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England’s largest heritage festival comes to Weston-super-Mare

by mikebell on 5 September, 2018

Weston will be opening its historical doors this week as Heritage Open Days, England’s largest heritage festival, invites members of the public to explore Weston’s impressive and mysterious buildings.

The free event, which will run 6th – 9th September and again 13th – 16th September, will see expert-led tours take place in key heritage spaces and fascinating buildings across the town. Highlights include:

• Walks and tours of the stunning Grade 2 listed All Saints Church
• An immersive guided tour of the Blakehay Theatre including the bar, auditorium, upper studios and dressing rooms
• Enjoy an opportunity to visit the Old Magistrates’ Court which has been closed since 2007. You will be able to explore the court rooms and cells and learn more about the proposed future of the building
• The chance to learn more about Grove Park history, biodiversity, management and proposed future development
• Discover Grove House and Mayor’s Parlour and find out the secrets of the 19th Century manor house which is now used as the headquarters of Weston Town Council
• The Town Hall will be welcoming a performance of the Rock Choir in the New Council Chamber
• Old Town Quarry will offer a tour of artists’ studios and exhibition, plus a historical talk about the quarry
• Weston Museum will be hosting a fossil dig, tours of the galleries, behind the scene peek and young visitors can even meet a t-rex!

Cara MacMahon, Heritage Action Zone Officer at North Somerset Council, said: “There are so many impressive buildings in Weston, some of which rarely open their doors the public. Heritage Open Days offers a chance to explore and unearth fascinating information and bring people together to discover rarely seen heritage.

It’s been a great experience working with different groups to offer buildings within Weston and around North Somerset and I’m delighted we’ve been able to offer activities, tours and hidden treasures for visitors to enjoy.”

For a full list of the Heritage open days in Weston and North Somerset, visit www.heritageopenday.org.uk

The Heritage Action Zone is part of the Weston Town Centre Regeneration Programme which is delivering improvements to key sites within the town and encouraging inward investment.

The vision for the town centre is focused around the themes of living, learning and lifestyle, with plans to attract more people to live in the town centre, creating a lively university town which will further improve the local economy.

Weston was one of the first places to be awarded Heritage Action Zone status. There are now 18 Heritage Action Zones in villages, towns and cities across England.

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