Heritage Open Days hailed a success by North Somerset Council
PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:47 19 September 2018
North Somerset Council
Hundreds of people flocked to some of Weston’s key heritage sites last weekend.
Heritage sites around the town swung their doors wide open on Saturday and Sunday for the national Heritage Open Day celebration, giving people the chance to discover the impressive and mysterious buildings.
The free event, which is England’s largest heritage festival, invites members of the public to explore historical building which are usually closed.
The opening day of the festival saw more than 500 visitors keen to look at the different architectural treasures and enjoy expert tours explaining the historical relevance of each building.
Venues included the old Magistrates’ Court which closed in 2007, a tour of the Blakehay Theatre, All Saints Church and the Town Hall and Old Town Quarry.
Cara MacMahon said: “We have been happily surprised to welcome so many local visitors and residents to the different sites we have opened up.
“The most popular was the old Magistrates’ Court. Some visitors enjoyed locking themselves into the cells, others were residents who had always wanted to see inside the building and some were previous employees who enjoyed a trip down memory lane.”
The open days tied in North Somerset Council’s Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) which launched in March last year.
The HAZ is part of the Weston Town Centre Regeneration Programme which aims to deliver improvements to key sites within the town and encouraging inward investment.
The vision for the town centre is focused around living, learning and lifestyle, with plans to attract more people to live in the town centre and create a lively university town.
The Heritage Open Days is the latest event to take place in the HAZ, following on from a series of successful circus displays and functions in the Italian Gardens as well as the launch of the Crumbs Trail app.
For a full list of Heritage Open Day venues, visit www.heritageopenday.org.uk