The annual event held in September sees historic places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history and when we can see hidden places and try out new experiences - all free of charge.
Heritage Open Days events being held in Maidstone for the first time this year include ‘Talk of the Town’ – which offers the chance to discover more about the fascinating past of Kent’s County Town in a totally unique way. These will be held on both Saturday’s 10 and 17 September between 10.30 – 2.30pm. Tours will take place at 3pm, which must be pre-booked: https://bit.ly/HODTalkoftheTown
Cllr Claudine Russell, Lead Cabinet Member for Leisure and Arts said:
“The Heritage Open Days are the perfect opportunity for Maidstone to showcase some of its amazing history. This year has a brilliant line-up of events and all completely free of charge.
“I am incredibly proud of the heritage of Maidstone and when you see all that it has to offer you can see why it is the County Town of Kent.”
Other events this year include:
All Saints Church - Come and discover the fascinating history of this beautiful church in a stunning riverside setting. It was built in 1395 by Archbishop Courtenay to become one of the grandest Perpendicular churches in England.
Open: 9 - 18 Sept, 10am - 4pm. (No need to book.)
Behind the Scenes at Maidstone Museum - Come and see a beautiful wall painting of a grand picnic, created during the reign of Elizabeth I, which is normally hidden from sight in what is today the museum’s herbarium.
Open: 17 September, tours at 10.30am and 11.15am
Booking essential via museum website: https://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/
Inventive Marden - Come and explore pictorial displays at the Heritage Centre relevant to Marden and its community.
Open: 9 – 17 September (during Marden Library opening hours).
Maidstone Carriage Museum - Come and enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the Carriage Museum with Amy Bracey, carriage expert and Curator with The Carriage Foundation. Open: 10 September, tours at 11.30am and 1.30pm
Kent History & Library Centre - Enjoy a bespoke tour for the HOD Inventors theme, which includes a commentary on our exhibition of archives of Kent inventors of the past and some of their astounding, weird and wonderful inventions and innovations. Participants will also get to see the Archives Workroom – the cataloguing area used by the professional archivists, the Conservation Studio, Reprographics and the Camera Room, Document Production as well as one of the Archive Strongrooms. Questions as we go through are very welcome. Open: Saturday 10 September, tours at 10am and 2pm. Book via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mote Park Guided Walks - Enjoy a series of walks in the beautiful Mote Park, looking at the living landscape, past and present.
Open: 12 Sept, 11am - 2pm - daytime walk exploring the living landscape
13 Sept, 5.30pm – 8.30pm - Twilight Tales, an early evening walk with a chance to spot some different wildlife as the sun goes down
Mote Park Hidden Histories - Come and see archaeology in action as we continue our quest to find out more about the original Mote House in the park, including a small scale excavation and more geophysical survey. A discovery trail will help visitors explore the wider park landscape and uncover more fascinating facts about its history. Open: 10 September, 10am – 4pm
11 September, visit our stall at the Maidstone Mela between 12pm – 5pm
All info can be found on Visit Maidstone - https://www.visitmaidstone.com/whats-on/heritage-open-days
One of Maidstone Borough Council’s priorities include A Thriving Place and the National Heritage Open Day reflect this.
The National Heritage Open Days is a festival coordinated by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.