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Host of historic buildings and locations open in west Suffolk as part of Heritage Open Days

PUBLISHED: 21:45 25 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:30 05 September 2018

Bardwell Windmill

Bardwell Windmill

A P Stokes

From the ancient library in the Cathedral, in Bury St Edmunds, to the town’s Suffolk Regiment Museum, and from Rougham Hall to Clare Castle - these are just a handful of the many iconic locations which will be open to the public as part of Heritage Open Days.

Guildhall, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: EMMA MARTINGuildhall, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: EMMA MARTIN

The event celebrates local heritage with free walks, talks, tours and displays in west Suffolk and will be held for two weekends from Thursday to Sunday, September 6 to 9 and September 13 to 16.

People can visit a huge variety of fascinating destinations including the windmill at Bardwell, the

Theatre Royal, St Edmunds Farmer’s Club, the Quaker’s Meeting House, the Guildhall, St Edmunds Catholic Church and Chapel, the Athenaeum and Rede Hall Farm.

For the two weekends places and sites of historical interest will be open to the public for free.

Rede Hall. Picture: EMMA MARTINRede Hall. Picture: EMMA MARTIN

This year marks the Vote 100 anniversary and the Bury St Edmunds’ Quakers are opening their

historic 18th century Meeting House and gardens with an opportunity to learn about the lives of local and national Quaker women.

The Guildhall will host a selection of talks, enactments and workshops from the stories of significant women of Bury St Edmunds, whilst St Edmunds Catholic Church and Chapel, one of the

oldest in England, will display exhibitions of memorabilia relating to those women who have etched their place in local Catholic history.

Suffolk Regiment Museum. Picture: EMMA MARTINSuffolk Regiment Museum. Picture: EMMA MARTIN

This year visitors are able to step inside the story of Rougham Hall with an historical talk by George Agnew followed by a walk through the ruins, parkland and gardens.

Other historic explorations include a walk around Clare’s natural and man-made heritage, including Clare Castle, the Nuttery and Clare Common, and there is also a chance to admire Bury St Edmunds from the roof of the Suffolk Regiment Museum.

Children and adults will become starry-eyed over the solar observation and astronomy workshops at the Athenaeum; get hands-on with craft with woollen cloth and embroidery at the Guildhall and visit the home of the Suffolk Punch, Rede Hall Farm, to explore the farm and the living heritage of Suffolk.

Other highlights include historian Pat Murrell’s talk on the original Cupola House, documenting its history up to its destruction by fire in June 2012, and a rare opportunity to view the paintings of John Ward at Palace House, in Newmarket.

Rougham Hall. Picture: EMMA MARTINRougham Hall. Picture: EMMA MARTIN

Established in 1994, Heritage Open Days is England’s contribution to the European Heritage Days and has over the years grown into the country’s largest heritage festival.

For more details on any of the events call the Tourist Information Centre, based at The Apex, on 01284 758000 or visit

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