Weston throws open its doors for the Heritage Open Days festival

Discover Weston-super-Mare’s heritage for free as sites across the town get ready to welcome visitors to celebrate Heritage Open Days, England’s largest heritage festival, between Friday 8 and Sunday 17 September.

Event highlights, some celebrating this year’s ‘creativity unwrapped’ theme, include:

  • Discover the history of Birnbeck Pier and island with the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust. Enjoy creative performances by local sea shanty group the Beach’d Buoys, and local artist Jordan Cottle presenting extracts from his new show ‘The Old Pier’.
  • Delve into the archives and discover North Somerset’s creative past. North Somerset local studies library has a superb collection including books, maps, photographs and postcards. See how the local landscape inspired writers, poets and artists. Find out about local musicians and theatre groups.
  • Join Weston-super-Mare’s Proud Bar & Community Hub for ‘Unwrapping oneself – coming out stories’. A poignant exploration into creative and powerful ways that individuals have come out as LGBTQ+ over the decades.
  • Celebrate creativity at this year’s Whirligig. International and local performers come together to bring jaw dropping outdoor arts experience to this festival in the heart of Weston-super-Mare.
  • Visit Woodspring Priory. The Landscape Trust is welcoming people to visit this former Augustinian priory, founded in 1210, which sits by the Severn Estuary north of Sand Point.
  • Weston walks. From the Gems of Weston walk, and following in the footsteps of architect Hans Price, through to the Weston Wallz street art trail, and virtual tour of Grove House. There’s something for everyone.
  • Weston talks. Find out about the history of the Blakehay Theatre and the Old Thatched Cottage, Weston’s oldest building.
  • Access All Saints Church and St John the Baptist Church.
  • Learn more from a wealth of free online heritage resources.

Councillor Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “There’s something for everyone in this year’s Heritage Open Days festival – ten days of free open days, including talks and creative performances across the town. Come along and enjoy! My thanks to all the organisations and businesses taking part.

“Showcasing these events wouldn’t be possible without financial support from Historic England as part of our High Street Heritage Action Zone. As this work ends in March 2024, I hope that its legacy will live on and the town’s involvement with the national Heritage Open Days festival will, not only continue, but grow in the future.”

North Somerset Council’s heritage and regeneration champion, Councillor John Crockford-Hawley, added: “Heritage Open Days enable people to find out more about Weston and its rich heritage in a fun and creative way. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to get involved and learn more about our town’s history.”

A programme of Heritage Open Days events can be viewed or downloaded at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/heritageopendays23.

More information about Heritage Open Days across the country can be found at www.heritageopendays.org.uk.