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Free to explore: Heritage Open Days

England’s largest community heritage festival, Heritage Open Days, is celebrating 25 years of People Power this year with the biggest ever festival of fun, free happenings.

Thousands of places will be taking part across 13th-22nd September offering you the chance to see behind closed doors and try out new experiences.

Here’s a selection from the many wonderful churches opening up for the festival. For full details of what’s on and any booking required please see heritageopendays.org.uk

What will you discover?

A free pass to thousands of events across England every September.

Heritage Open Days

Unlock new doors

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Exeter Cathedral

Visit Exeter Cathedral for one of its many events: uncover the quirkier side of the cathedral in a tour, learn about the notable women in its history, explore the various tombs and monuments within, discover the impact of the Blitz on the cathedral, and so much more.

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Wells Cathedral

Discover the impact of the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion on the cathedral with a guided tour and visit the usually-closed Archives Room with the Cathedral Archivist.

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St John on the Wall, Bristol

Explore the church’s medieval architecture in an exhibition in the ancient crypt, or step back into 17th century Bristol with a re-enactment of the English Civil War.

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Chichester Cathedral

Areas of the cathedral that are normally closed to visitors will be opening for the festival, including the Bishop’s private chapel, or discover the vast book collection housed in the Cathedral Library.

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Belmont Abbey, Hereford

Founded in 1859, the Abbey is home to a community of Benedictine monks. Go behind-the-scenes on a tour to see the Victorian stained glass and statues, or join the monks in Midday Prayer.

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Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick

Take a tour of one of the largest parish churches in England with the chance to discover its hidden gems, including the resting place of the Earls of Warwick and a climb up to the bell chamber.

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St Andrew & St Christopher, Willingale

These two churches are unique for sharing a churchyard. Take a guided tour or stroll the grounds to see the stained glass windows, hear a talk on their history, or enjoy the flower festival in celebration of People Power.

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St Peter, Tankersley

An ancient parish church with 15th century and Victorian modifications, this year the church celebrates the transformative work undertaken during the Victorian period, influencing both the life of the church and the wider community.

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Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge

Explore this Grade II listed Victorian church, including the stained glass windows, and uncover the People Power stories, through inscriptions and memorials left behind, of the early industrialists who built the church.

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Blackburn Cathedral

From guided tours of England’s youngest cathedral, to an open choir rehearsal, to a flower arranging demonstration. Blackburn Cathedral will be a hub of activity this HODs.

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Carlisle Cathedral

Standing in the centre of Carlisle for almost 900 years, this is your chance to step into the 16th century Prior’s Tower, with its beautiful and rare painted ceiling, or join the bell ringing team to try your hand with the mini-bells.

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Woodbridge Ecclesiastical Walk

Take a tour of this Suffolk town’s churches, from Saxon parishes to nonconformist chapels, Catholic restoration and Victorian expansion.

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