A host of exciting new activities are on offer around the borough at this year’s Heritage Open Days from 11 to 14 September. Historical re-enactments and vintage vehicles are just some of the highlights of this year’s packed programme, with 57 buildings and 36 churches opening their doors for free.
The event allows visitors free access to interesting properties that are either not usually open, or would normally charge an entrance fee and so visitors will have the opportunity to explore Guildford’s fantastic architecture and culture at no cost. Locations include Clandon Park, Dapdune Wharf, Guildford Castle, Guilford Guildhall, Guildford Cathedral, Hatchlands Park, Guildford Museum, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, The Electric Theatre, The Guildford Spike, St Mary’s Church and many more.
Heritage Open Days also include guided tours, activities, talks and exhibitions focusing on local architecture and culture. There will be twelve varied walks exploring everything from the River Wey to the old industries of Guildford, whilst other events include a glassblowing demonstration at the Aaronson Noon studio in West Horsley and a programme of WW1 commemoration events at Holy Trinity Church in Guildford. Also this year some venues feature exhibits and activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Cllr Gordon Jackson, Lead Councillor for Economic Development has said, “Each year our Heritage Open Days offer the chance to look behind closed doors at venues which aren’t usually open to the public. From taking a behind the scenes theatre tour to exploring our many historic buildings, this is a great chance to learn more about the history and culture of your borough.”
New events this year include:
- The Castle Grounds welcomes knights, craftsmen and barons at a medieval re-enactment of 12th Century life. Enjoy demonstrations from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 13 September.
- Also on the same day, the Abbots Dances is a site-specific dance performance that will take place inside the courtyard of the George Abbot Hospital that aims to animate the site in a novel manner for visitors and residents.
- Visit the Surrey Police museum at Mount Browne and the Army Medical Services Museum in Ash Vale.
- Go and see a small display of vintage vehicles next to the Rodboro Buildings, thanks to John Dennis.
- A rare chance to see items from the borough’s Heritage collection at Woking Road depot.
Heritage Open Days is coordinated locally by Guildford Borough Council, The Guildford Society and the Guildford Town Guides whilst being sponsored this year by Thesis Asset Management. For a brochure or more information, head to Guildford Tourist Information Centre in Guildford House on the High Street.
Kate Nathoo, Office Director at Thesis’s Guildford office, comments, “With Thesis having had a strong presence in the local community for a long time now, we are pleased to be sponsoring an event that also celebrates a wealth of regional heritage. The event offers fascinating opportunities to explore the local area and we wish Guildford’s Heritage Open Days every success.”