Free festival to celebrate Horncastle’s heritage

St Mary's Church angel, Horncastle. EMN-191009-161323001
St Mary's Church angel, Horncastle. EMN-191009-161323001

Horncastle will play host to a day-long celebration of history as part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days festival on Saturday, September 14.

Volunteers from organisations across the town have worked together to create a packed programme of events, including talks, tours, exhibitions and children’s activities.

Class of 1900 at Watsons Infant School, Horncastle. EMN-191009-161312001

Class of 1900 at Watsons Infant School, Horncastle. EMN-191009-161312001

Meaning there is something for everyone, and all free of charge.

Dr Ian Marshman, chairman of Horncastle History & Heritage Society said: “We’ve planned events throughout Saturday to encourage people into Horncastle to explore the town and all the history we have to offer.

“It’s not just about the past either, by promoting Horncastle as an attractive place to visit, we hope it will also mean more people using the town’s shops and cafes.”

Visitors will also have the chance to visit places not usually accessible to the public.

Children enjoy botanical activities. EMN-191009-161334001

Children enjoy botanical activities. EMN-191009-161334001

This includes some of the best preserved sections of Horncastle’s Roman walls, and the beautiful grounds of Banovallum House besides the River Bain, both tucked away in the heart of the town.

Whilst children can take a fresh look at St Mary’s Church by picking up one of their new mini church spotter booklets to help uncover its fascinating history.

Students from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School have worked with volunteers from Horncastle History & Heritage Society to research and present an exhibition on some of the school’s famous former pupils.

Titled Radicals & Revolutionaries; the focus will be on pioneers like suffragette Connie Lewcock and the firebrand Arthur Thislewood who was executed for treason in 1820 after plotting to overthrow the government in the cause of freedom.

Horncastle’s natural history will also be in the spotlight, with staff from London’s Natural History Museum giving a talk at Banovallum House, as well as hands-on botanical activities from the Wildlife Trust and tours of their historic grounds.

There will also be an exhibition at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre, and a chance to see the work taking place to create the new Lincolnshire Herbarium as part of the #LoveLincsPlants project.

There will also be the opportunity to relive your school days at the Georgian Watson Infant School tucked away behind West Street.

With members of Horncastle History & Heritage Society holding an exhibition looking at all of the town’s historic schools, using material from their archives.

Young and old alike will also be able to have a go at some old fashioned children’s games.

A selection of Roman artefacts from the Society’s collection will also be on display at Horncastle Library.

Here is a programme of events:

• Roman Horncastle Revealed, 9am-1pm, Horncastle Library, Wharf Road - Discover Horncastle’s ancient origins with a display of local artefacts. Guided tours of town’s Roman walls at 10am and 1pm (booking for tours is required, call 01507 524727).

• Watson’s Infant School 10am-4pm, Watsons Yard, West Street - Visit Horncastle’s first infant school, built to teach the Georgian market town’s poorest children. Displays will share photos and memories of Horncastle’s schools. Plus playground games for young and old to try!

• Horncastle’s Radicals & Revolutionaries 10am-1pm, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, West Street - A chance to visit Horncastle’s oldest school and discover some of the revolutionary characters educated here including a pioneer suffragette.

• St Mary’s Church 10am-4pm, Church Lane - Explore our many treasures just waiting to be discovered. Let your children become young detectives with their own Mini Church Spotter booklets. You’ll be amazed by the stories St Mary’s has to tell…

• Sir Joseph Banks Centre - The New Lincolnshire Herbarium 10am-4pm, Bridge Street - A display of plants collected for ‘Love Lincolnshire Plants Project’ together with an exhibition about Sir Joseph Banks.

• #LoveLincsPlants: Plant Wisdom & Folklore 11am-4pm Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Banovallum House, Manor House Street - Open Day celebrating the love of Lincolnshire’s rich botanical heritage. Activities include learning about old techniques like scything, talks on plant lore & modern uses of specimens. Plus guided tours of the historic grounds. The Natural History Museum will also be on hand.

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