Heritage sites across Shropshire throw open their doors to visitors for free events
England's largest community-led festival of history and culture is returning next month, with more than 30 in-person events to take part in across Shropshire.
Museums, churches, galleries, railways and factories will be throwing open their doors from September 8-17 for the annual Heritage Open Days festival.
The aim of the event is for people to connect with their local history and heritage, giving them the chance to explore hidden places and try out new experiences – all free of charge.
This year the theme is 'Creativity Unwrapped', where organisers are invited to showcase England's creative history in all its forms.
Liam Montgomery, Heritage Open Days marketing and projects manager said: “Whether it’s art, music, writing, or another outlet, creativity moves us and shapes our history and culture.
"This year organisers have once again come up trumps and created a stellar programme of events.
"And it is the organisers who make this possible, and whose hard work enables over a million people to engage with heritage, for free, on their doorstep every September.”
It's brought to people through the National Trust, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and run by thousands of local organisations and volunteers.
A total of seven sites will be open on select dates and times during the festival:
Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Coach Road, Coalbrookdale, Telford, Shropshire, TF8 7DQ
Cambrian Heritage Railways, 30 Oswald Road, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 1RE
St Bartholomew's Church, Newport Road, TONG, Shifnal, Shropshire, TF11 8PW
Dudmaston Hall, Quatt, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV15 6QN
Shrewsbury Drapers Hall, 10 St. Marys Place, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1DZ
Llanymynech Limeworks, North Road, Llanymynech, Shropshire
Benthall Hall, Benthall, Broseley, Shropshire, TF12 5RX
The story of the Industrial Revolution often revolves around famous ironmasters, inventors, and entrepreneurs.
But this year, visitors to the Ironbridge Gorge are invited to discover the less well-known stories of the lives of the workers.
Drawing on extensive archive collections, The Daily Grind; The Industrial Workers, explores who they were, the work they did and the vital contribution they made to the Industrial Revolution.
Visitors can watch demonstrations of some of the skills of the local workforce, and try some of the processes themselves, including china flower making, brick making and tile decoration.
The event takes place between Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10 from 10am to 5pm. No booking is required.
On Sunday, September 17, people are invited to explore Llanymynech Limeworks, a unique heritage area, Scheduled Monument and Local Nature Reserve, with Grade II listed buildings.
The Limeworks and surrounding area is steeped in history and lies across the English and Welsh borders, with minerals being mined in the area back to the Iron Age and Romano Britain.
Visitors can join a guided tour up into the quarries and watch the films showing in the stables block.
The event will run from 10am to 4pm and tours can be booked on the day.
Visitors are also invited to discover the "hidden" secrets behind some of Benthal Hall’s significant portraits before exploring the garden and estate on a special tour with the Gardener in Charge.
People can also enjoy an exhibition in the church displaying the handmade craftmanship of some of the Benthall Volunteers whose pottery, jewellery, art and willow pieces have been created from materials from the Benthall Estate.
Event times are as follows:
Saturday September 9: Hall open 1pm to 4.30pm. Garden open 12.30 to 5pm
Sunday, September 10: Hall open 1pm to 4.30pm. Garden open 12.30 to 5pm
Monday, September 11: Hall open 1pm - 4.30pm. Garden open 12.30 to 5pm
Tuesday, September 12: Garden Tour 12.45. Hall open 1pm to 4.30pm. Garden open 12.30 to 5pm
Wednesday, September 13: Estate Tour 2pm. Hall open 1pm to 4.30pm. Garden open 12.30 to 5pm
Saturday, September 16: Hall open 1pm to 4.30pm. Garden open 12.30 to 5pm
Sunday, September 17: Hall open 1pm to 4.30pm. Garden open 12.30 to 5pm
Pre-booking is preferred for the garden tour, otherwise no booking is required.
To find out more about all of the Shropshire-based sites taking part in this year's festival, visit heritageopendays.org.uk and click search events.