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Heritage Open Days 2017

Heritage Open Day Logo

7-10th September 2017

Celebrating History & Architecture across the Borough

Do you want to know a little more about our heritage? Heritage Open Days are your 'once a year chance' to explore the world on your doorstep, unlocked and completely FREE of charge.


From 7-10th September, volunteers invite you to experience hidden stories and architectural treasures in many properties across the Borough, for free.  Why not visit some of the properties that will be open this weekend or take part in a some of the free guided walks and tours on offer. 

Click here for a leaflet on Bedford's Heritage Open Day events


Here is a list of some of the properties taking part this year:


1. ‘I Never Knew That!’ Free Guided Walk around Bedford Town Centre

Meet at the Gold Post Box, St Paul's Square, Bedford, MK40 1SQ 

Saturday 9th: 11.00am to 12.30pm (max 20 people). Bedford has a story waiting to be told around every corner. Pre-Booking required: 01234 276257 or email sian.hughes@bedford.gov.uk



2.  Bedfordshire Archives: Behind the Scenes & Exhibitions

Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AP

Thursday 7th & Saturday 9th September: 10am to 4pm with tours taking place between 10am to 12pm & 2pm to 4pm - will last 45 minutes and set off every half hour.

Can be pre-booked: archive@bedford.gov.uk / 01234 228833. Meet in reception at Borough Hall.


St Paul's Church

3. St Paul’s Church: Guided Tours, Organ Recital and Bike ‘n Hike

St Paul’s Square, Bedford, MK40 1SQ

Saturday 9th: 10am to 6pm - Guided tours 10.30am and 2.30pm; Organ Recital: Adrian Gunning, St John the Evangelist Church, Islington 12pm to 12.40pm.

Open as usual on Friday 10am to 4 pm & Sunday 2pm to 4 pm for self guided tours. Refreshments all day Saturday.

See www.stpaulschurchbedford.org.uk for further details.

The Higgins


4. The Higgins Bedford:  ‘Take Flight’ Craft Activities

Sunday 10th: 11am to 4pm - craft activities at the ‘Have a Go with Harpur’ event in Bedford Park.  See http://www.harpurtrust.org.uk/ for further details.


5. The Panacea Museum: Panacea Propaganda – The Box in Print Exhibition and Talks

9 Newnham Road, Bedford, MK40 3NXPanacea Museum facade

Thursday 7th, Friday 8th & Saturday 9th: 11am to 5pm – view the Society’s campaign to ‘open the box’; explore the museum and attend a short talk on the box of prophecy. Talks are 2pm daily and must be pre-booked: museum@panaceatrust.org / 01234 353178.



6. John Bunyan Museum: Guided Tours, ‘Women of Bunyan’ Exhibition and Bike ‘n’ Hike

Mill Street, Bedford, MK40 3EUbunyan museum

Saturday 9th:11am to 3pm to visit the Library and Museum stores.  Guided tours of the Church under-croft on Saturday from 11am to 2.30pm every half hour; booking advised:

curator@bunyanmeeting.co.uk / 01234 270303.

Sunday 10th: 11am to 4pm - craft activities at the ‘Have a Go with Harpur’ event in Bedford Park. See http://www.harpurtrust.org.uk/ for further details.


ridgmont station

7. Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre: Heritage Centre, Exhibition and Vintage Tea Room

Station Road, Ridgmont, MK43 0XP (parking opposite the railway line)

Thursday 7th - Sunday 10th: 10am to 4pm. Features the original Victorian Booking Office & Vintage Tea Room. Special Marston Vale Line 170th Anniversary Exhibition ‘Steam & Diesel Through Time’. 

See http://bedsrcc.org.uk/ridgmont-station-heritagecentre for further details


8. Moot Hall, Elstow: Step into the World of John Bunyan

Church End, Elstow, Bedford, MK42 9XTmoot hall

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th: 1pm to 4pm - 17th Century market house set on the village green. Collection of 17th Century antiques and items relating to John Bunyan. Visitors may picnic or play self-organised games on the green.



9. BFoster Hill Cemetaryedford Cemetery: Themed Guided Walks & Burial Registers

The Gatehouse, Foster Hill Road, Bedford, MK41 7TD

Friday 8th: 3pm to 7pm – view records dating back to 1855 & visit the refurbished Victorian chapel / Saturday 9th: 10am to 12pm & 2pm to 4pm - guided walks on Crime and Punishment, The Panacea Graves and General Heritage.



Stevington Windmill

10. Stevington Windmill

2 Windmill Lane, Stevington, Bedfordshire, MK43 7QZ

Sunday 10th: 10am to 4pm - Built in the 18th Century and is probably the last windmill in Britain working with four common (cloth covered) sails. Find out more about the Windmill’s history and have a look around the internal workings of this impressive building.


11. Willington Dovecote: Tudor Architecture Tours, Dress Up and Activities Willington Dovecote

Church End, Willington, MK44 3PX

Sunday 10th: 1pm to 5pm – includes displays and tours of the buildings, tudor music and dress up plus fun family activities.




John Bunyan Community Boat

If you are visiting Bedford on Sunday 10th September, why not make a day of it and take a cruise on the John Bunyan Community Boat.  There are two options to choose from:

Trip A: 4 Hours and departs at 1.30pm - departs from Priory Marina through picturesque pastures, to discover Bedford’s unique pyramid! Navigate the Bedford Lock, and then see the 12th century mound of Bedford Castle before going under the historic town bridge, arriving at Sovereigns Quay to pick up Route 2.

Adult £15 Concession £13 Child £11 Family* £37

Trip B: 2 Hours and departs at 2.30pm - departs from Sovereigns Quay Cruise upriver past the stupendous Guru Nanak Gurdwara temple in Queens Park; past the double island, Hillgrounds and the canoe launching point, and get a glimpse of Kempston Mill.

Adult £11 Concession £9 Child £7 Family* £25

For more information, please either phone: 01946 817456 or visit http://www.johnbunyanboat.org/  


For further property and event listings in Bedfordshire, please go to: http://heritageopendays.org.uk/


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