The national organisers of Heritage Open Days have confirmed they will be going ahead with this year’s celebrations, which are due to take place from the 11-20 September.
Heritage Open Days have become a firm fixture in the heritage calendar for many years now, but this year the festival will be going digital for the first time in its history.
Venues across the country usually throw open their doors for free and many events are put on by wonderful volunteers to showcase and celebrate the country’s fantastic history and culture. Those venues that can open safely according to Government guidance will do so, but the vast majority of the 2020 festival will now take place online with various events on offer.
In Colchester several short films have been specially made on local buildings and their stories such as Colchester Castle, Holy Trinity Church, the Roman Theatre, St John’s Abbey Gatehouse and St Mary’s, Wivenhoe. In addition, there are virtual tours of Gosbecks Archaeological Park, Roman Colchester, the Civil War Siege and the town’s Roman Wall.
Only a very small number of venues have been able to open their doors in line with Government guidance, including Roman Circus House where there is an exhibition entitled ‘Street of Tombs’, Boxted Airfield Museum and St James the Great Church.
Get involved in this year’s celebrations and lend your support to this fantastic national celebration. Head to www.visitcolchester.com/HODS20 to see which venues are open, find out details of virtual guided open-air tours around Colchester, and watch a number of videos exploring Colchester’s rich and varied heritage.
Colchester Castle will be supporting this year’s festival by offering all participants 25% off Castle entry. To claim the discount simply screenshot the voucher on www.visitcolchester.com/HODS20 and present it when you visit the Castle or quote the discount code over the phone to claim the discount.
Councillor Julie Young, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Performance and Deputy Leader of the Council says, “Heritage Open Days provides a great opportunity for both residents and visitors to learn more about Colchester’s staggering heritage. Although the celebrations will be different this year, there is still a wealth of information to be discovered about Britain’s First City.
"It also gives residents the opportunity to discover other heritage hotspots across the country, something they wouldn’t usually be able to access. So, get online and support both our local and national heritage and culture.”
Heritage Open Days in Colchester is coordinated by Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service with support from local heritage organisations.