HERITAGE Open Days is marking a quarter of a century of celebrating UK history this month, with a vast range of activities across mid Cheshire.

The festival, which takes place each September, sees historic buildings open their doors and committed volunteers pay tribute to their towns' heritage.

This year, the event will take place over two weekends rather than the traditional one – making time for extra activities across Northwich, Winsford and Knutsford.

Here is a comprehensive list of all that's going on as Heritage Open Days celebrates 25 years.

All events are free with no booking required unless stated.


'People Power' historical exhibition at Northwich Library, Witton Street.

Following the festival's main theme, the display will include books, items and photographs, including specially loaned items from Weaver Hall Museum commemorating the centenary of Sir John Brunner's death.

Thursday, September 19 and Friday, September 20, 9am to 7pm

Saturday, September 21, 9am to 1pm

Top of the World Tour, Anderton Boat Lift.

A unique opportunity to be guided around the lift and see it as Lift Operators have since Victorian times.

Learn the history of this engineering marvel while enjoying panoramic views.

Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22, 9.30am to 5pm. Tours 10.30am, noon and 2.15pm.

Booking required, call 01606 786777

Northwich Guardian:

A visual exhibition of years gone by at Bratt & Evans Ltd, Witton Street.

One of a few family-owned department stores in Northwich, founded in 1860 by Henry Bratt, who later took into partnership his fabric buyer, Jack Evans.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, September 19, 20 and 21, 9.30am to 5pm.

Jabez Thompson and Northwich Terracotta talk at Anderton Boat Lift

Join David North for a talk on the little known craft of Terracotta and the expertise of one of its best craftsman – Jabez Thompson. Terracotta was a big industry in Northwich and had its own brickworks.

Wednesday, September 18, 2pm. Booking required 01606 786777

Lion Salt Works, Ollershaw Lane, Marston.

Enjoy 30-minute guided tours of the unique buildings, which have undergone an astonishing restoration funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.

Saturday, September 21 noon to 4pm

Live music and afternoon tea at St. Helen’s Church, Northwich

Enjoy live music from the 1940s in the beautiful surroundings of the medieval, Grade I-listed building, alongside afternoon tea and Northwich Remembers 1939 exhibition.

Sunday, September 15, 2pm to 4pm.

Guided two-mile circular walk in Marbury Country Park.

Discover the history of the now demolished hall, gardens and parkland, and see the still used 'Lido'

Wednesday, September 18, 10am.

Booking required, call 01606 288815 or search Marbury Country Park walk on eventbrite.com

Northwich Heritage Tour, starting in the Bull Ring.

Sunday, September 22, 11am and 2pm

Booking required, call 01606 288815 or search Northwich Heritage Tour on eventbrite.com

Tour of Grade II-listed Northwich Library, donated by Sir John Brunner and opened on September 23, 1909.

Friday, September 20 2.30pm and 5.30pm, and Saturday, September 21 10am, 11am and noon.

Booking required, call 01606 275646

Northwich Guardian:

Northwich rail walk, from Northwich Railway Station in Manchester Road.

Guided circular rail walk of around 2.5 miles.

Saturday, September 14, 2pm.

Booking required, call 01606 288815 or search Northwich rail walk on eventbrite.com

People Power: Peterloo 100 at Northwich Library, Witton Street.

A talk at Northwich Library from Owen Powell, 100 years on.

Thursday, September 19, 6pm.

Booking required, call 01606 275646

Saltscape Walk, Anderton Nature Park

3.5-mile walk in Northwich woodlands, highlighting the impact of the salt industry on the landscape.

Gunday, September 15 and Saturday, September 21 11am to 1pm.

Booking required, search Saltscape walk on eventbrite.com

St. Michael and All Angels Church, Little Leigh

A chance to view this Grade II-listed building not usually open to the public. Regular guided tours and information available.

Superb terracotta craftsmanship outside and inside. A Trena Cox stained glass window.

Saturday, September 14 and Saturday, September 21, 11am to 4pm.

The Parish Church of St. Mary The Virgin, Weaverham, known as St. Mary’s Church.

Guided tours of Grade I-listed building dating back to 15th century.

Saturday, September 21 10am to 4pm

Weaver Hall Museum talk on Cheshire Yeomanry

Saturday, September 21 3pm to 4pm

Weaverham Blue Plaque Walk and Talk, from St. Marys Church, Church Street

The route passes all fifteen listed buildings in Weaverham, as well as other buildings of historic interest.

Saturday, September 21, 10.30am and 2pm.

Who Do You Think You Are, Northwich? Drop-in ancestry sessions at Northwich Library, Witton Street.

Thursday, September 19 2pm to 4pm.

Woodland Heritage Walk, Anderton Nature Park.

A six-mile walk around the woodlands, looking at impacts of salt industry.

Friday, September 13, 10am

Booking required, search Woodland heritage walk on eventbrite.com

'A-Z of Northwich & Around' book launch and signing, Northwich Library, Witton Street.

Amberley Publishing and Northwich Library host the official book launch, written by Adrian Bridge and Dawn Preece.

Bringing together famous Northwich sons and daughters, it also takes the reader to a wide range of notable locations across the area.

A talk will feature sneak-peeks and extracts from the book, followed by a chance to get your own signed copy.

Friday, September 20, 4pm to 5.30pm


'People Power' historical exhibition at Winsford Library, High Street.

Thursday, September 19, 9.30am to 7pm.

Friday, September 20, 9.30am to 5pm

Saturday, September 21, 9am to 1pm

'Winsford, Northwich and Terracotta Buildings' talk at Winsford Library, High Street.

For primary school classes, to learn about unique buildings, their designers, histories and transformations over time, by Cheshire historian David North.

Friday, September 20, 11am to noon.

Booking required, call 01606 275065

Brunner Guildhall, High Street

The Grade II-listed Brunner Guildhall was given to Winsford in 1897 by Sir John Brunner as a Diamond Jubilee gift.

Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15 10am to 4pm

Northwich Guardian:

Design and make your own Terracotta Brick at Winsford Library, High Street

Saturday, September 21, 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Over United Reformed Church, Swanlow Lane

A fine example of Victorian architecture, Grade II-listed church and opened in 1867

Talks at 11.30am and 2.30pm

Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21, 10am to 4pm.

Booking required, call 01606 288815 or see winsford.urc.org.uk

Recycle First – Recycling Education Centre workshop and tour, Kier M G Ltd, Woodford Park Industrial Estate.

Sessions include an in-depth view of what happens to your recycling and food waste once it has left your home, the importance of recycling and waste reduction and a short tour

Thursday and Friday, September 19 and 20, 10am to noon and 1pm to 3pm.

Booking required, call 07816589912 or search the event at eventbrite.com

Weaver Dairy House Farm Tour, Stocks Hill, Darnhall.

A guided tour of this Grade II-listed farmhouse and barns, some parts dating back to 14th and 17th century.

Sunday, September 22, 9.30am and 1.30pm

Booking required, call 01606 288815 or search farm tour on eventbrite.com

Who Do You Think You Are, Winsford? Drop-in ancestry sessions at Winsford Library, High Street

Friday, September 20, 2pm to 4pm

Over Cotton Mill fire of 1874.

A tragedy where 17 people lost their lives in a raging fire.

The event will start from the Crosshatch gallery on the town centre.

Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21, 10.30am to 12.30pm


Grade II-listed Radbroke Hall/Barclays UK technology campus, Stocks Lane.

An insight into Barclays' 47-year tenure of Radbroke Hall, built in 1917.

Hear from Barclays Lead Archivist and take a tour of the campus where nearly 5000 Barclays technology colleagues work. Total duration of the visit 2 hours (2pm-4pm).

The campus is not normally open to the general public.

Thursday, September 19, 2pm to 4pm

Booking required, search Radbroke Hall on eventbrite.com