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Heritage Open Days

Historic buildings, churches and venues across West Northamptonshire will be open to the public for free from Friday 9 to Sunday 18 September, as part of the national Heritage Open Days event, including exciting events and new campaigns.

The initiative is a once-a-year opportunity to explore some of the area’s unique historic buildings and sites, many of which are usually restricted access or charge for entry, finding out about West Northamptonshire’s vibrant culture and heritage like never before.

Register your site for Heritage Open Days

To register your historic site or event for Heritage Open Days, so we can feature you on this website and across our social media channels promoting the event, please email [email protected].

Heritage Open Days attractions

Experience a 30-minute guided tour of The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House at 78 Derngate and see original features among some astonishing and unique interiors in an ordinary Georgian house made extraordinary by the world-renowned Glaswegian architect, artist and designer.

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House @ 78 Derngate
Northampton
NN1 1UH

Friday 16 September
1:30pm until 4:00pm
Booking essential 01604 603407
Children’s activities? No

Visit this impressive church in the heart of Northampton town centre and discover a little more about its links to the USA. Lawrence Washington was the Mayor of Northampton between 1532 and 1545 and is a direct ascendant of the Washingtons of Virginia. The mother of George Washington was descended from a prominent All Saints Church family.

All Saints Church
George Row
Northampton
NN1 1DF

Open all days
No booking required
Children’s activities: No

Brackley Town Hall and the Loft will be open for viewing to the public. Brackley Town Hall was opened in 1707 as a civic chamber and assembly room. The building is a Wren-inspired Grade II* listed building at the heart of Brackley town centre.

Brackley Town Hall
Market Square
Brackley
N13 7AB

Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September
10:00am until 4:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: No

Unlock the local stories of Britain’s canals. Head to Blisworth Tunnel and discover its industrial significance with our knowledgeable guide, or visit our historic narrowboat Sculptor to learn more about her colourful past from volunteers who still work on her today. Handle unique objects from our collection in the museum.

The Canal Museum
Bridge Road
Stoke Bruerne
Towcester
NN12 7SE

Saturday 17 September and Sunday 18 September
11:00am until 3:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: Yes

Visit the medieval church and enjoy recorded music to transport you to the magic and myths of Camelot. Take a pew, close your eyes, and listen to excerpts of King Arthur, by Purcell and John Dryden, in the fantastic acoustics of the priory church.

National Trust Canons Ashby
Canons Ashby, nr Daventry
NN11 3SD

Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September
10:00am until 4:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities? No 

A national treasure, an icon of Northamptonshire and a building of international significance presents our visitors with the wow factor!

The church has seen more than 150,000 visitors from around the world since 1982. 

Recent conservation of stained-glass windows and brilliant updating of the military ‘Soldiers Chapel’.

Holy Sepulchre Church
Sheep Street
Northampton

Saturday 10 September
10:00am until 4:00pm

Sunday 11 September
12:00pm until 4:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: No

Two-hour boat trips along the Grand Union Canal. Commentary about the canal history, from Blisworth via Gayton and return 

Grand Union Canal
Blisworth

Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September
10:00am until 12:00pm and 2:00pm until 4:00pm

Two-hour boat trips along the River Nene, starting just below Northampton Lock in Becket’s Park, commentary on the local history around the waterway.

Saturday 17 September and Sunday 18 September
10:00 am until 12:00pm and 2:00pm until 4:00pm

Booking required at Crusader Community Boating.
Children’s activities: No

The Daventry experiment and the birth of radar.

In 1935 the detection of aircraft by radio means was proven possible in the Daventry Experiment, significantly contributing towards winning the Battle of Britain and changing the outcome of World War Two. The museum will recreate the experiment, demonstrating how radar works and tell the story of its discovery.

Daventry Museum
3 New Street
Daventry
NN11 4BT

Saturday 17 September
10:00am until  4:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: Yes

The house will be open for free on both days (no need to pre-book), with the option to book onto a variety of tours of the Abbey for an additional price. We will also be joined by Northamptonshire Battlefields Society in our Coach House.

Our popular Classics on the Lawn event will take place on the Sunday. On that day there will be a charge for car parking.

Delapre Abbey
London Road
Northampton
NN4 8AW

Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September
11:00am until 4:00pm

 Booking required at Delapre Abbey
Children’s activities? Yes – interactive elements and games inside the Abbey
Classics on the Lawn will be family-friendly

The church will be open for visitors and its altar frontals and ‘treasures’ will be on display. There will be guided tours of the churchyard, looking at war graves, and there will be a talk about the church on Sunday afternoon. Refreshments available, background musical entertainment.

Church Walk off Market Square
Daventry
NN11 4BL

Saturday 17 September     
10:00am until 4:00pm

Sunday 18 September 
11:30am until 4:00pm. Talk: 2:00pm

No booking required
Children’s activities? Yes – artwork for children

Jeyes of Earls Barton will be open all week with a variety of heritage events taking place during the festival. We will hopefully be welcoming the heritage buses on the first weekend.

Jeyes of Earls Barton
27 The Square
Earls Barton
N6 0NA

Open all days
9:00am-5:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: No

The Society stand will be out with models of the battlefields and period equipment. It will be offering historical talks on a range of subjects in the Coach House and regular battlefield tours.

Delapre Abbey
London Road
Northampton
NN4 8AW

Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September
11:00am until 4:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: No 

A rare chance to see the spectacular interiors of the Guildhall, built 1861-64 to the designs of EW Godwin and extended in 1889-92 in similar style by AW Jeffery and M Holding. This is a wonderful example of Victorian architecture.

Hourly tours starting at midday, the final tour starts at 4:00pm.

Guildhall
St Giles Square
Northampton
NN1 1DE

Sunday 18 September
12:00pm until 4:00pm
Bookings will be taken on the day
Children’s activities? No

Now in its 20th year, the Heritage Fair brings together many varied groups, showcasing just some of the many interesting things we have locally. Displays, demonstrations and more, something for everyone! The museum sites will be linked by a classic bus service.

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery
Guildhall Road
Northampton
N1 1DP
and
Abington Park Museum
Northampton
NN1 5LW

Sunday 11 September
10:00am until 4:00
No booking required
Children’s activities: Yes

Free bus services using classic and heritage buses to link venues and locations participating in the event.

George Row
Northampton
NN1

Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September
9:30am until 5:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities? No

We hope to be running a restored steam locomotive plus several industrial diesels. Train rides on our line through the country park. The museum will be open for viewing with different projects under restoration.

Hunsbury Hill Road
Camp Hill
Northampton NN4 9UW

Saturday 10 September, Sunday 11 September, Saturday 17 September, Sunday 18 September
10:00am until 5:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: No (other than family rides on the train)

The story of the Queen Eleanor Cross, one of only three remaining of the twelve originally built by King Edward I in memory of his wife. The story of the 1460 Battle of Northampton will then be told at the nearby battlefield site.

Tours coincide with the Heritage Bus.

The Eleanor Cross
London Road
Northampton

Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September
10:00am until 4:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: No

A parish church dating back to the 13th century with early 17th century memorials  to the Harvey family and an 18th century monument by Rysbrack. The church has many memorial plaques to Hardingstone and Delapré families and tombs of the Tate family. Under the altar will be uncovered this weekend.

St Edmund’s Church
High Street
Hardingstone
N4 6BZ

Friday 9 September, Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September
9:00am until 5:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: Yes

The building was designed by local architect Matthew Henry Holding in 13th Century Gothic style. The foundation stone was laid on St Matthew’s Day in 1891. The church was dedicated on St Matthew’s Day two years later, 21 September 1893. Artworks include Henry Moore’s Madonna and Graham Sutherland’s Crucifixion.

St Matthew’s Church
St Matthew’s Parade
Northampton
NN2 7HF

Friday 9 September, Saturday 10 September, Sunday 11 September, Friday 16 September, Saturday 17 September, Sunday 18 September

12:30pm until 4:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: Worksheet available

Hosted by Siri Guru Singh Sabha Northampton and the Sikh Community Centre and Youth Club, this is an opportunity to have a tour of the inside of a Sikh place of worship and learn about the Sikh faith and way of life. There is also the opportunity to see the Sikh Museum Northampton, containing exhibitions and artefacts from the Sikh faith.

35-37 St James Mill Road
St James
Northampton
N5 5JW

Sunday 18 September

1:00pm to 2:00pm (tours will take place every 30 mins)
No booking required  
Children’s activities? Yes

Towcester Mill Brewery will be holding a Brewery Open Day, giving visitors the chance to see inside the brewery and experience the sights and smells of the brewing process. There will be street food and live music throughout the day and talks on all things malt and hops!

Chantry Lane
Towcester
NN12 6YY

Saturday 10 September 
11:00am until 5:00pm
No booking required
Children’s activities: No

Attending attractions and events

Look out for the brochure which will be available this summer - among the sites that have taken part in the past are Northampton's Guildhall and Holy Sepulchre Church, Blisworth's Canal Museum and Daventry Museum.

Many participating venues will be linked up by the much-loved Heritage Bus Service, so visitors can enjoy a free ride on a classic bus, with buses departing from George Row in the town centre. Watch this space for more information as we plan this exciting campaign.

Find out what's happening nationwide on the Heritage Open Days website.

Last updated 14 June 2022