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Heritage open days

England’s biggest FREE heritage festival, 10 to 19 September 2021.

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.

The theme this year is ‘Edible England’ – encouraging the festival community to explore the past, present, and future of our culinary heritage and culture.

Details of the local heritage open days are listed below.

You can also find further information and open days in other areas on the heritage open days website.

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.

Heritage open days in South Gloucestershire 

Friends of Ram Hill Colliery

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

Sunday 19 September 10.30am to 4pm

Archaeological remains in the ground and a stone built archway

There were once so many collieries in Coalpit Heath and we are lucky to have this one left.

See the remains of the horse gin, the shaft, boiler house and chimney. As well as the arch and the start of the Dramway that took the coal to the river Avon near Keynsham.

It is thought to be the last horse drawn railway to be built in England.

There is a nice woodland walk and lots of wild flowers.

Only part of the site is suitable for wheelchairs because of the rough ground. Appropriate footwear should be worn.

Refreshments available.

No booking needed.


Winterbourne Medieval Barn

Church Lane, Winterbourne, BS36 1SE

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September 10am to 5pm

Visit the magnificent Winterbourne Medieval Barn, built in 1342, it’s a rare surviving example of a great medieval barn built by a family of the gentry.

Constructed using green timber methods, cutting edge technology for the time, it has been described as a magnificent example of the builders craft.

Activities across the weekend include botanical drawing in our kitchen garden, the Cart Shed Medieval Cookery School for families, and an exhibition by local artist Holly Dunham.

The Barn site is wheelchair accessible, although the ground is uneven in places. If you would like to reserve a disabled parking space, or have any other access questions, email or call 0117 403 1536.

Refreshments available.

You will need to book for a morning or afternoon visit (so that we are able to control numbers as needed at the time).

For more information and details of how to book visit the Winterbourne Barn website.


Yate and District Heritage Centre Church Road, Yate, BS37 5BG

Thursday 16 September 2pm to 3.30pm

Historical black and white photo of Yate Heritage Centre and St Mary's Church

Come for a walk around historic Yate.

This area is rich in history. The walk will give you a glimpse of life in Yate before the 20th century where society was dominated by the church and local middle class community leaders.

Meet outside the heritage centre to explore the heart of the old parish of Yate.

You will walk around the White Lion, Station Road, Lawns, Yate Church School, St Mary’s Church graveyard and surrounding area.

The tour will include crossing a fairly busy road (Church Road).

To book a place email or phone 01454 862200.


Yate International Festival

Yate International Festival will be held at Yate Heritage Centre and Stanshawes Court.

Stanshawes Court, Sundridge Park, Yate BS37 4AE
Yate and District Heritage Centre, Church Road, Yate BS37 5BG

Saturday 18 September 10.30am to 4.30pm

People on stage playing Indian drums in front of an audience

Share our modern cultures and heritage at the annual Yate International Festival.

You can enjoy a wide range of music and dance from different cultures including Indian, Chinese, Irish, English and Polish.

Family activities and workshops with a Chinese and Indian theme.

Other entertainment will be supplied by local youth groups.

To celebrate food there will be Indian and British food on offer throughout the day.

Both venues are accessible.

No booking needed.

For more information visit the Yate Heritage Centre website and Yate Town Council website.



Yate and District Heritage Centre

Stanshawes Court Hotel, Sundridge Park, Yate, BS37 4EA

Tuesday 14 September 5pm to 6.30pm

Site of old stables, kitchen garden, and the surrounding areas including parkland

Discover the proudest part of Victorian Yate and the history of Squire Hooper’s Victorian Mansion.

This will be a tour of the area around Stanshawes Court, and the site of the old stables, kitchen garden, and the surrounding areas including Kingsgate Park.

The tour will cover Victorian life, farming and Celestine mining in the area as we travel in the footsteps of the Victorian community.

It could be muddy in Stanshawes Park and we will be near water.

Refreshments available.

To book a place email or phone 01454 862200.


Friends of Acton Court

Latteridge Road, Iron Acton, BS37 9TL

Sunday 12 September 11am to 4pm

People dressed up in Tudor costumes giving a cookery demonstration at Acton Court

Acton Court is hosting a costumed living history event with Tudor cookery expert Stuart Peachy who will give a talk and demonstration.

You will have the opportunity to sample period fare in an authentic environment.

For age 10 plus.

Uneven ground and uneven floors inside the house. Wheelchair access ground floor only.

Refreshments available.

To book visit the Acton Court website.


Avon Industrial Buildings Trust

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

Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 10.30am to 3.30pm

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

A guided tour around the remains of the surface buildings of a 19th Century coal mine, which are in the process of being conserved.

This is a working site with rough paths, slopes and steps, some of which are steep. This means many areas are not accessible to wheelchair users or pushchairs.

Appropriate footwear should be worn.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Highway parking is limited at Coxgrove Hill but there is easy access on foot or by cycling using the Avon 410 cycle path.

No booking needed.

For more information about this heritage site, visit the Avon Industrial Buildings Trust website.


National Trust – Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park, Near Bath, SN14 8HY

Saturday 11 September 10am to 4pm

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

Dyrham Park is welcoming visitors for free on Saturday 11 September.

During your visit you can stretch your legs through the parkland and take in some of the views right over to Wales.

There are some set walking routes you can follow. The formal gardens include an avenue of planting with beautiful borders. For those who like a bit of history, you can step inside the baroque mansion house, created by civil servant William Blathwayt in the 17th century.

The National Trust shop will be open for anyone wanting a souvenir of their special day or a plant for the garden.

The site closes at 5pm with last entry at 4pm.

The parkland is uneven and steep in parts.

The tea room and kiosk will be selling refreshments.

No booking needed.

For more information about Dyrham Park and the facilities and access, visit the National Trust website.


Kingswood Heritage Museum Trust

Tower Lane, Warmley, BS30 8XT

Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 11am to 5pm

Opening of Kingswood Heritage Museum to display artifacts and information about Kingswood and the surrounding area.

Wheelchair and pushchair accessible.

Refreshments available.

No booking needed.

For more information about this heritage site visit the Kingswood Heritage Museum website.

South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group

Oldwood Pits, Tanhouse Lane, Rangeworthy, Yate, BS37 7PZ

Sunday 12 September 10am to 4.30pm

Two people stood in a brick tunnel

Explore the coal mine, pit shaft, drift entrance (these are part of the guided tour only) and mine office with hands on activities and displays.

Experience life as a young boy down in the coal pits and have a go at ‘Gus and Crook coal hauling’.

The mining site includes steps and rough ground, so access for wheelchairs and pushchairs is limited (with no access underground).

The site also has farmland where you can explore an ‘Edible England’ trail to see how many edible things you can spot. Visitors are welcome during the opening times.

The ‘Edible England’ trail will be on level ground, but across grass and mud paths. Appropriate footwear should be worn.

Access to the site, displays and ‘Edible England’ trail does not need booking. (But you do need to book the guided tour).

As a former mining site, much of the site can only be accessed on a guided tour for safety reasons.

You need to book online in advance for the guided tours as numbers are limited on each tour.

For more information about this heritage site visit the South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group’s website.


St. Mary’s Church, Thornbury

Castle Street, Thornbury, BS35 1HQ

Saturday 11 September 11am to 4pm

Blue sky, large church and trees

Visit this beautiful building steeped in history.

Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn came here on their honeymoon.

There is a fabulous bell tower with great surrounding views, examples of mini stained-glass windows.

There will also be craft stalls with produce from the Mothers Union Members.

You can stop here if you are out walking or on a bike ride.

Wheelchair and pushchair access (but not to the tower.). Disabled access toilet facilities.

Refreshments available.

No booking needed to visit the church. To book the church tower, email or phone 01454419082.

For more information about this heritage site visit the Thornbury Parish Church website.


Thornbury Town Hall

High Street, Thornbury, Bristol, BS35 2AR
Saturday 11 September 12pm to 4pm

Thornbury Town Hall

Guided tours of the building are available, with Councillors providing information on the history of the property and its current and former uses. A variety of artifacts of historic interest are available to view.

The ground and first floors are accessible by wheelchair users via lift, however the basement is only accessible by steps.

No booking required.

For more information visit


St Saviour’s Church, Coalpit Heath

Beesmoor Road, Coalpit Health, BS36 2RP

Friday 10 September 10am to 12pm
Saturday 11 September 10am to 4pm
Sunday 12 September 2pm to 4pm

Church and graveyard

St Saviour’s Church was designed by the Victorian architect William Butterfield and built in 1846.

It is the first Anglican church he designed and is of great architectural significance, this being recognised by its Grade II* listing.

The church will be open for self-guided tours and prayers. No booking needed.

There are two steps in the entrance. Ramps are available if needed for wheelchair and pushchair access.

There is a hearing loop (for the 10am service on Sunday).

Refreshments available.

For more information about this heritage site visit St Saviour’s Church Coalpit Health website.


Warmley Signal Box and Community Garden

High Street, Warmley

Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 12pm to 5pm

In line with ‘Edible England’ theme, there will be an exhibition linking the railway with the local chocolate industry. It will be called ‘The Chocolate Train’.

Public toilets nearby. The Signal Box area has wheelchair and pushchair access.

Refreshments at nearby Waiting Room Cafe.

No booking needed.

For more information about this heritage site visit our Warmley signal box page.


The Friends of William Champion’s Garden

Tower Road North, Warmley, BS30 8XN

Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 11am to 4pm

Giant stone Statue of Neptune in a green garden, with blue sky

This remarkable mid-18th century garden, created by industrialist William Champion, is a rare and virtually hidden treasure house.

Encounter the giant Statue of Neptune, once ruling over an island in the centre of a vast lake. Discover the fantastical, grotesque faces within the subterranean grotto, with candlelit tunnels and a cascade tumbling into a secluded pool.

Visit the ‘Echo Pond’ and ‘snail’ viewing mound and follow in Champions’ footsteps along the original Elm Walk.

The garden and its structures are all listed Grade II and together with Champion’s brass mill (Kingswood Heritage Museum), his pin factory (the Clock Tower) and Champion’s Grade II* house (Warmley House residential home) are designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

For people arriving by car or bike, the car park for the garden is via the entrance to Warmley House Residential Home on Tower Road North and will be signposted.

For people on foot, there is additional access via the gated entrance near Kingswood Heritage Museum on Tower Lane which is more suitable for pushchairs and anyone with additional mobility needs.

Refreshments available.

No booking needed.

For more information about this heritage site visit the Kingswood Heritage Museum website.


Please note: all details were correct at the time of publication. In case of changes to an event or cancellation we advise you check the individual venues website for the most up to date information.



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