Twenty-three isle sites will take part in next month’s Heritage Open Days which,for the first time in its 24 year history, will be taking place over two weekends
Participating venues will be offering free entry for people to experience the area’s rich history, architecture and culture during September 6-9 and September 13-16.
Heritage Open Days is the country’s largest heritage festival with around 5,000 events, 40,000 volunteers and more than three million visitors taking part.
Thanet’s presence in Heritage Open Days this year has been coordinated jointly by the Ramsgate Society, Broadstairs Society and Margate Civic Society, with support from Thanet District Council’s tourism team.
In recognition of the centenary of the Universal Suffrage Act, a key theme for this year’s Heritage Open Days is ‘Extraordinary Women’, both well-known and those less celebrated.
Find out more about Thanet’s ‘Extraordinary Women’ in exhibitions being held at Westgate Heritage Centre, St. Laurence in Thanet Church and at Droit House, the Visitor Information Centre in Margate.
Westgate Heritage Centre will be honouring Westgate-on-Sea women for the role they played in the Great War, including looking after carrier pigeons, fundraising, relief distribution and nursing wounded army personnel.
St. Laurence-in-Thanet Church is celebrating important women in Ramsgate connected with the church, including Queen Victoria, Lady Augusta Murray, Lady Rose Weigal, Caroline Warre and Mary Townley.
At Droit House there will be an exhibition exploring some of the characters behind Margate’s famous Shell Ladies.
Councillor Ash Ashbee, Cabinet Member for Corporate Governance and Coastal Development, said: “Thanet has a wealth of heritage including over 2,000 listed buildings and 27 conservation areas. Thanet District Council works hard to promote the Island’s assets and this festival will further encourage and inspire more people to get involved with local heritage.
“The Heritage Open Days provide a great chance for local people and visitors to enjoy these unique places free of charge and our thanks goes to the town societies for working so hard to coordinate Thanet’s presence this year and to all the fantastic venues and their staff, many who are volunteers, for participating.”
Pugin’s Grange and St. Edward’s Presbytery, owned and fully restored by The Landmark Trust, will both be open for the first weekend of Heritage Open Days, and from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday, 11 September.
Caroline Stanford of the Landmark Trust said: “The West Cliff in Ramsgate holds one of the finest Gothic Revival sites in the country and The Grange is at its heart. It’s always a pleasure to open up Augustus Pugin’s colourful interiors for everyone on Heritage Open Days. This year, we are opening St Edward’s Presbytery alongside too, a gem of a little house also designed by Pugin for a lucky parish priest.”
Further information, including how to book and opening times, is available at www.visitthanet.co.uk/heritageopendays or pick up a full colour brochure from one of the local information centres in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
Thanet’s Heritage Open Days Venues
12 Arthur Road
St. John the Baptist Church
Thanet Visitor Information Centre
Dickens House Museum
Crampton Tower Museum
St. Peter’s Village Tour
St. Peter’s Churchyard Tour
The Grange and St. Edward’s Presbytery
Pugin and St. Augustine: Visitor Centre and Shrine
St. Laurence-in-Thanet Church
Ramsgate Costumed Walks
Ramsgate Maritime Museum
Steam Tug Cervia
St. George The Martyr Church
The Italianate Glasshouse
USN P22 – US Navy Gun Boat
Sprakling Day in Ellington Park
Monkton Nature Reserve
Birchington Heritage Trust
Westgate Heritage Centre