St Albans Heritage Open Days are back for this weekend

The St Albans Civic Society and supporters.

The St Albans Civic Society and supporters. - Credit: Archant

Following the success of last year’s first independently-run St Albans Heritage Open Days, the event is back for 2016 with even more attractions on offer.

The St Albans Civic Society and supporters gather at the clock tower.

The St Albans Civic Society and supporters gather at the clock tower. - Credit: Archant

Run by St Albans Civic Society in conjunction with the Herts Advertiser, the four day event aims to raise appreciation for the district’s rich and diverse cultural assets by allowing visitors to explore many of them free of charge, and offering the opportunity to check out some buildings which are normally closed to the public.

Highlights include:

Dagnall Street Baptist Church – Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm – Victorian Baptist Church built 1885, refurbished 2003. Visit the Baptistry in the Apse, mosaic floor and Bevington organ. There is a stained glass window and a display of archive material. Cross Street Centre Café open for refreshments. Families and children welcome. Wheelchair access.

De Havilland Aircraft Museum – Saturday and Sunday 10.30am-5pm – Visit the oldest aircraft museum in the UK. Enjoy two adult admissions for the price of one or two children’s admissions free with two charged adult admissions. 01727826400

Kingsbury Barns – Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm – Pottery exhibition by 26 different potters.

Lower Red Lion Inn – Thursday to Sunday 12pm-6pm – the last remaining of 14 pubs in historic Fishpool Street. Fine collection of historic pictures.

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Marlborough Road Methodist Church – Saturday 10am-4pm – late 19th century Methodist Church noted for its extensive woodwork. A self-led trail explains key features. Light refreshments, musical interludes. No booking required. Disabled access. Cycle storage.

Redbourn Village Museum – Saturday and Sunday 2pm-5pm – exhibits through the ages relevant to the village. On Sunday, English Miscellany will be performing authentic 17th century Playford dances in period costume. In between dance sets there will be live music performed by Redbourn Folk Club.

Redbournbury Mill – Saturday 9am-1pm, Sunday 12am-5pm – 18th century restored working water mill producing flours and bread. No booking required. Not suitable for under 5s. Ground floor wheelchair access only.

Royal British Legion Mitchell Hall – Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm – see the Mitchell Hall and a rare, original Nissen Hunt. Refreshments available.

Ryder House – Friday to Sunday 10am-5pm subject to availability – former offices of Samuel Ryder, donor of the prestigious Ryder cup. The building, sympathetically restored, retains many original features including a magnificent stained glass dome. 01727 848849.

St Michael’s Church – Saturday – Medieval brasses on display 11am-4pm. Tower tours 2pm and 3.30pm – climb the tower to see the bells and descend through the clock chamber for a short bell-ringing demonstration.

St Peter’s Church – Sunday 2pm-5pm, tower tours 2.30pm and 3.30pm – spectacular views from the tower, the highest point in St Albans, including Wembley Arch and Canary Wharf. No Under 9s. Max 12 people per tour. No booking required.

St Albans South Signal Box – Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm – take the opportunity to pull the levers and ring the bells to send the trains from Harpenden to Napsbury. Friends of Thomas the Tank Engine in the flower beds. Free entry.

Verulamium Museum – Saturday 10.30am-4.30pm – Objects on Demand is back! Come and see objects usually hidden away.

Abbey Gateway tours – Sunday 10am-5.30pm every half hour – tour of the most complete medieval gateway in England, including museum about St Albans School founded in 948CE.

St Albans Cathedral tower tours – Saturday 10am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm; Sunday 2pm, 3.15pm and 4.30pm – climb 193 steps and walk through medieval passages, seeing the bells and panoramic views over the city. Tickets available on the day from Cathedral Box Office.

St Albans Clock Tower tours – Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10.30am-4.45pm – climb the 93 steps of the country’s sole surviving medieval belfry, built in 1405, for spectacular views over the city.

Full details of this year’s events are available in a specially produced guide from locations across the city centre, or online here.