Cotswold Heritage Open Days 2016

Every year, Britain comes together to celebrate its history and heritage through its Heritage Open Days scheme. For four days in September, over 40,000 volunteers help put on events, exhibits and arrange open days for visitors to gain access to some of Britains most precious treasures. This years Heritage Open Days takes place between the 8th and 11th of September, and there are many great things you can experience in the Cotswolds to add something special to your visit and absorb some of the culture and heritage which makes Britain truly great.

Heritage Open Days in the Cotswolds

Bath

As a Roman city, Bath has bundles of heritage, making it the ideal spot to take in some great Heritage Open Days activities such as:Bath Central United Reform ChurchThis is Baths oldest reform church and was built in 1789. Its history details the life of William Jay, who preached at the church for 60 years to hundreds of worshippers. The schools classrooms, which were first used in 1843 and continue to be used today, will be open for viewing, as well as a number of artefacts from the school.Bath Jewish Burial GroundA beautiful burial ground, the Bath Jewish Burial Ground was used in the 18th and 19th century to lay members of the Jewish community to rest. As part of the open day on Sunday, visitors will be able to find out about the community and their contribution to Baths history, see the conservation work which is being done and learn more about Jewish burial customs.No.4 The CircusTaking place on Friday 9th September from 1000-1200 & 1300-1500, this open day provides a wonderful opportunity to visit the restored Georgian gardens as well as the house itself. If youve ever wondered what one of the magnificent Circus homes looks like, heres your chance.

Stratford-upon-Avon

The birthplace of Shakespeare has many beautiful heritage spots, many of which have been rarely explored. During Heritage Open Days youll have the opportunity to explore wonderful historic sights, including:The Old Toll HouseThe Old Toll House was built in 1814, but unfortunately has become derelict in recent years. A unique octagon-shaped building, it still retains many of its features and is due to be restored after the Heritage Open Days, thanks to various grants to aid its repair. Visitors will be able to see the Old Toll House as it stands and see the upcoming restoration plans.Harvard HouseThis impressive building is certainly worth a visit, a grand example of architecture which is located near Shakespeares New Place. The exterior is beautifully carved, whilst the interior also features a number of oak hand-carvings which date back to the 16th century.Stratford Town Walk Heritage Pub TourMany British pubs have formed a key part of Britains history, and the pubs of Stratford are no exception. This fascinating and entertaining pub tour will guide you through Stratfords oldest pubs, including those which are no more, uncovering their history, as well as those who frequented them.

Cirencester

Cirencester has plenty of interesting history, being a market town as well as home to the worlds oldest agricultural university, The Royal Agricultural University (also a filming location for Poldark), and the Heritage Open Days offer plenty to take in in the area during September.Cirencester Baptist ChurchCirencesters Baptist church is known for being one of the oldest in the UK, and was originally founded in 1651. As part of the open day, youll be able to see photographs and documents showing the churchs history.Cirencester Historic Town WalkThe Civic Society offer a guided walk around Cirencesters historical sites, dating back to over 2,000 years. An interesting walk which should take around 70 minutes, its a great way to explore the town.Cirencester Quaker Meeting HouseCirencesters Quaker Meeting House was originally built in 1673 and is known for being one of the oldest of its kind in the world. Visitors will be able to learn about the house and explore its fabulous garden and library, as well as find out more about the history of The Religious Society of Friends.

Cheltenham and Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire is home to many beautiful Cotswold towns and villages including Cheltenham, which is often described as the cultural centre for the Cotswolds. There is much to see and visit in the way of Cotswold heritage making this the perfect time of year to seize the opportunity.Market House, TetburyA key feature of Tetburys heritage, the market house was built in 1655, predominantly for the wool trade. It retains many of its original Grade I listed features, despite a number of alterations. As part of the event, the market house is housing an exhibition arranged by the Tetbury History Society.Chedworth Roman VillaMaintained by the National Trust, this beautiful example of archaeology remained hidden and undiscovered for almost 1500 years. Now you can see it and discover its history and find out what makes it one of the areas best Roman treasures.Lodge Park, AldsworthAnother National Trust site, Lodge Park was built in the 17th century by John Crump Dutton and is a magnificent grandstand designed to support deer coursing. With spectacular rooftop views and plenty of woodland to explore, the open day provides a great day out for families.Court Barn, Chipping CampdenNow a museum, Court Barn is dedicated to the design and craft work of Chipping Campden residents, as well as the north Cotswolds. The open day provides a chance to discover its history, including a special exhibition on Frank Brangwyn, who was a respected artist in the 19th-20th century. There is also a tour available providing information on the barns history and how it became the museum it is today.Dyrham Park, ChippenhamUndergoing restoration under the watch of the National Trust, Dyrham has recently completed a roofing project and work on the gardens which can be discovered during the open day. As well as learning more about William Blathwayt, who created the original gardens, there are also lost terraces which have just been opened. Theres plenty of landscape to explore, as well as some spectacular views too.The Heritage Open Days provide fantastic opportunities to enjoy some of the lesser known sights of the Cotswolds, as well as benefit from exclusive tours and exhibits unavailable for the rest of the year. Take a look at the full calendar of events at the schemes website and book your stay at a Jigsaw Holidays property to really make the most of your visit.

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