A chance to step back into Shrewsbury’s past and explore amazing places free of charge, as well spaces usually closed to the public, is offered as part of the national Heritage Open Days event between 8th and 11th September.
Visitors can go behind the scenes, scale heights and experience history in an initiative which celebrates the country’s architecture and culture.
Lord Hill’s Column, St John’s Hill, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JJ
Ascend all 172 cantilevered spiral stairs of the tallest Doric column in England to a viewing platform with a panorama of Shrewsbury and the rolling hills of Shropshire. There will be an introduction to the life of General Rowland, Lord Hill before the climbs set off each half hour. The column and statue of Lord Hill are in their bicentennial year as they were completed in 1816, one year after the Battle of Waterloo.
Opening times: Sunday 11th September, noon to 4pm, every half hour. Pre-booking required, call Richard Hayes on 01743 244668 or email email@example.com
Shropshire Archives, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, SY1 2AQ
Your chance to see behind the scenes at Shropshire Archives including the stores where over five miles of records are housed in environmentally controlled conditions, and the conservation and reprographics sections. A selection of their fantastic collections will also be on show. (Tour not suitable for children under 9 years old).
Opening times: Thursday 8th September: Tour 2pm, Friday 9th September: Tour 2pm. Pre-booking required, call 0345 6789096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Shrewsbury Castle and Shropshire Regimental Museum, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, SY1 2AT
A historical interpreter will be on hand in the Shropshire Regimental Museum to teach visitors about the First World War and give them an opportunity to handle some of his uniform and kit.
Laura’s Tower at Shrewsbury Castle will be open for the first and only time this year giving a different perspective of the town.
Open on Sunday 11th September.
As a joint project with St Chad’s Church, there is also a self-guided First World War trail between the museum and the church, highlighting notable locations with a connection to the Great War which will run on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September.
Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, The Square, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1LH
Explore six galleries in the Victorian Music Hall and 13th century Vaughan Mansion and take in Roman, Medieval, Tudor and Stuart times, plus the Shropshire Gallery and exhibition spaces. Collections on display include a beautiful Roman mirror and some fine Caughley and Coalport china. The Stop café serves lunches and teas and there’s an outdoor courtyard too. The Visitor Information Centre can provide details of other Heritage Open Day attractions nearby.
Opening times: Sunday 11th September: 10am to 5pm.
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Spring Gardens, Ditherington, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 2SZ
The Flaxmill Maltings site has three Grade I listed buildings, including the world’s first, third and eighth iron-framed structures. Guided tours will run at regular intervals and there will be interpretation and displays on the history, structure and uses of the buildings.
The new Visitor Centre will be open. Music, an art exhibition, child friendly activities and other entertainment will add to the fun.
Opening times: Saturday 10th September: 10am to 4pm, Sunday 11th September: 10am to 4pm.
Other heritage events in the town include guided walks by St Mary’s Church on Saturday 10th September at 2pm and the Visitor Information Centre on Sunday 11th September at 11.30am, and a lecture on the archaeology of Shrewsbury town centre at Shrewsbury Unitarian Church, High Street, on Friday 9th September at 7pm. You can also pre-book English country dance workshops by dance historian Mistress Love at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Sunday 11th September at 11am and 2pm.