Heritage Open Days offer chance to explore our area’s history and culture

Oakwell Hall in Birstall.
Oakwell Hall in Birstall.

A number of venues across North Kirklees are set to host events as part of the annual Heritage Open Days campaign.

Heritage Open Weekend is a national celebration of Britain’s rich and diverse history and culture by giving the public the opportunity to visit hidden places and enjoy new experiences free of charge.

The Bagshaw Museum.

The Bagshaw Museum.

There will be something for all the family over the two weekends with many venues across the region opening doors to the public.

Kirklees Council will be launching a series of events to celebrate the 150th anniversary since the foundation of Batley Borough Council in 1868.

There’s the chance to enjoy exhibitions, displays, heritage tours and refreshments on Saturday, September 8 between 10am and 3pm.

Visitors to Bagshaw Museum, Batley, on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 can learn more about the everyday life of the Victorians as part of the open weekend scheme.

Batley Town Hall.

Batley Town Hall.

They will be able to dress up like a Victorian, write using dip pens and make a thaumatrope toy.

There will also be a chance to try rag rugging and handle genuine Victorian objects.

A Victorian Cornucopiatakes place from noon to 5pm on both days and all activities are free.

Batley Parish Church (All Saints) between Stocks Lane and Branch Road, will be open on Saturday, September 8 between 10am and 4pm.

Whitechapel Church in Cleckheaton.

Whitechapel Church in Cleckheaton.

As well as being able to look around this Grade I historic building there will be access to baptism and marriage registers from the Wakefield archives.

Light refreshments will also be available for visitors.

St Saviour’s Church in Brookroyd Lane will also be celebrating Heritage Open Day on Saturday, September 8.

The church will be open from 11am until 4pm.

Gomersal Moravian Church.

Gomersal Moravian Church.

Stewards will be on hand to answer questions about the treasures to be found in the building. This year there will be special displays relating to the First World War with items of particular relevance to some members of the congregation.

At intervals during the day the names on the church’s War Memorial will be read out.

Oakwell Hall in Birstall will be open free of charge on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 (noon to 4pm).

Sunday will feature traditional craft activities with the Friends of Oakwell Hall.

Dewsbury Arts Group Artspace is opening up its building – an old Quaker meeting house – for people to see on Saturday September 8 (12.30pm t0 4pm).

The grounds include a graveyard, the stones of which still line the garden.

Thornhill Parish Church will be showcasing a special exhibition entitled Dewsbury Greats during the Open Weekend (7-9 September).

The launch event takes place on Friday, September 7 at 7pm.

It is also open on Saturday between 10am and 4pm and Sunday between 10.30am and 4pm.

Cleckheaton Library will be hosting Secret Tours of the venue and a Children’s Treasure Hunt along with other activities on Saturday, September 15.

The Secret Tours are at 10.30am and 1.30pm. A Women in Wartime talk takes place at 11.30am and the treasure hunts are held from 10.30am till 2pm.

Whitechapel Church in Cleckheaton will be open on Saturday, September 8 and Saturday, September 15 between 10am and 4pm and Sunday, September 9 and Sunday, September 16 between 2pm and 4.30pm.

Whitechapel Vicar Rev Brunel James said: “Whitechapel is a treasure house of heritage and we invite anyone interested to come and see our historic church – or simply to join us for Sunday worship at 9.30am.”

The Friends of St Mary’s Community Heritage Site in Mirfield will host events on Saturday, September 8 between 10.30am and 3pm and Saturday, September 15 between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Events include tours to the top of the church tower/bell ringing room, a guided nature trail walk on the heritage site, a display of pottery finds from the 2014/15 site digs, a display of wildlife, an organ recital (September 8 at 3pm) and a guided heritage trail walk – Towngate/Northorpe area on (September 8 at 11pm) from St Mary’s.

Gomersal Moravian Church, on Quarry Road, Gomersal, will be open on Sunday September 9 between 1pm and 4pm.

There’s the chance to see a special display about Moravian traditions, including the Lovefeast service and the Christingle.

People can also see the ‘Gomersal and the Great War’ display, with information about the men from Gomersal who died, and also what life was life for those back home including extracts from the ministers’ diary.

Visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/printable-area-lists/laa/Kirklees to see the full list of activities on offer.