Between 7-10 September, buildings across Waveney will throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all free!
Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers.
The following buildings are taking part in Heritage Open Days across Waveney (please check for booking details).
- Beccles Council Chambers at Beccles Town Hall (Friday 8 September 10am – 2pm)
Visit Beccles Town Council Chambers where you can view portraits from the first Aldermen/Mayors from the 1800's through to the Borough days and from 1974 when the Borough Council became Beccles Town Council. The Town Council Chambers are not normally open to the public, except when meetings are held, and therefore this Heritage Day event creates a wonderful opportunity to visit, not only the beautiful chamber, but also meet the Mayor, Councillor Richard Stubbings, and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw.
- Bungay Castle (7-10 September)
Chance to explore the ruins of Hugh Bigod's C12th castle.
- Bassetts, 84 London Road (9-10 September at 12pm & 2pm)
Tour of private house showing exposed beams and panelling dating from the 16th century.
- Black Dog Antiques (9 & 10 September 10am – 4pm)
This 16th century building has features which echo Gothic House in London Road.
- Chapel House (9 & 10 September 11am – 3pm)
Unusual residence, formerly a Baptist Chapel with adjoining buildings, recently refurbished.
- Cross Ram & Co (10 September at 11am, 1pm and 3pm)
Tour of this late C18th building. Explanation of its history in the life of the town. Insights into former legal office practices. Historic maps and documents on display.
- Gothic House (9 September 10am – 12pm)
In a central position next to St Mary’s Church the one hundred feet of the jettied frontage of what are now Gothic House and next door Dairy Farm form the front of the building made by Robert Norton in 1540. This joined together two older buildings built in about 1450.
- Guided Town Walks (9 & 10 September at 9.30am, 12.30pm & 3pm)
Short guided walks to lead you around this historic town sharing its building heritage with you. Halesworth has many interesting buildings with a story to tell. Some are listed, some have been the home of famous people, many are old and all are photogenic.
- Halesworth & District Museum (9 & 10 September 10am – 4pm)
The Museum exists to preserve and develop a collection of appropriate material representing the cultural and historical heritage of Halesworth and District. The aim is to excite curiosity and interest in that heritage for the advancement of public education at every level.
- Hill House Talks (9 September 10.30am – 3.30pm)
In the 1960s the Reverend Charles Trollope lived in Hill House with his sister Eleanor, who, after his death, moved to a house on the opposite side of Walpole Road. Charles was a popular figure helping in local churches, having retired from a living in Yorkshire. Charles and his sister were third cousins once removed of the renowned 19th Century novelist Anthony Trollope.
- Hooker Bicentenary Walk (9 & 10 September 10.30am – 2.30pm)
This starts at Hooker House, on the corner where Quay Street joins Saxons Way.
- Magnolia House (9 & 10 September 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2,30pm & 3.30pm)
This is a Grade II listed building dating from 1840 offering tours and a display of deeds.
- Malt Project (Cut Arts Centre) (9 & 10 September 10am – 4pm)
The Cut Arts Centre was converted out of the dilapidated old New Cut Maltings between 2000 and 2003 by an inspired local arts charity called New Cut Arts.
- New Reach Trail (9 & 10 September 11am – 3pm)
The New Reach is a waterway that runs from the Town Park, through part of the Millennium Green, and ends at the remains of the old Halesworth Lock. Built in the middle of the 1700s, it formed part of the Blyth Navigation that once ran from Halesworth to the seaport of Southwold.
- Patrick Stead Hospital (9 & 10 September 11am)
Patrick Stead (1788 -1869) from Edinburgh established a successful maltings business in Halesworth in 1824 and was involved in opening up the River Blyth. When he died, he left Halesworth a bequest of some £26,000 for a hospital in the Town.
- Pop-up Record Office at Halesworth Library (9 September 10am – 4pm)
Are you fascinated by local history? Would you like to know the history of your house, town or village? On Saturday Dr Helen Band and Katie Angus from Suffolk Record Office in Lowestoft will be on hand in the Library to help you get started.
- St Mary’s Church (9 & 10 September 10am – 4pm)
St Mary's is the hub for Halesworth Heritage Open Days 2017. Information and programmes are available here, plus directions to refreshments, toilets and other venues and events.
- The Old Rectory (9 & 10 September 10am, 11.30am, 2pm & 3.30pm)
The guided tour of this exceptional house of 15th and 16th Century (with later renovations) is not to be missed.
- Wellington Court (9 & 10 September 11am, 1pm & 3pm)
This is an exceptional opportunity to explore the site with insights into the thinking behind the works. Viewing the interiors is not included but there will be a display of ‘before’ and ‘after’ images.
- Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea (7-10 September)
Access and view the decorative interior of the Roman Catholic church of Our Lady Star of the Sea including accompanied visits by small able-bodied groups up the winding stone stairs of the tower, affording views over the rooftops of central Lowestoft.
- Coes Menswear at the Clapham Arms (7-9 September 9.30am – 4.30pm)
The Clapham Hotel and Pub has been in the centre of Lowestoft for over 150 years. The building has a rich history, and is brilliantly located close to the town centre.
- High Street Haberdashery History Day (7-9 September 11am – 5pm)
134 High Street is a Grade II listed building dating back to around 1700. We will be having a tour of not just the shop area, but the entire building. This includes views from the top floor, viewing of the original deeds and historic photographs of the building from 1900 on.
- Clare’s Crafty Corner (7-10 September)
- Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Centre (7-9 September 2-4pm)
View interior of the Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Centre, Lowestoft, together with many WW1 & WW2 items of memorabilia, Kitchener related mementos, regimental badges, etc.
- Lowestoft Museum
Lowestoft Museum will be open additional hours during the Heritage Open Days 7th-10th September, from 10.30 to 4pm. Visit us for a trip down memory lane!
- Lowestoft Town Hall (9 & 10 September 11am – 4pm)
A great opportunity to see the Town Hall, first hand, from the inside. The Town Hall is a grade II listed building, noted for its grand facade, public clock and three stained glass windows, donated by Sir Samuel Morton Peto.
- Lunchtime Concerts at St Peter & St John (11.45am – 2.30pm)
Enjoy the wonderful ambience of this Victorian church with its acclaimed acoustic and unique Chancel Screen as you soak up the superb music offered by local musicians. Refreshments from midday with the performance starting at 12.45pm each day.
- Marina Theatre (9 September 11am & 12.30pm)
A chance to explore behind the scenes of this wonderful theatre by having a guided tour of the building included many areas not normally on view to the public.
- Mincarlo (7 & 9 September 10am – 3.30pm)
Mincarlo is the last surviving complete example of a sidewinder fishing trawler of the Lowestoft fishing fleet.
- North Lowestoft United Reform Church (8 & 9 September)
North Lowestoft United Reformed Church is an impressive building built in 1852 situated at the top of London Road North in the town of Lowestoft.
- Old Chemist Shop (9 & 10 September 10am – 4pm)
- Ride and Stride – Christ Church (9 September 9am – 5pm)
The Suffolk Historic Churches Trust are holding their annual Ride & Stride event where sponsored members of the public use either their bicycles or feet to visit as many churches as they can in the area. Our church will be open all day and visitors are welcome to drop in at any time from 9.00am to 5.00pm.
- Royal Naval Patrol Service Museum (7 – 10 September)
The Royal Naval Patrol Service Museum and association was founded to unite the veterans who served in the Royal Naval Patrol Service 1939-1946.
- Scores Race – Christ Church (10 September 12pm – 4pm)
Every year Waveney Athletics Club holds Britain's most easterly hill race - the Lowestoft Scores Race. Christ Church halls will be open as a base for the runners, where refreshments can be obtained and where the prize-given ceremony is held.
- St Nicholas Church (7 – 10 September)
View the interior of the Roman Catholic church of St. Nicholas, Lowestoft, the chapel of ease to Our Lady Star of the Sea, Lowestoft.
- The Port House (9 September 9am – 1pm)
A rare chance to visit the listed Port House in Lowestoft believed to be the original Customs House. Take a look around the inside of this iconic and important building forming part of Lowestoft's maritime history & heritage.
A full list of events can be found online.