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Heritage open days

England’s biggest free heritage festival

9 – 18 September 2022

Heritage Open Days are a great opportunity to explore new places, seek out hidden treasures and enjoy the fantastic heritage South Gloucestershire has to offer, all for free. Join us in celebrating South Gloucestershire’s rich history of invention, industry and innovation with the theme this year ‘Astounding Inventions’.

Here’s what you can see:


Due to the historic nature of these venues, there is limited disabled access to some sites. Details are in the listing but if you have any questions, contact the venues direct or check their website for further information.

Thornbury and District Museum – open on dates advertised

4 Chapel Street, Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, BS35 2BJ.

09, 13, 16 September 2022 1pm to 4pm

10 and 17 September 2022 10am to 4pm

On 9 September the museum closed to mark the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

Image of Thornbury Museum

Exhibition – “Ingenious Inventions”.

An exhibition about local inventors and their inventions. For a small town, Thornbury has seen a surprising number and range of inventions over the years, from ones which had world-wide implications to other more modest and curious ideas. After the Open Days this exhibition will be incorporated into a new exhibition featuring local trades, “Made in Thornbury”.

Venue location: Between the Armstrong Hall and the Wheatsheaf pub.  There is a small, short stay (2 hours) car park in St Mary Street, immediately opposite the Museum and a larger one, including a long stay area, in Rock Street a few hundred yards from the Museum.  A third car park is situated further away, in Castle Court at the bottom end of the High Street with both long and short stay areas.  There is a one-way traffic system operating in the town.

Access: Suitable for all ages. One step down into the exhibition room on the ground floor. There is no wheelchair access to the second floor.

Refreshments available nearby in the town.


Avon Industrial Buildings Trust – open on dates advertised

Brandy Bottom Colliery, Avon Cycle Path 410, near Coxgrove Hill, Pucklechurch.

10 and 11 September 2022 10:30am to 3:30pm

Remains of the surface buildings of a 19th Century coal mine

An opportunity to visit a rare example of the surface layout of a 19th Century colliery to become familiar with South Gloucestershire’s coal industry. You will be able to see the conservation work being done on the remains of the buildings.

Access: This is a working site with rough ground, steps and slopes, some of which are steep.  As a result, not all of the site is suitable for wheelchairs or prams.

Visitors should wear stout shoes. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult; there are no child specific activities.

Highway parking is limited at Coxgrove Hill but there is easy access for pedestrians and cyclist using the Avon 410 cycle path.

Avon Industrial Buildings Trust website


Winterbourne Medieval Barn – open on dates advertised

Church Lane, Winterbourne, BS36 1SE

10 and 11 September 2022 11am to 4pm

Winterbourne Medieval Barn is a building of national importance. Built in 1342, just a few years before the Black Death swept across England, the barn is an extraordinary survivor of our medieval past. It was commissioned by Thomas de Bradeston, who was Lord of the Manor of Winterbourne from 1328 until his death in 1360.

The barn was constructed using green timber methods which was cutting edge technology for the time. it has been described as a magnificent example of the builder’s craft.

Major building works have recently been completed with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and many other funders and donors. The barn complex is now a community heritage site promoting insights into medieval history, architecture, agricultural landscape and people.

The main barn will be open, with tour guides on hand to answer any questions. You can combine your visit with a trip to St Michael’s Church or Monks Pool nature reserve just next door.

Access: The site is fully accessible but there is some uneven ground on the original barn flooring. The upstairs studio can only be accessed by stairs.

Pre-booking is encouraged:


Yate and District Heritage walk – POSTPONED

Due to the death of Her Majesty The Queen and the official mourning period, this event has been postponed. If you have already booked you will be contacted about a new date.

Guided tour of North Road and Engine Common

13 September 2022 2pm to 3.30pm

The tour will start at the Fox pub, Broad Lane, North Road, Yate, BS37 7LD


A tour of the former North Road mining community and Engine Common looking at the mining and agricultural houses on the road. We will follow a footpath across a field to Engine Common to take in the remnants of the local mining industry, including homes linked to the industry and the mine dramway, before returning to North Road


Access: There is a walk across a field and a narrow path.

Booking: contact or 01454 862200



Kingswood Heritage Museum Trust – open on dates advertised

Tower Lane, Warmley, BS30 8XT

17 and 18 September 2022 11am to 5pm

Come and learn about the astounding inventions of William Champion and how he manufactured the first commercial production of zinc in Europe at Warmley. A wealthy man, he built the tallest industrial windmill, the largest Georgian icehouse and the biggest garden statue in the country. Visit William Champion’s garden to see the giant statue of Neptune and hidden grottos.

The museum displays many stories of the area including zinc production, coal mining, boot manufacturing, the origins of Methodism and the famous Douglas motorcycles.

Access: There is free parking at the museum as well as a small tea room.

Contact: for more information you can call the museum on 0117 960 5664 or visit


William Champion’s Garden at Warmley – open on dates advertised

Kingswood Heritage Museum, Tower Lane, Warmley, Bristol, Bristol, BS30 8XT

Saturday 17 September: 11am to 4.30pm
Sunday 18 September: 11am to 4.30pm

Entrance to William Champion's garden and grotto

You can visit the surviving Grade II 18th century garden of brassworker William Champion with a giant statue of Neptune and hidden grottos with a central pool surrounded by 6 grotesque faces with gaping jaws opening into subterranean tunnels. The Kingswood Heritage Museum also features displays about the garden.

Access: Access from Tower Lane and the car park below Warmley House is flat (the slope down to the car park if walking is steep). Within the garden walking is mainly over grass with a few paths. Toilets are available at the museum beside the garden in Tower Lane.

Contact: for more information you can email, call the museum on 0117 960 5664 or visit


Ram Hill Colliery – open on dates advertised

Opposite Railway Cottages, Broad Lane, Ram Hill, Coalpit Heath, BS36 2TY

18 September 2022 10.30am to 4pm

Archaeological remains in the ground and a stone built archway

Ram Hill Colliery is a 19th Century coal pit, which operated on the site for about 30 years.  You will be able to see the remains of the horse gin, the housing for the steam engine and the chimney. See the arch and coal bunkers and the start of the horse drawn dramway, bringing coal to the river at Keynsham.

Access: Please wear sturdy shoes as the ground can be uneven. Only part of the site is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.

Refreshments available.


St Saviour’s Church, Coalpit Heath – open on dates advertised

Beesmoor Road, Coalpit Health, BS36 2RP

9 September 2022 10am to midday

10 September 2022 10am to 4pm

11 September 2022 2pm to 4pm

Church and graveyard

An opportunity to see the first Anglican church designed by the eminent Victorian architect William Butterfield and built in 1846. It is of great architectural significance and is Grade II* listed. The church will be open for self-guided tours and prayers.

Access: Suitable for wheelchairs; a ramp is available on request.

Toilets available in the hall.

Refreshments available.



St. Mary’s Church, Thornbury – open on dates advertised

Castle Street, Thornbury, BS35 1HQ

10 September 2022 1:30 to 4:30pm

Blue sky, large church and trees

St Mary’s church is a beautiful example of Norman transitional style architecture, with later additions and replacements through the Victorian Age.  There are examples of Tyndale brass, a chancel with fine carvings and Victorian choir stalls with carved wooden Poppyheads.

The bell tower will be open, weather permitting, for stunning views.  There will be refreshments and craft and plant stalls.  During the day “ride and stride” participants will be hosted in all benefice churches (St Mary’s, St Paul’s, St Arilda’s and Shepperdine, raising funds for Gloucestershire Historic Churches.


  • the church is accessible for wheelchair users and buggies (except the church tower)
  • accessible toilet
  • children under 8yrs are unable to access the church tower

Anyone can access the church, but booking is required for visiting the church tower as it has a narrow, winding, stone staircase.  Please book via the church office email address:

Refreshments available.


Marshfield Local History Society – open on dates advertised

Marshfield Village – A guided walk starting from St Mary’s Church, SN14 8NT

17 September 2022 10am to midday

Starting in St Marys church, the guided walk will follow the line of the High Street to the Almshouses, looking at houses, shops and heritage buildings.

The walk will cover just over two miles on pavements and is estimated to take less than two hours.

Refreshments available in tea shop and pub on High Street.

Access: The tour may visit a garden and the chapel in the Almshouses, neither of which are accessible to wheelchairs, and there are only a few places to sit during the walk.

Children are welcome but there are no specific children’s activities.

Booking required; email

Warmley Signal Box and Community Garden – open on dates advertised

High Street, Warmley

10 September 2022  2pm to 4pm

An opportunity to see the Grade 2 listed Midland Railway signal box, manned by ex-railway signalmen. There is a pretty community garden and a cafe nearby for refreshments.

Access: Situated on the edge of the railway path in Warmley. The signal box palisade is wheelchair accessible. The upper level of the signal box is only accessible by stairs

There are public toilets nearby and a cafe for refreshments.


National Trust – Dyrham Park – open on dates advertised

Dyrham Park, Dyrham, South Gloucestershire, SN14 8HY

10 September 2022 10am to 4pm

Large green open parkland with a late 17th-century mansion and garden in the distance

At Dyrham Park you can explore 270 acres of ancient parkland with wide-reaching views over to Wales. You can visit the 17th-century baroque mansion created by civil servant William Blathwayt. The gardens include an avenue of formal planting and pools with beautiful borders. There’s also an orchard and a peaceful wooded terrace area.

The newly opened play area and cafe at Old Lodge in the parkland will be open.

Access: The parkland is uneven and steep in part, please see website for more information.

Assistance dogs only on site.

Refreshments available at tea room and kiosk.



Yate International Festival – CANCELLED

Due to the death of Her Majesty The Queen and the official mourning period, this event has been cancelled.

Yate and District Heritage Centre and St Mary’s Green, Church Road, Yate BS37 5BG

17 September 2022  10.30am to 4.30pm

People on stage playing Indian drums in front of an audience

Yate International Festival is a festival of music, dance and food from different cultures in South Gloucestershire. There will be West African dance and drums, Chinese folk dancing, South Asian dancing and drums, Hindu Puppets and Irish Folk. Local youth groups will be singing and dancing. Food from South Asia, the Caribbean and Britain will be available. Stalls and activities will have an international theme, including Chinese calligraphy and Indian games.

St Mary’s Green will be the scene of much of the outdoor entertainment. Some activities will take place in Yate and District Heritage Centre which is the museum, gallery and archive  in the old part of Yate parish, surrounded by the White Lion, Lawn’s pub and St Mary’s Church. If there is wet weather some of the events will take place in the Centre and St Mary’s Church.

Access: Fully accessible to all.


Yate and District Heritage walk – POSTPONED

Due to the death of Her Majesty The Queen and the official mourning period, this event has been postponed. If you have already booked you will be contacted about a new date.

Guided tour of Chipping Sodbury

14 September 2022 6 to 7:30pm

The tour will start at the Horseshoe Public House, 2, High Street, Chipping Sodbury BS37 6AH

Our tour will focus on the top of the High Street, the pubs, buildings and people who have made an impact on the town. There will then be an exploration of Brook Street and the River Frome

Access: The tour is suitable for wheelchairs.

Booking: contact or 01454 862200


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