Please note that the printed version of this page will include opening times and other useful information for each property/event.
Before heading out for your Heritage Open Days visit, please check entries at www.heritageopendays.org.uk for last-minute changes.
Bill Hill site of Bronze Age Burial Mound, Meet at Coopers Hill Centre carpark, Crowthorne Road North , Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7QS
Guided Heritage Tour of this site of a Bronze Age Burial Mound led by the Parks and Countryside Ranger who manages this area of Bracknell Forest. The hill has recently been cleared by the Conservation Volunteers. Children welcome. Some parts not suitable for buggies/wheelchairs.
Access Information: Toilets available at Bracknell bus station - the other side of the railway station.
Additional Information: The hill is not high but the path is steep and, in places, rough.
Directions: Coopers Hill Youth and Community centre car park is just south of Bracknell rail station. It is off the Bracknell town roundabout, off the Bagshot Road (A322) near the junction with Downshire Way (A322) and continuation of Bagshot Road (A3095). Then turn left into Old Bracknell Lane East, then right along Crowthorne Road North to the car park. There is a sign 'Coopers Hill Centre' at entrance to road. We will walk under the A322 to the site. The site is between Downshire Way and Rectory Lane. The map shows the location of the car park with Bill Hill just to the south. Click on this link to see details: http://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/bill-hill-ancient-monument.pdf
St Michael & St Mary Magdalene Parish Church, Crowthorne Road, Easthampstead, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7ER
This prominent site has been associated with worship since at least 1159 and the present church was built in 1867. There are many beautiful features including windows by most of the significant Victorian stained glass designers including five important windows by Edward Burne-Jones and made by William Morris. We will be providing church trails and ad hoc tours of the church and churchyard throughout each day. The churchyard is a registered Living Churchyard and maintained for its biodiversity.
Directions: Car Park is between the 2 houses uphill from the church on the same side.
South Hill Park Arts Centre, Ringmead, Birch Hill, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7PA
1500-1600 Stroll around the historic grounds recently restored to Temple Moore's original designs through a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 1630-1730 Tour of the mansion originally built in 1760 for William Watts but largely rebuilt in the 1890s to Temple Moore's design for Sir Arthur Hayter. Currently used as an Arts Centre. Come to either or both events with the opportunity for further questions and a drink between or after the two. Event not suitable for children under the age of 5.
Access Information: Meet for each event at the mansion main entrance.
Directions: Follow the brown signs to Arts Centre.
Church Lane, Bisham, Marlow, Berkshire, SL7 1RW
The earliest part of the church, the tower, is C13th. After Bisham Priory church was demolished in C16th during the suppression of the monasteries, subsequent owners of Bisham Abbey developed nearby All Saints Church for their memorials. The Hoby Chapel has C17th armorial glass commemorating Sir Philip and Thomas Hoby, Thomas's wife Elizabeth and her daughter in law Margaret plus their monuments, all bearing family heraldry. After the Hobys came the Vansittarts; George Henry Vansittart extended the Chancel in 1849. Many Vansittart & Vansittart Neale memorials some with heraldry. Monument to George Henry Vansittart Neale died in 1904 age 14. East window of chancel inserted in 1914 displays along the base armorial glass for past owners of Bisham Abbey with the Abbey itself pictured in the centre. North aisle added by Colonel Owen Williams of Temple House. Event not suitable for children under the age of 12.
Access Information: There are no toilet facilities on site. Access to the chancel and Hoby Chapel is restricted due to a step.
Additional Information: The parking near to the church is limited, especially around 1600 hrs when the school that is next to the car park finishes for the day. We suggest visitors should see both Bisham Abbey and All Saints Church as they are closely connected. Visitors should park at the Abbey.
Directions: Follow the sign to Bisham from the roundabout on the A404, the road that connects the M40 with the M4. After the road bends to the right you will see Bisham Abbey Sports Centre on your left. All Saints Church is further along the road, on the left, set back near to sharp bend in the road. There are plans to redesign Bisham roundabout but it is unlikely this will have started by September 2014.
Bisham Village, Marlow Rd, Bisham, Marlow, Berkshire, SL7 1RR
C13th Knights Templar great hall and other remains of their preceptory; C14th building by William Montacute, earl of Salisbury, friend of Edward III, C16th building by Sir Philip and Sir Thomas Hoby, Tudor diplomats. Dovecote attributed to Margaret Countess of Salisbury beheaded by Henry VIII. Armorial glass of C14th -C17th including past owners of Bisham -William Montacute and his wife Katherine Grandison, Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury and his wife Alice Montacute, Margaret Countess of Salisbury and Richard Pole. Other heraldry for Hoby and Vansittart families. The latter's descendants owned the house from 1780 until C20th when bought by predecessor of Sport England. Portraits of members of the Hoby and Vansittart families some by famous artists including, Pieter Borsselaer, Jonathan Richardson, George Knapton plus portraits copied by James Sant. Event not suitable for children under the age of 12.
Access Information: Only the ground floor of the Abbey is wheelchair accessible.
Additional Information: Bisham Abbey is owned by Sport England. It is run by Serco as a sport and conference centre. This event is being coordinated with that at All Saints Church, Bisham where owners of Bisham Abbey were buried after the destruction of Bisham Priory Church in the C16th. We hope it will be possible for visitors to walk across the current golf course to the church. On 10th Sept Dr Chris Laoutaris will talk about Shakespeare & the Countess (Lady Elizabeth Hoby), his new book. Tickets cost £6: to book a place phone Joyce Delasalle on 01628 637342.
Directions: Follow the signs to Bisham from the roundabout on the A404, the road that connects the M40 with the M4. After the road bends to the right you will see Bisham Abbey Sports Centre on your left. All Saints Church is further along the road on the left, set back near to a sharp bend in the road. There are plans to redesign Bisham roundabout but it is unlikely this will have started by September 2014.
Church Road, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2DR
Shaw House was built in 1581 by Newbury clothier Thomas Dolman. This fine Elizabethan building was home to successive Dolman families, the flamboyant Duke of Chandos and the Andrews, Eyre and Farquhar families. Over this time the House played host to several royal visitors, including Elizabeth I. During your visit you will wander through the most significant historic rooms of the house and learn about the stories from the past. There is also a garden trail where you can retrace some of the history of the hard work, innovation and ingenuity plus you can rifle through the Head Gardener’s desk! Event not suitable for children under the age of 2.
Additional Information: Max 50 people per tour/session. You will find our gift shop adjacent to reception. We stock a variety of Shaw House gifts and locally-produced items including confectionary, ceramics, Shaw House teddies, scarves and cards. Shaw House cafe is located in what used to be the kitchen. The old fireplace and smoke jack can still be seen! Choose from a range of delicious sandwiches and tempting cakes.
Directions: Follow the brown signs for 'Shaw House' from local main routes. Visit our website at www.shawhouse.org.uk to read more about the property and events throughout the summer months.
9 Coley Avenue, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 6AF
Explore your local history at the Berkshire Record Office, the archives of the Royal County of Berkshire and its people. Take a 'behind the scenes' tour to see the strongrooms, conservation studio and highlights from the collections. Tours last 30-45 minutes.
Booking Details: Maximum 10 people per tour so booking essential Contact: Berkshire Record Office Call: 0118 937 5132 Email: email@example.com Write to: Berkshire Record Office, 9 Coley Avenue, Reading, RG1 6AF Booking opens: 1 July 2014 09:00 Booking closes: 12 September 2014 15:00
Additional Information: Max 10 people per tour/session.
St Andrew's Churchyard, High Street, Sonning, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 6UP
Tours of the historical and once Episcopal riverside village to include many of its historic buildings, most being fine examples of domestic, vernacular or public architecture. Opportunity to see the highly significant baroque Rich Memorial in the church and to hear about other buildings associated with the Rich and Palmer families.
Booking Details: Due to narrow pavements and heavy traffic walks need to be pre-booked. Contact: Diana Coulter Call: 0118 969 2132 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Write to: Red House Cottage, Pearson Road Booking opens: 1 August 2014 10:00 Booking closes: 14 September 2014 11:30
Access Information: Disabled parking is available in the churchyard by special arrangement - please ring 0118 969 2132 if you need this facility.
Additional Information: Max 20 people per tour/session. Refreshments available at The Bull or The Great House or Riverside Tea Rooms at Sonning Lock. Parking in Sonning Lane and Pearson Road at owners' own risk.
Directions: Meet in the churchyard near The Bull Inn.
Caversham Court, Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 7AD
Come into Caversham Court every afternoon throughout the Heritage Open Days and see and hear works of art and poetry by Caversham artists inspired by the heritage site, which re-opened after an HLF-funded refurbishment in 2009. Take a tour of the historic gardens and learn about Caversham's unique history, enjoy tea by the river at the Tea Kiosk run by local charities. On Saturday and Sunday afternoon, learn about clay tile-making with local potters Debbie Page and Rosemary Muirhead, and listen to tales of wonder from storyteller Anne Latto.
Access Information: There is disabled parking outside the front gates of Caversham Court, but other parking is very limited.
Directions: Just over Caversham Bridge, on the north bank of the Thames.
Yeomanry House, Research Centre, 131 Castle Hill, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 7TJ
Thinking about starting to research your family history. Want some help progressing or organising your family history research. Need ideas to knock down a genealogical brick wall. If so, then visit us with our dedicated team of volunteers during Heritage Open Days. We have a library containing more than 6000 items from all over the world, computers and internet access to millions and millions of records, including subscriptions to Ancestry, Findmypast, the British Newspaper Archive and Origins websites. Sited in the wing of the historic Yeomanry House, enjoy a gorgeous slice of home made cake with a refreshing cup of tea or coffee.
Access Information: Wheelchair access to disabled toilets is only available on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, toilets can only be reached via three steps
Directions: Next to the Berkshire Record Office.
Green Park Wind Turbine, South Oak Way, Green Park, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 6GP
Learn all about this monumental structure, what it is, what it does and how much energy it actually makes! The tour includes a 30 minute talk on the turbine, a brief walk up the outside steps of the main tower and several interesting experiments for children.
Booking Details: Must pre-book through the following email ; Contact: Ian Gough Call: 07792158530 Email: email@example.com
Directions: Green Park Wind Turbine, Reading. At the base of the wind turbine, it's pretty difficult to miss!
Friar Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1EH
The Church was built in 1311 and the main elements of Greyfriars survive to this day as the most complete example of Franciscan architecture in Britain, and the oldest still being used for worship. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538, it became a poor hospital, workhouse and then a gaol in 1613, until 1844. In 1863 it was restored as a church by the Victorians and has been in use ever since, culminating in a refurbishment in 2000. A guided tour of the church outlining its history over the last 700 years and its current usage is offered. Alternatively a free leaflet is available for self-guiding.
Additional Information: Max 10 people per tour/session.
Directions: Situated at the western end of Friar Street, opposite roundabout.
St Peter's Church, The Warren, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 7AQ
Guided tours of the historic 12th century parish church of St Peter, Caversham, which overlooks the beautiful Caversham Court gardens. The Tea Kiosk in the gardens will be open for refreshments sold in aid of local charities.
Additional Information: Max 10 people per tour/session.
Reading Quaker Meeting House, 2 Church Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2SB
Guided tours of the Quaker burial ground, garden and meeting house at 2pm. Quakers have been worshipping at this site since 1714 and the burial ground, garden and meeting house are all still in use.
Additional Information: Max 20 people per tour/session.
Directions: Church Street is off London Street, which runs between Queen's Road and London Road.
Watlington House, 44 Watlington Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4RZ
A guided walk of 1.5 hours taking in some of Reading's historic parks, gardens and open spaces, beginning at Watlington House, a late 17th century merchant's house, where a William & Mary period garden is being recreated. Canal-side spaces tell of Reading's industrial past, while Forbury gardens recall Victorian civic pride and Christchurch Meadows reflect the development of the leisure industry on the Thames in the Edwardian period. The walk ends in Caversham Court gardens, which is also participating in the Heritage Open Days and where visitors can study examples of garden history from the 17th to the 21st centuries, go on a tour or relax by the riverside with refreshments.
Access Information: The walk involves crossing main roads as well as walking along canal and riverside paths. There are steps with alternative slope options at some points along the route.
Additional Information: The features and locations of the 3 main garden sites visited on the walk: Watlington House, the Forbury gardens and Caversham Court gardens, all illustrate interesting periods in Reading's history and cultural development. Watlington House is managed by a board of Trustees, while Reading Borough Council owns both the Forbury and Caversham Court gardens, which have been restored with funding from English Heritage and others. Caversham Court has an active Friends organisation.
Directions: Watlington House is near The Lyndhurst Public House and 2 of Reading's historic churches with tall spires. The end location is Caversham Court Gardens RG4 7AG.
35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4PS
Small edible roof forest garden developed to demonstrate sustainability and our dependence on plants. All plants in the garden have an economic use for food, clothing, medicine etc. and come from all over the world. Demonstration of renewable energy, water harvesting and irrigation systems. Regular tours of the garden offered.
Access Information: No wheelchair access to garden. Garden accessed by steep external staircase.
Additional Information: Park in Queen's Road or Oracle car parks, or at top of ramp behind RISC building. Please check with organisers if unsure where to park.
Directions: Above the World Shop and Global cafe.
Reading, Berkshire, RG30 2DB
The museum shows the extraordinary changes in medicine that have taken place in the past 150 years. See displays on the history of surgery, anaesthesia, nursing, dental surgery, pharmacy, obstetrics, blood transfusion, blood letting and wartime medicine.
Additional Information: Max 20 people per tour/session. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.
London Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3QA
Built in 1879 (with later extensions) on a site presented by George Palmer. Architects involved in its construction and furnishing include Waterhouse, Bodley and Comper. Notable features include a Comper ‘medallion‘, windows by Comper and Bodley and a rood carved by Herr Zwink of Oberammergau. There are also Orthodox icons on display as the church is also used by the St Elias Greek Orthodox Church.
Southampton Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2QP
The original St. Giles was built in the twelfth century, to serve a large Parish with a small population in well-wooded country through which the River Kennett flowed. It stood on the main road south, on the Outskirts of the town, hence perhaps the dedication. In 1191 Pope Clement III gave the church to Reading Abbey: and throughout the middle ages it enjoyed the right of sanctuary. The building grew gradually. During the Civil Wars of the seventeenth century, when the parliamentarians besieged Reading, St. Giles tower was garrisoned for the King and the upper part was destroyed in 1643. The fabric was restored at the end of hostilities, and again under a series of popular incumbents in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Catholic Revival began to influence the life and work of what was by now a very populous parish.
Access Information: Wheelchair access to the main part of the church is via the South Door. Some areas may not be accessible to wheelchair users due to steps.
1 Forbury Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3HW
The Church is Pugin's very first church design. The foundation stone was laid in December 1837. Extensions were added in the 20th century. Built in the Norman style it is a rarity among Pugin's designs. Completed in 1840, it was among the first Catholic churches to be built in England after the Reformation and is sited over the ruins of Reading Abbey. Visitors will be able to become familiar with the contents of a modern Catholic Church. There will be a display about the history of St James with guides on hand. The church has recently been refurbished in a style more appropriate for a Pugin church. There is also a new shrine to St James, the patron saint of pilgrims.
Access Information: Wheelchair access by right hand side porch. Toilets to right of this porch.
Additional Information: Today it is home to a thriving Catholic community working with and for all the people of Reading. Your visit will allow you not only to see Pugin's beautiful architecture but also the workings of a modern Catholic church. There will guides ready to answer your questions and of course free refreshments will be available to help you on your way to your next Heritage Open Days visit.
St John the Baptist Church, St John's Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 8EB
You will be able to wonder around and enjoy this Victorian Church and its grounds. There will also be a display in the church celebrating 125 years at St John's and the people that have worshiped through the generations. There are toilet and baby changing facilities as well as a children's corner, with toys etc.
Directions: St John's sits on the corner of St John's and Gosbrook Road, not far from the River Thames.
Erleigh Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5LU
Constructed in 1882. This church is a fine example of work by Victorian Architect JP St Aubyn. Look out for the notable reredos and font and windows by Charles Eamer Kempe & Co Ltd.
Access Information: Disabled toilets are located in the hall - ask for key if not open.
The Most Holy Trinity Church, Oxford Road,, Reading, Berkshire
The church is home to the famous Pugin Screen which came from St Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham. It also contains a lot of interesting furniture and there will be an exhibition of old and beautiful vestments and historic items used in various ceremonies.
Access Information: there are several floor levels but we can provide mobile ramps
Directions: Situated on the Oxford Road at the junction with Russell Street.
Crowthorne Road, Sandhurst, Berkshire, GU47 8PH
The estate where the school is situated is steeped in history, with regards to the original Victorian black and white building, being a medical centre and the subsequent events whilst the school has been there since 1886. The tour covers the following areas: the history of the main house/lodge, the Boston air crash in January 1944, the two World War memorials, the school chapel, the site of Edgebrough Manor, the authentic Tudor House built in 2003. There will be a free cup of tea and a cookie at the end of the 2 hour tour! Learning about the history of old schools always interests children and because there is quite a bit of walking outside there is a variety of environments to look at.
Access Information: Although there is quite a bit of walking outside it is possible for a car to reach the locations described.
Additional Information: N.B. Because the site is a school, visitor must join the daily tour 1430 and cannot explore the area on their own.
Directions: The school is between the towns of Sandhurst and Crowthorne.
Community Centre, Sandhurst, Berkshire, GU47 9BJ
An exhibition of all available war records of the men of Sandhurst, Berkshire who served in The Great War together with a comprehensive collection of photographs of Sandhurst during the early years of the last century. Picnic and play facilities on the adjacent park.
Directions: The Memorial Park.
11 Stoke Poges Lane, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 3NW
The Horlicks Factory is one of Slough's most iconic historic buildings which was completed in 1908 for James Horlick. During Heritage Open Day there will be two tours of the small museum, archives and the beautiful Art Deco Board room completed in 1927 and furnished with Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson furniture. There will also be a chance to visit Horlicks's own railway station and platform which led onto the Great Western Railway. Please note no other parts of the building will be open to the public.
Booking Details: Contact: Slough Museum Call: 01753 526422
Access Information: There is no disabled access to the building because of its age.