Every September a changing collection of historic and cultural organisations and buildings open their doors to the public, mainly for free. This year Heritage Open Days takes place between 13th – 22nd September. Programme
It’s an opportunity to indulge your curiosity, learn about some places you may not know about and see another side of buildings you may have always wondered about but never had the chance to venture inside. There are several really fascinating buildings open in the Yorkshire Dales this year.
You can look round the 18th century Calf Cop Friends Meeting House in Low Bentham. This elegant and simple Quaker Meeting House will host an exhibition about a radical Quaker family who ran the local silk mill, admire the views of Ingleborough and Whernside. You can visit the neighbouring historic graveyard and allotments, and then enjoy tea and cakes.
Keld Chapel is in the delightful little village of Keld. The 2019 Keld Lecture is an opportunity to find out the story of a modest Lancashire mill girl, Selina Cooper who became a leading suffragist and who was instrumental in opening a holiday retreat in Keld. Don’t miss the Keld Resource Centre next door and the cream teas.
Pateley Playhouse is a real hidden gem, sited off the main road in Pateley Bridge. Members of the Dramatic Society will offer backstage tours, and explain the converstion of the building from a Methodist Chapel into a very special theatre. You’ll also be able to see their costume displays.
Aske Hall near Richmond is an imposing 18th century house with grounds attributed to Capability Brown owned by the Dundas family. During Heritage Open Days they’ll be offering guided tours. Booking is advisable. Another late Georgian house in gorgeous grounds is open. Clifton Castle near Masham is actually a mansion containing what is probably the finest ‘imperial’ staircase in the county. You need to pre-book for these tours.
The school closed but the original building remains, and has been lovingly transformed into a beautiful holiday cottage – the Bronte School House. It’s open to the public only during Heritage Open Days when you’ll have the chance to learn more about the history of the building and the story of the school.
The 'Ruin' might not sound too appealing but it’s a beautiful and romantic pavilion perched above Hackfall. It was constructed in the 18th century to look like a Roman ruin and to inspire a sense of awe.
It’s only a small building so you’ll also have plenty of time to explore Hackfall woods too, and to marvel at the follies and beauty of the gorgeous landscaped woods which the Ruin overlooks.
An imposing landmark in Giggleswick can be seen from the surrounding countryside – the copper dome of Giggleswick School Chapel. This is a great example of what Heritage Open Days is really about. Many of us will have seen the building and never dreamt we’d have the chance to peak inside. Now you can see the stunning interior , built in 1897 and normally only witnessed by Giggleswick School pupils and staff.
It’s worth planning your Heritage Open Days in advance. For more details make sure you take a look at their website.