Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) is once again supporting England's largest festival of history and culture ‘Heritage Open Days’ with free events. The annual national event sees historic places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history so that everyone can see hidden places and try out new experiences - all free of charge.
Heritage Open Day events being held in Maidstone for the first time this year include ‘Experience life in a First World War Trench’ where military and TV historian Andy Robertshaw and his team have created an entire replica WWI front line trench system. Come and meet 'Tommies' and German soldiers and learn about life in the trenches at Kent Event Showground, Detling.
Cllr Claudine Russell, Lead Cabinet Member for Leisure and Arts at MBC said: “Our county town has such a fascinating history, so we are proud to be part of England's largest festival of history and culture. These Heritage Open Days are the perfect opportunity to explore hidden places in Maidstone, many of which are not normally open to the general public, so why not try out some new experiences completely free of charge.”
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: 8 to 17 Sept, 10am - 4pm, except during services (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: 9 Sept, tours at 10am and 10.40am
Booking essential via museum website: https://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/
Creative Marden - Come and explore creative works by local artists and artisans at the Heritage Centre in Marden.
Open: 8 to 16 September (during Marden Library opening hours).
Maidstone Town Hall Tours – Enjoy a tour incorporating the architectural features of this fine Georgian building, the richly decorated council chamber, the gaol and its graffiti.
Open: 13 and 14 Sept, tours at 9am, 10.30am and 12pm
Booking essential via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
St Michael & All Angels Church - Enjoy the Angel Windows and architecture of this Grade 2 listed Victorian Church, have a cup of tea and some cake.
Open: 9 Sept, 10am – 4pm (No need to book)
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
14 Sept, 5.30pm – 8.30pm - Twilight Tales, an early evening walk with a chance to spot some different wildlife as the sun goes down
Experience life in a First World War Trench – come and experience life in the trenches, complete with dugouts, machine gun positions, latrines and a first aid post. At Kent Event Showground, Detling.
Open: 9 and 10 Sept, 10am – 4pm (No need to book)
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.
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