Hundreds of volunteers across the county are hard at work preparing for Lincolnshire’s biggest festival of history and local culture.
Lincolnshire Heritage Open Days returns from 7th to the 10th September with over 150 exciting events, and all completely free of charge.
Tours of historic buildings that are rarely open to the public are already filling up fast, so head to the Heritage Lincolnshire website to plan your days out Heritage Open Day brochure
Free festival brochures are also available from local libraries and tourist information centres.
Liz Bates, CEO of the charity Heritage Lincolnshire, which coordinates the event said: “The festival is now in its 24th year and we’re delighted that it has grown to become one of the largest Heritage Open Days programmes outside of London.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming tens of thousands of visitors again this year.”
Ian Marshman from the charity also said: “There really is so much to see throughout the long weekend its best to start planning early. With no admission charges for any of the events, there’s also no better time to explore the fascinating historic places that Lincolnshire has to offer.
The theme for this year’s festival is Freedom, Justice and Equality, to mark the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest, which restored historic rights and freedoms to common people.
So look out for events that celebrate hard won freedoms, historic crimes and cruel punishments.
In Horncastle there are events revealing the town's dark history including the invention of the “long drop” method of execution, tours of its old police cells and even its Victorian brothels!
In Lincoln you can follow in the footsteps of a prisoner of conscience during WWI, or retrace the medieval Battle of Lincoln Fair in the company of local experts.
Many towns have arranged rare access to historic courts, prison cells and dungeons, including Grimsby, Boston, Market Rasen, and Stamford. Whilst at the Holbeach Cemetery Chapels there will be displays about poachers, prisoners and the unnatural deaths of those buried there. Gainsborough’s brand new Museum of Crime and Punishment will also be opening its doors to visitors.
Other events will shine a spotlight on the stories of generations of Lincolnshire men and women who fought for the freedoms we all enjoy today.
From Anne Askew burnt at the stake in 1520, to the Mayflower Pilgrims, John Wesley the founder of Methodism, and Lincoln’s Caroline Martyn who fought for Victorian workers’ rights.
The festival is a great time to try something new or take the family on a budget friendly day out, since many of Lincolnshire’s top historic attractions open for free.
In Lincoln you can explore the magnificent Cathedral and enjoy children’s crafts.
All five of the National Trust's sites in the county are also taking part, including the mighty Tattershall Castle, stately Belton House, and Woolsthorpe Manor where Isaac Newton made his famous discoveries.
English Heritage are also granting free entry to their macabre Buried Lives exhibition in Barton upon Humber.
Another highlight is the Lincoln Heritage Music Festival held across two of the city’s ancient churches on Saturday and Sunday, which features performers from across the county and further afield.
Heritage Lincolnshire would like to thank the ten local authorities of Greater Lincolnshire for their contributions to funding the festival brochure, and the 600+ volunteers and staff who organise events across the county.