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Heritage Open Days is a celebration of Britain’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed, or charge for admission, or that you simply have not spent a lot of time looking at!
There are many venues worth a visit in the Harrogate district. Harrogate Borough Council along with Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon Civic Societies, Nidderdale AONB and the Woodland Trust the Churches Conservation Trust and individual venues have worked together to offer the following open days and tours in the area. Brochures can be found in the tourist information centres listing all these events. Details of these and other events in the area listed online at www.heritageopendays.org.uk
This year you can visit:
ALL SAINTS CHURCH, Kirby Hill, on Saturday 8th from 10am until 4pm and Sunday 9th September from 11am until 4pm.
Grade I listed building with an Anglo-Saxon foundation, Norman elements and later features. Guides to show people around and refreshments available. A local arts and crafts and slide show also on offer.
ST MARY’S CHURCH, Roecliffe, on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September from 10am until 4pm.
Unusual barrel-vaulted neo-Norman church with interesting furnishings including a Jacobean pulpit and carved panels.
The COUNCIL CHAMBER and MAYOR’S PARLOUR, Crescent Gardens, Harrogate, on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th September from 9.30am until 12.30pm and from 2pm until 4pm.
Public access to the Council Chamber, where council meetings take place to make decisions about the local community. Find out about its history and visit the Mayor’s Parlour, subject to availability, to see the Civic insignia and treasures
GROVE HOUSE, Skipton Road, Harrogate, on Thursday 6th, Friday 7th and Saturday
8th from 10.30am until 2.30pm and Sunday 9th September from 2,30pm until 4pm.
Visit this historic Grade II listed building set in 7 acres of gardens. The museum displays artefacts all about the Order of the Buffaloes dating from the mid-19th century onwards. Refreshments will be available.
HARLOW TOWER, Nursery Lane, Harrogate on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September from 10am until 5pm.
Grade II listed tower dating from 1829. Climb its 100 steps. The Tower contains a Foucault’s Pendulum in the entrance at ground level, demonstrating the rotation of the earth.
The HARROGATE CLUB, Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September from 11am until 2pm.
Visit this fine Victorian building where the Gentlemen’s Club was founded in 1875. One of the early members was Sir Titus Salt. Refreshments will be available. Not suitable for under 5s or wheelchairs.
HARROGATE THEATRE, Oxford Street, Harrogate on Saturday 8th September with guided tours at 11am, 12pm and 1pm on a first come on the day basis. Maximum of 15 per tour.
Elegant Victorian interior with art nouveau bas-relief frieze in the foyer and a plaque listing famous artists who have appeared there. Please note that access involves a lot of stairs. Not suitable for under 5s.
HOTEL MAJESTIC, Springfield Avenue, Harrogate. Guided tour on Thursday 6th September at 2pm. Booking essential, places limited. Please call 01423 700308.
Huge Victorian domed town centre hotel in red brick, set in its own grounds and containing notable murals of spas. Refurbished following fire damage in 2010.
MASONIC HALL, Station Avenue, Harrogate, on Thursday 6th September from 10am until 12pm and 2pm until 4pm.
An elegant neo-Georgian building with a magnificent Great Hall, richly decorated and accessed via a sweeping staircase. Also featuring an organ loft.
OLD MAGNESIA WELL PUMP ROOM, Valley Gardens, Harrogate on Friday 7th, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September from 11am until 3pm. Tours at 20 minute intervals throughout the day.
Grade II listed stone building built in 1858 that housed both the pump for the adjacent magnesia well and the ‘Corporation Museum’. For many years closed to the public and now the Friends of Valley Gardens are raising funds to restore it.
ROYAL HALL Ripon Road, Harrogate. Guided tours at 10.30am and 12.30pm on Thursday 6th September, starting at the main doors. Booking essential, places limited. Please phone 01423 556188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
Restored to its original magnificence, see the amazing restoration work of this stunning Edwardian theatre, designed by Frank Matcham. Please note: some areas may be restricted due to event preparation.
ROYAL PUMP ROOM MUSEUM, Crown Place, Harrogate, on Saturday 8th from 10:30am until 5pm and Sunday 9th September from 2pm until 5pm. Book a tour to visit the sulphur well on Saturday at 11am, 1:30pm, 2.15pm or 3pm and Sunday at 2.30pm or 3.30pm. Book on 01423 556188 or email@example.com
Housing the strongest sulphur well in Europe discover Harogate’s spa history in the museum and the collection of amazing Ancient Egyptian treasures.
ST ANDREW’S POLICE TREATMENT CENTRE, Harlow Moor Road, Harrogate on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September from 2pm until 4pm.
Opened in 1902 as a police convalescent home, and recently re-named to better represent the charity’s work. Tours of the building and beautiful grounds and a history of the founder and building will be available, as will treasure hunts for children.
STONEFALL CEMETERY, Wetherby Road, Harrogate. Guided tours at 10am and 2pm on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th September. Pre-book tours on 01423 883523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit this 30 acre site featuring the Crematorium, Memorial Gardens and Cemetery, together with adjoining Hebrew Cemetery and War Grave Commission.
Churches in Harrogate
CHRIST CHURCH ON THE STRAY, Church Square, Harrogate, on Thursday 6th from 9am until 5pm, Friday 7th from 9am until 3pm, Saturday 8th from 9am until 1pm and Sunday 9th September from 8.45am until 10am and 11.15am until 12pm.
Located on the Stray with its own walled churchyard, this is the town’s oldest church (1831), with notable interior galleries, including reredos by Sir Ninian Comper. Transept and chancel added 1862. Refreshments available during most opening times.
ST MARK’S CHURCH, Leeds Road, Harrogate, Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September from 10am until 12pm.
Built in 1898 by John Oldrid Scott and refurbished in recent years with opulent interior. Notable rose window and alabaster reredos. Refreshments available.
ST PETER’S CHURCH, Cambridge Road, Harrogate on Thursday 6th until Saturday 8th September from 9.30am until 3pm.
Consecrated in 1876 and reopened this year following extensive improvement works to reveal more of the original splendour. There will be welcomers to assist and inform visitors and there is a cafe.
ST WILFRID’S CHURCH, Duchy Road, Harrogate on Thursday 6th until Saturday 8th September from11am until 5pm.
Grade I listed building from the early 20th century and considered to be the best work of architect Temple Moore. See the stained glass and a figure brass in the chancel floor depicting the first priest. Welcomers to assist and inform visitors.
The WESLEY CHAPEL, Oxford Street, Harrogate, on Saturday 8th September from 10am until 12pm.
Grade II listed building dating from 1862. Built by Lockwood and Mawson in the traditional meeting house style with unusual curved gallery and superb woodwork. Refreshments available.
All participating churches will be open on Sundays and invite you to attend their services.
CONYNGHAM HALL, Bond End, Knaresborough is running guided tours on Thursday 6th September at 10.30am and 1pm. Please book in advance on 01423 556188 or email@example.com
Visit this Grade II* 18th century building with four column portico of giant ionic columns. The building was designed by architect John Carr (1723-1807) who was the only provincial member of the London Architects’ Club and also designed the Royal Crescent in Buxton.
KNARESBOROUGH CASTLE AND COURTHOUSE MUSEUM, Castle Yard, Knaresborough, on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September from 11am until 4pm.
Discover medieval Knaresborough – the King’s Chamber, dark dungeon and secret underground tunnel. See the rare survival of an original Tudor Courthouse.
ST MARTIN’S CHURCH, Allerton Park, Allerton Mauleverer, open Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th September by obtaining the key from nearby keyholder (details at the church).
A neo-Norman church remodelled in the mid-18th century. Inside are a fine hammberbeam roof and medieal effigies reputed to depict the Knights of Maulevere who founded the original church.
NIDDERDALE MUSEUM, King Street, Pateley Bridge on Sunday 9th September from 1.30pm until 4.30pm
Visit this large and lively collection illustrating all aspects of Dales life in the past. The 11 rooms of exhibitions, housed in the former workhouse, contain wonderful collections of photographs, costumes, and artefacts to give you a real insight into Nidderdale’s history.
THE RUIN at HACKFALL, Grewelthorpe on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September from 10am until 4pm.
This little pavilion is dramatically perched above a steep wooded gorge in the remnants of an outstanding mid-18th century garden at Hackfall, conceived and created by the Aislabies.
Find out about special activities at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/hackfall and www.landmarktrust.org.uk
OLD ST MARY’S CHURCH AND CHURCHYARD, Old Church Lane, Pateley Bridge on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September from 10am until 4pm.
This old abandoned church and churchyard will be open. It will be a rare opportunity to visit the church tower, which is locked for the rest of the year.
WASHBURN HERITAGE CENTRE AND FEWSTON CHURCH, Fewston on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September from 11am until 4.30pm.
This new and award winning building is attached to Fewston Parish Church. See exhibitions about the valley and surrounding area and visit the Grade II listed church. Tea room.
CHURCH OF CHRIST THE CONSOLER, Newby Hall, Skelton-cum-Newby on Thursday 6th until Sunday 9th September with a guided tour each day at 3pm to discover the history and symbolism.
Based on Medieval French architecture but with British architect William Burges’ unique interpretation. With lofty spire, pinnacles and a fine rose window outside and a rich and colourful interior with stained glass, fine marble and gilded mosaics.
CLIFTON CASTLE, Clifton, Ripon with guided tours on Thursday 8th September at 11am and 3pm. Pre-booking is essential. Please contact Robert Frewen on 01969 623109 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
The current house is of neo-classical design, built in 1802 on the site of the castle, with spectacular views of Wensleydale. The house contains conditionally exempt items including paintings, porcelain and furniture and this is a rare chance for the public to visit them in their own setting.
FOUNTAINS ABBEY AND STUDLEY ROYAL, near Ripon on Saturday 8th September from 10am until 5pm.
This World Heritage Site comprises the spectacular ruin of a 12th century abbey and watermill, an Elizabethan mansion and one of the best surviving examples of a Georgian water garden. Special activities will be taking place throughout the day.
Contact 01765 608888 or www.nationaltrust.org.uk
THE GAZEBO Blossomgate, Ripon on Sunday 9th September from 2pm until 4pm.
A hidden 18th-century garden pavilion consisting of two brick towers joined by a gallery. A rare survivor, open only on Heritage Open Days each year.
THE MASONIC HALL Water Skellgate, Ripon on Sunday 9th September from 2pm until 4pm.
A rare chance to see inside this building and learn about freemasonry in the area.
RIPON CATHEDRAL RINGING CHAMBER, Minster Road, Ripon on Sunday 9th September from 2pm until 4pm.
See the room in the cathedral’s south west tower from where its peal of bells is rung, and learn about bell-ringing techniques and peals from experts.
RIPON WORKHOUSE KITCHEN GARDEN, behind the Workhouse Museum on Allhallowgate, Ripon on Saturday 8th September between from 10am until 4pm.
Meet the gardeners in the 1890s workhouse kitchen garden. Discover their top 10 garden secrets and freshly dug vegetables for sale. Bring a picnic. Enjoy wildlife on the garden trail and find out how they encourage wildlife to live in the garden.
RIPON WORKHOUSE MUSEUM LOO, Allhallowgate, Ripon on Sunday 9th September from 2pm until 4pm.
Visit the smallest rooms for FREE! See the newly renovated privy and tramps’ toilet.
ST ANDREW’S CHURCH, church street, Kirby Malzeard, near Ripon on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September from 10am until 4pm.
Once known as the ‘Cathedral of the Dales’, the church dates from Norman times. Learn about the great fire of 1910 and see the wonderful restoration by local craftsmen. Light refreshments available.
Public places worth a look…
MERCER ART GALLERY, Swan Road, Harrogate. Open Tuesday until Saturdays, 10am until 5pm and Sundays 2pm until 5pm.
The art gallery was completely gutted and renovated from Council offices in the
early 1990s. It was built as the spa’s Promenade Rooms in 1806 and has also
been a theatre where Oscar Wilde and Lily Langtry performed.
This public swimming pool was originally built in 1870. Previously known as the Prince of Wales Baths, they became one of the foremost spa attractions in the Victorian era.
And there are even more venues to visit in the district – see www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory
So, take the time to enjoy your local surroundings and heritage with these wonderful free events.