Winchester’s hidden gems showcased for Heritage Open Days

Press Release: 09/09/2010

Winchester residents and visitors are being invited to uncover hidden architectural treasures as some of the most fascinating buildings across the District open their doors for free between 9th and 12th September for Heritage Open Days.

With something for everyone, Heritage Open Days provides an annual chance to enjoy a wide range of free tours, events and activities which bring to life Winchester’s local history and culture. Many of the District’s buildings and attractions open up to help celebrate England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or which normally charge for admission.

In the city, residents and visitors can meet members of Winchester Dramatic Society as they throw open the doors to the former Church of St Peter upon Chesulle, now converted into a 74 seat theatre. Entry to the Royal Green Jackets Museum will be free and visitors can have a go at firing the Baker Rifle and there will be an exclusive opportunity to hear from members of the Rifles Living History Society on Saturday. Entry to the Royal Green Jackets Museum will be free and visitors can have a go at firing the Baker Rifle and there will be an exclusive opportunity to hear from members of the Rifles Living History Society on Saturday.

For a rare chance to see a steam-powered brewery in action at The Southwick Brewhouse and a unique opportunity to have a guided tour of the earliest Greek Revival houses in Europe, led by an English Heritage Buildings Inspector, visitors and residents should head out to the beautiful countryside surrounding Winchester to explore some of the many hidden gems its market towns have to offer during Heritage Open Days.

Cllr Dominic Hiscock, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Prosperity said: "Heritage Open Days are always very popular in Winchester, with people ringing up to plan their trip weeks before the event. Many residents are also keen to rediscover the history on their doorstep and, with free entry, there really is no excuse not to get out and start exploring. I can’t wait to visit some of the buildings that have intrigued me for years but I have never had the opportunity to visit."

Please note that some of the participating venues require pre-booking, for more information and a full list of open properties please visit www.visitwinchester.co.uk/site/whats-on/heritage-open-days or pop into the tourist information centre, open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays to pick up a leaflet, or call 01962 840 500 or email tourism@winchester.gov.uk  For more information on the National Heritage Open Days scheme visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk