Rare chance to see Weston-super-Mare’s historic buildings during open day weekends

The Old Magistrates' Court will open its doors for the first time since 2007. Picture: North Somerse

The Old Magistrates' Court will open its doors for the first time since 2007. Picture: North Somerset Council - Credit: Archant

Weston will be opening its historical doors this week as part of England’s largest heritage festival.

Heritage Open Days will invite members of the public to explore the town’s impressive and mysterious buildings.

The free event, which will run from tomorrow (Thursday) to Sunday and September 13 to 16, will see expert-led tours take place in key heritage spaces and fascinating buildings across the town.

Venues and activities involved include:

• Walks and tours of the stunning grade-II listed All Saints Church.

• An immersive guided tour of the Blakehay Theatre including the bar, auditorium, upper studios and dressing rooms.

• The Old Magistrates’ Court, which has been closed since 2007, will be open for people to explore the court rooms and cells and learn more about the proposed future of the building.

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• The chance to learn more about Grove Park history, biodiversity, management and proposed future development.

• Discover Grove House and Mayor’s parlour and find out the secrets of the 19th Century manor house, which is now used as the headquarters of Weston Town Council.

• The Town Hall will be welcoming a performance of the Rock Choir in the new council chamber.

• Old Town Quarry will offer a tour of artists’ studios and exhibition, plus a historical talk about the quarry.

• Weston Museum will be hosting a fossil dig, tours of the galleries, behind the scene peek and young visitors can even meet a t-rex.

Cara MacMahon, heritage action zone officer at North Somerset Council, said: “There are so many impressive buildings in Weston, some of which rarely open their doors the public.

“Heritage Open Days offers a chance to explore and unearth fascinating information and bring people together to discover rarely seen heritage.

“It’s been a great experience working with different groups to offer buildings within Weston and around North Somerset and I’m delighted we’ve been able to offer activities, tours and hidden treasures for visitors to enjoy.”

The heritage action zone is part of the Weston town centre regeneration programme which is delivering improvements to key sites within the town and encouraging inward investment.

The vision for Weston’s regeneration is focused around themes of living, learning and lifestyle.

The plans involve attracting more people to live in the town centre, creating a lively university town which will further improve the local economy.

Weston was one of the first places in the country to be awarded heritage action zone status and there are now 18 heritage action zones in villages, towns and cities across England.