This week-end, Bath & North East Somerset Council is giving residents and visitors a chance to explore parts of the city’s heritage they would normally never get to see.
Every year on four days in September, buildings of national historic importance and contemporary style throw open their doors to enable people to celebrate Britain’s fantastic architecture and cultural heritage.
Between 11 – 14 September, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Heritage Services team is giving them the opportunity to discover ‘hidden treasures’ and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.
Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Heritage Open Days is organised by a huge network of people who share a passion for places, history and culture.
“Attracting over one million visitors, this makes Heritage Open Days England’s biggest voluntary cultural event. It is a once-a-year opportunity to discover treasures never normally seen by the public in places that normally charge for admission.”
This year, Bath has 15 different venues taking part: Southcot Burial Ground (Bath Preservation Trust), Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Central United Reformed Church, Cleveland Pools, Fairfield House, Ralph Allen Cornerstone, St Swithin’s Church, The Magdalen Chapel, The Museum of Bath at Work, Nexus Methodist Church, No.4 The Circus, Roman Baths, St. John’s Store, St Mary’s Catholic Church, Widcombe Association.
For the first time, the Kier Recycling Depot at Keynsham is offering a visit behind the scenes to see what happens to your recycling after collection from your home. Places on the guided-only tours are limited and must be booked in advance with Council Connect. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Organised by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Heritage Services, this year’s open day include special tunnel tours at the Roman Baths and feature two places which are not normally open to the public. All of the sites will open free of charge or provide free events.
· Thursday, 11 September 10am and 3pm, and Friday 12 September 10am and 3pm – go behind the scenes at the Roman Baths and take part in Tunnel Tours.
The 90-minute tours take in the Georgian vaults and the main museum store, which includes objects found in Bath from Roman to the Victorian times. Visitors will also be able to see the King’s Spring Borehole supplying water to the Pump Room.
· Friday, 12 September 10am-12 noon and 1pm-3pm – see inside No.4 The Circus, a beautiful house and restored Georgian garden – the first of its kind in Britain.
· Saturday, 13 September 11am – 3pm – marvel at the range of historical spa equipment at St John’s Store and also read the original Victorian spa treatments visitor books. Also on display will be furniture by local craftsmen and some once-familiar sights.
To book a place on the Open Days, please call 01225 477 773. For further information download a leaflet here or visit: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/heritageevents and http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/whats_on/events/events_calendar/september_heritage_open_days.aspx