Historic attractions unlocked for Heritage Open Days in St Albans district

St Albans City guide Terry Turner takes people into the cells beneath the old courthouse on the Crim

St Albans City guide Terry Turner takes people into the cells beneath the old courthouse on the Crime and Punishment tour, part of the heritage open days - Credit: Archant

Historic landmarks across the St Albans district opened their doors to curious residents last weekend to mark the 20th annual Heritage Open Days festival.

Attractions such as the city’s Grade II listed Midland Railway signal box, Redbournbury Watermill, and the most complete medieval gateway in England - the St Albans School Abbey Gateway - opened their doors for the four-day event.

In total, 12 local places or events had been registered to take part in the open days, which ended on September 14.

The tourist attractions, which are usually closed to the public or charge for admission, became free for four days to encourage visitors and celebrate the district’s history.

St Albans Civic Society secretary Jill Singer, who lives at Kingsbury Barn and is involved with the Clock Tower, said: “It gives people an opportunity to go into places they could never normally go into and to find out what things there are in their town that aren’t normally there for them.”

She added that although the Clock Tower enjoyed good visitor figures of around 600 people over the four days, Kingsbury Barn had quite low footfall.

The Herts Advertiser reported last week that the Civic Society felt that was due to lack of support from the district council which decided some months ago to cut back on publicity for the event.

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