Volunteers across the County are hard at work preparing for Lincolnshire’s favourite festival of history and local culture. Lincolnshire Heritage Open Days returns for another terrific ten-days with lots of exciting events celebrating the County’s unique heritage, and all completely free of charge. The festival will run from 11th-20th September with a theme of ‘The Past and Pastimes – The Heritage of Lincolnshire’s Leisure’. It aims to celebrate the leisure of heritage and heritage through leisure.
This year the festival will look a bit different as we adapt events to make them safe for visitors, volunteers and event organisers. For the first time, the Heritage Open Days (HODs) programme will comprise a mix of in-person and digital events; communities will be able to celebrate the stories of the places and spaces that are important to them while staying safe and adhering to current social distancing measures.
Every year hundreds of volunteers across Lincolnshire give their time and effort to help create Lincolnshire’s contribution to the largest cultural grassroots festival in the country. Last year almost 200 events were organised which welcomed more than 30,000 visitors. This autumn, some venues and outdoor spaces will open for pre-booked events and visits by small groups, while others will offer virtual tours and digital experiences.
Tours of historic buildings that are rarely open to the public are already filling up fast, so head to the Heritage Lincolnshire website to plan your days out.
Hannah Thompson, Business Manager of the charity Heritage Lincolnshire, said:
“2020 so far has been filled with so much uncertainty but we are so proud that we have been able to continue with some great events that really showcase the amazing heritage places and organisations we have within our county. Now more than ever we need to remind people about Lincolnshire and support our county, whether that be in person or online.
We cannot wait to see how 2020’s Heritage Open Days will change the festival for future years, and how we can use this to engage more people and bring new types of events. But for this year, we are encouraging people to get involved as much as they can.”
Charlotte Davey, who co-ordinates the festival with volunteer Ray Knight, both also from Heritage Lincolnshire, said: “After the stress and uncertainty posed by the virus in the last few months, I believe the festival will mean more than ever to those taking part and those visiting. This is such a wonderful opportunity for members of the public to engage with their local heritage, experiencing and learning from the fantastic events on offer. The fact that many of the events are digital will also be hugely meaningful to those who are still shielding, or who can’t get out yet to visit in person.”
Some highlights of the festival include a rare chance to see the chained library at St Wulfram’s Parish Church in Grantham and tour this beautiful church with its soaring spire.
If pubs are more your thing then don’t miss out on the fantastic digital tour around Boston’s historic pubs, with fascinating titbits of local history along the way. You’ll be able to explore the online trail from home, on a mobile device, or go in person on this unusual self-guided walk.
If after this you’re inspired to carry on walking through Lincolnshire’s history, then you can join a three mile walk in Langton by Spilsby to wander through prehistory, looking at very unusual well-sited Neolithic and Bronze Age burial grounds, not to mention the wonderful views from a high point of the Wolds.
If you would prefer to stay in and explore then there is also a quirky new event for Tattershall College, where you can take a virtual tour with a difference. See this gorgeous medieval brick building from the unusual perfective of “wee folk”, as curator Jim Snee creates a fairytale in miniature, highlighting aspects of the building that are often overlooked.
Whatever you do for this year’s Lincolnshire Heritage Open Days, we hope you have a wonderful time, and make some great memories of a year that has been difficult for everyone.
Heritage Lincolnshire would also like to take this opportunity to thank the local authorities of Greater Lincolnshire who have contributed to funding the festival brochure, and the 600+ volunteers and staff who organise events across the county. The national festival is co-ordinated by the National Trust and supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.