decades produced millions of bricks for house building throughout the country.
Saturday 9 September: 10am – 4pm
Mayor’s Parlour and Council Chamber, Town Hall
Learn about the history of the Town Hall and its historic rooms.
Saturday 9 September: 11am – 1pm
Norman Cross Gallery and Napoleonic Prison Site, Norman Cross Gallery
Tours of the site of the first purpose-built prison of its kind in the world in operation 1793 - 1814 to house French and Dutch prisoners, initially sailors from major Napoleonic naval battles including Trafalgar.
Saturday 9 September: 11am – 5pm; Sunday 10 September: 11am – 5pm. Booking is essential, places are limited. To book, e-mail FONX2015@gmail.com
Old Customs House, River Embankment
Visit the 18th century building alongside the River Nene originally used as a toll house for goods transported by river. Currently used by the Sea Cadets.
Saturday 9 September: 10am – 4pm; Sunday 10 September: 10am – 4pm.
Peterborough Archives and Local Studies, Central Library, Broadway
A look behind the scenes of Peterborough Archives Service, to learn about how Peterborough’s documentary heritage is preserved, view areas usually closed to the public and see the collections.
Friday 8 September: Tours at 10am, 11am, 2pm & 3pm. Booking is essential, places are limited. To book, call 01733 864757 or email: archives.services@vivacity- peterborough.com
Peterborough Energy Recovery Facility, Fourth Drove
Explore the state-of-the-art facility which turns residual waste into energy. This is your chance to lift the lid and see the science behind what happens when you take out your rubbish bin!
Thursday 7 September: Tour at 2pm; Friday 8 September: Tour at 10am, Saturday 9 September: Tour at 10am. Booking is essential, places are limited. To book, call 01733 465513 or e-mail: email@example.com
Peterborough Greyhound Stadium, Fengate
See behind-the-scenes of a family-run business since it began over 70 years ago. The stadium was nearly destroyed by fire in 1999 and extended in 2003. See greyhound trials and meet the family themselves.
Thursday 7 September: 10am – 4pm. Booking is essential, places are limited. To book call: 01733 296939 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peterborough Museum Garden, Priestgate
Visit the small garden recently transformed with help from Frog Life, the wildlife charity committed to conservation of amphibians and reptiles. The garden tells the story of medicine through time.
Sunday 10 September: 11am – 3pm.
Priestgate Vaults. Peterborough Museum
A short tour to explore layers of history and meet people from the past associated with the building which now houses Peterborough Museum. Not recommended for under eights or those of a nervous disposition.
Saturday 9 September: Tours at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm; Sunday 10 September: Tours at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm. Booking is essential, places are limited. Book on the day for individual sessions at museum reception or to pre-book, call 01733 864663 or email: email@example.com
St Andrew’s Church, Church Street, Northborough
Visit a medieval church that was extended during the 13th and 14th centuries and has connections to Oliver Cromwell, the Claypole Family and John Clare. Part of the only original wall is still visible today.
Saturday 9 September: 11am – 4pm
St Margaret’s Church, Fletton
Explore St Margaret’s Church, an oasis of peace with renowned Saxon Stones which attract visitors from far afield. Displays of documents collected telling Fletton’s story.
Saturday 9 September: 1pm – 5pm; Sunday 10 September: 1pm – 5pm.
St Matthew’s Church, Eye
Church will be open with displays, tours and refreshments; an illustrated talk on Friday evening on old Eye and a special service on Sunday. The church dates from 1847 and once had a 125ft high spire.
Friday 8 September: Talk at 7.30pm; Saturday 9 September: 10am – 4pm; Sunday 10 September: 11am – 3.30pm, Service at 3.30pm.
St Pega’s Church, Peakirk
St Pega’s Church, Peakirk near Peterborough is remarkable mainly for its extensive 14th century wall paintings. Founded in 1016, it contains Anglo Saxon fabric, but dates mainly to the 11th to 15th centuries.
Thursday 7 September: 9.30am – 4.30pm; Friday 8 September: 9.30am – 4.30pm; Saturday 9 September: 9.30am – 4.30pm; Sunday 10 September: 12pm – 4.30pm.
Thomas Deacon Academy, Queen’s Gardens
Designed by the architect Norman Foster in 2007, this was the largest single site academy in the UK when it was built. In addition to tours of the building there will be a display by the Deacon’s School Trust.
Saturday 9 September: 8.30am - 4pm.
Thorney village tour, Thorney Abbey
Thorney surrounds the remains of a Benedictine Abbey with a majestic church, which was rebuilt as a Victorian model village. Meet for an hour long free guided walking tour before visiting Thorney Museum.
Sunday 10 September at 2pm, no pre-booking required.
Southwick Hall, Main Street, Southwick
Visit an Elizabethan manor house with medieval towers sited in a quiet valley below Rockingham Forest with exhibitions, grounds and refreshments.
Sunday 10 September: 2pm – 5pm.
Cambridgeshire Chattels, Milton Hall, Peterborough
Tour of Milton Hall - Friday 8 September:
Tours at 10.30am & 2.30pm. Booking is essential, places are limited. To book, call 01733 267740.
St Andrew’s & St Michael’s Church, Alwalton
Visit a medieval church dating to 1176, with earlier Anglo Saxon stonework and the last resting place of Sir Henry Royce of Rolls Royce fame, who was born in the village.
Saturday 9 September: 10am – 4pm.
Crowland Abbey – “Where did we all come from?”
A large map will show where Crowlanders and their ancestors came from to live here now. Enjoy a guided tour of the Abbey. Visitors may also follow the town trail.
Thursday 7 September: 11am – 4pm; Friday 8 September: 11am – 4pm; Saturday 9 September: 11am – 4pm; Sunday 10 September: 11am – 4pm
St Mary the Blessed Virgin Church, Warmington
Discover a parish church that has barely been altered since completed around 1290. See the 14th century carved pews, 15th century pulpit, and collection of ‘Green Men’ which is one of the finest in England.
Saturday 9 September: 10am – 6pm.
Peterborough Cathedral, Minster Precincts
Explore hidden spaces... as the cathedral opens up some buildings for you to explore, with guides on hand to answer any questions.
11am – 4pm on Saturday 9 September, 12noon – 3pm on Sunday 10 September.
Peterborough Cathedral, Almoner’s Hall
Explore the medieval Almonry and find out about the role the abbey played in caring for the poor of Peterborough.
Peterborough Cathedral Knights’ Chamber
Inside the Cathedral’s Visitor Centre is the 13th century Knights’ Chamber, a recently restored medieval hall. Medieval costumed guides will be on hand to chat to visitors.
Peterborough Cathedral Table Hall and Infirmary
Discover the remains of the Abbey’s Hospital, including a rare chance to go inside the 15th century Table Hall. The special guided tour lasts just over an hour and places are limited (pre-booking strongly advised); meet at the Cathedral’s main entrance.
Tours at 11.30am and 2pm on Saturday 9 September, 2pm on Sunday 10 September.
Peterborough Cathedral Taster Tours
Find out about the people, events and stories that are connected to the Cathedral, a centre for Christian worship for over 1,300 years with one of the expert tour guides.
Tours last about 45 minutes, meet inside the Cathedral’s main entrance.
Tours at 11.30 and 2pm on Saturday 9th and 2pm on Sunday 10th September.
Cathedral Precincts and Tout Hill Tours
Explore the Cathedral Precincts and find out more about the remains of the medieval abbey, including a chance to see the site of Peterborough’s Castle!
Tours at 11am and 1.30pm on Saturday 9th September and 1.30pm on Sunday 10th September; tickets are £8 for adults, £6 for concessions. Accompanied children are free. Meet at Cathedral’s Norman Arch.
Cathedral Tower Tours
Get the best view in Peterborough, plus a chance to see many hidden spaces and a medieval windlass used in building the Cathedral. (Please note: access is by a spiral staircase. Ages 10-80 only.)
Tours at 1.30pm on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September; tickets are £10 for adults, £8 for concessions.
Tours last about 90 minutes. Pre-booking is strongly recommended. Meet at Cathedral Welcome Desk.
All details at: www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/heritage- open.aspx