Date issued: 18 September 2018
Colchester’s annual Heritage Open Days has been hailed a huge success for the town. This year the event ran over two weekends for the first time - the 8/9 and 15/16 September. Over thirty buildings of significant historical and architectural interest were involved in the celebration and more than 5,500 Colchester residents and visitors explored what the town had to offer as well as venturing further afield to Mersea Island and Wivenhoe.
Visitors took the opportunity to enjoy venues that are not usually open to the public, joined in with special guided tours and took part in activities and trails.
Colchester Castle threw its doors open for free on Saturday 8 September and welcomed over 2,200 people through the door.
Councillor Tim Young, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture, said: “I am thrilled at how many people took part and celebrated Heritage Open Days with us. The two weekends opened up so many opportunities to uncover the town's fascinating past, and all the feedback we have received has been very positive.
“Events like Heritage Open Days enable us to promote our town and showcase how much history and heritage resides in Colchester, Britain's oldest recorded town and ‘First City’. The extra tourists coming into the town over the two weekends generated extra income for local shops, restaurants and businesses across the Borough, creating a Better Colchester. I'm now looking forward to next year's event already!”
Heritage Open Days in Colchester is coordinated by Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service, with assistance from local heritage organisations and funding from Colchester Borough Council. It is part of the national event coordinated by the National Trust, with support from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, and is England’s contribution to European Heritage Days.