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Exciting local Heritage Open Days in September

There are an exciting range of Heritage Open Days across our area in September.

These days are an opportunity to sample the history of our area in ways not normally possible at other times.

The events are co-ordinated by a national organisation, whose website says: “Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 local people and organisations, and thousands of volunteers. Every year in September, places across the country 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.”

In West Berkshire, the following events will take place as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days:

 

Thatcham’s Right Royal Market- by order of King Henry 2nd

The Broadway , Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 3HX

By Royal Proclamation:Thatcham Market

Theatrical re-enactment of Henry 2nd granting Thatcham the right to host a weekly Friday market.
Midday, Friday September 17th, 2021, The Broadway, Thatcham.

 

Hungerford Heritage Market

The Croft Field Centre, The Croft, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0HY

Enjoy a variety of food and artisan stalls at Hungerford Heritage Market including apple pressing, mead, venison, bee-keeping and basket-weaving. Meet the producers (and a Suffolk Punch heavy horse!) who are keeping rural traditions alive.

Sunday 12 September: 10.30am – 2.30pm

 

Newbury Town Hall Open Day

Newbury Town Council, The Old Town Hall, Market Place, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5AA

View the Council Chamber, the Civic staircase, Mayor’s Parlour and the Town Hall portraits. Search the Roll of Honour of Mayors back to 1596. This year there will be a special display on the history of Newbury Market and the food industry in Newbury
Saturday 18 September: 1000-1400
Saturday 11 September: Introductory talks 11.30am, 12.30, 1.30pm, 2.30pm (House and grounds open 11am – 4pm)
Sunday 12 September: Introductory talks 11.30am, 12.30, 1.30pm, 2.30pm (House and grounds open 11am – 4pm)

 

St. Mary’s Church, Speen

St. Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Speen, NEWBURY, Berkshire, RG14 1SA
St Mary’s, Speen is a great starting point for exploring the Kennet Valley and the Lambourn Valley Way. Inside the church are a rare Canova marble monument and a 16th century monument to a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber at the court of Elizabeth I.
Sunday 12 September: 12:00 until 16:30

 

Tour West Berkshire Museum’s Cloth Hall attic and see experts demonstrating traditional skills

West Berkshire Museum, 1 The Wharf, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5AS
Explore a normally closed off part of the Museum, the attic of the Cloth Hall. The Kennet Valley Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers will be on hand to demonstrate traditional skills, giving you a flavour of the original purpose of the Cloth Hall.
Saturday 11 September: 10:00 – 15:00

 

St Mary the Virgin, Aldermaston

St Mary’s Church, Church Road, Aldermaston, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 4HR
St Mary’s, Aldermaston – a 12th Century church with wall paintings from 3 specific periods: Medieval, Post Reformation and Victorian. The wall paintings, a 16th century alabaster tomb and other artefacts make a visit to this church memorable.
Saturday 11 September: 1200-1700
Sunday 12 September: 1200-1700

 

Revd John Bacon, The Scientific Balloonist from Cold Ash

Cold Ash Hill, Cold Ash, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 9PT
Rev John Bacon was a Victorian polymath: an astronomer, scientist, adventurer, pyrotechnician and prankster. Known as the Scientific Balloonist for his experiments aloft, he was a pioneer aerial photographer who coinvented the balloon hot-air burner.

Friday 17 September: 15:00 – 17:00
Saturday 18 September: 12:00 – 17:00
Sunday 19 September: 12:00 – 17:00

 

Full details can be viewed on the Heritage Open Days website here.

Shaw House photo above is by David Joyce Flickr CCL