Free heritage events across the county over four-day festival event

Gunby Hall is amongst the 180 sites open for free this weekend EMN-160509-154227001
Gunby Hall is amongst the 180 sites open for free this weekend EMN-160509-154227001

Take a peak at some of the county’s hidden heritage at the Lincolnshire Heritage Open Days, September 8 to 11.

The festival will encompass heritage sites, buildings, nature reserves, towns and villages, many under the heading of Natural Lincolnshire.

Events on offer over the four days (September 8 to 11) range from tours of haunted Old King’s Head in Kirton and a new Heritage Music Microfestival to a rare opening of Dowsby Hall and Gardens.

There will be lots of guided walks and talks to choose from, such as the International Bomber Command Spire Memorial, Lincolnshire’s Lost River, Willow Tree Fen Bat Walk, together with a rare guided tour of Torksey Castle.

Five national properties will open, including Tattershall Castle and Gunby Hall on Sunday.

‘We love throwing Gunby’s gates wide open for free to everyone on our annual Heritage Open Day,” said Gunby Visitor Experience Manager Astrid Gatenby.

“We often welcome lots of local people who’ve not been to Gunby before.

“Many visitors enjoy the property so much that they decide to sign up with our team and become members of National Trust that day.”

On Saturday afternoon, there is the rare opportunity to see a historical plant and pump, built in Lincoln, that helped drain Lincolnshire’s Fens.

Witham First District Internal Drainage Board is opening its Timberland Diesel Pumping Station, on the bank of the River Witham between Tattershall Bridge and Kirkstead Bridge.

Together with various static displays, the engine and its pump will be working, as will a RB10 dragline similar to those that excavated many drains around the county.

Also on display will be photographs of some of the people who helped dig and maintain the rivers and flood defences.

Over at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre there will be an exhibition commemorating the centenary of the first tank action, during the Battle of the Somme.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Tattershall Thorpe venue will have displays by the Friends of the Lincoln Tank, the British Model Soldier Society and the Miniature Armoured Fighting Vehicle Association.

The important ‘Somme 1916’ film, made on the battlefield 100 years ago, will also be shown on both days.

Lincolnshire Heritage Open Days Festival is organised by Heckington-based charity Heritage Lincolnshire.

“Year after year, Lincolnshire’s Heritage Open Days prove a real winner with local people and visitors as they provide free, unique opportunities to go behind the scenes of heritage venues and discover the region’s hidden histories,” said Beverley Gormley, Heritage Lincolnshire’s Cultural Events Officer.

“This year we’re very pleased to include a Heritage Music Microfestival at St Mary le Wigford church in Lincoln.

“The music festival kicks off at 7.30pm on Friday September 9, with De Mowbray’s Musicke and continues throughout the weekend.”

Full details of all the events can be found in the festival brochure, available from tourist information centres, libraries and heritage sites or downloaded from