Places To Visit For Free During Heritage Open Days In September

Heritage Open Days (HOD) are England’s biggest festival of history and culture, involving over 40,000 volunteers. Each year in September, thousands of sites across the country invite you in to explore local treasures of every age, style and function, and many special events are held.

It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all FREE.

There’s lots going on in our area and we’ve picked out 6 events to give you a taste of what’s happening. You can view the full programme of events on the Heritage Open Day’s website.

‘People Power’ Guided House Tour

Sunday 15 September: 1:00 – 1:45 pm & 2:30 – 3:15 pm

Go behind the scenes of Bagshaw Museum and Wilton Park this Heritage Open Day!

Join our volunteer guides for a fascinating tour focusing on ‘People Power’; the men and women who have shaped the history of Wilton Park and Bagshaw Museum.


Crow Nest Park

Sunday 15 September: 10.30am and 3:30pm

Friday 20 September: 10.30am

Not just a walk around a Grade II listed Park but a guided tour with information and context of the artifacts located there which were shaped by people of the town.

This local landmark was bought by the Dewsbury Corporation in 1893 for ‘the pleasure and enjoyment of the people of Dewsbury’. The guided walk (about one hour) will start from the Mansion House.

This imposing building with its great views over the town was the residence of the Hague family who sold the Park to the Corporation. As well as the building, there are several artifacts that mark the development of the town over the years. The people of Dewsbury have made their mark on our history.

crow nest park

Tours of Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 14 September: Tours at 09:30am , 11:00am, 1:30pm, 3:00pm

Guided tours of Huddersfield Town Hall, including an opportunity to see areas of the building not normally open to members of the public

Highlights of the tour will include the Concert Hall and Father Willis organ, the Old Court Room and the basement cells. Tours will last for approximately one hour. Please report to Huddersfield Town Hall reception at least five minutes before the advertised start time of the tour you have booked on.

Booking is essential. Email:
or Phone 01484 223200, press 3 (Huddersfield Tourist Information Centre option).  

huddersfield town hall

Luddites at Cleckheaton Library

Saturday 21 September: 10.30am to 12.30pm

Why did working men called croppers swear an oath of secrecy and take the law into their own hands in 1812? See our display, hear a short illustrated talk from Georgina Hutchison and meet a Luddite!

Cleckheaton is close to the scene of violent Luddite uprisings in 1812, an example of people power that had an unhappy ending. The Friends of Cleckheaton Library are celebrating with a display about the Luddites in Spen Valley. We welcome Georgina Hutchison, author of “Under the Canopy of Heaven”, a meticulously-researched novel about Luddite George Mellor.

After a short illustrated talk at 11am, Georgina will be available for questions and individual book signing. We’ll also have the pleasure of Luddite re-enactor Alan Brooke from ‘Fraid Not who’ll explain what it was like to be a Luddite.


Greenhead Park: Thomas Denham’s vision

Sunday 22 September: Walk 2:30pm

Huddersfield’s premier public park opened in 1884, but Alderman Thomas Denham had come up with a detailed vision for it back in 1869. 150 years later, ‘Thomas Denham’ returns to escort visitors round the park and set out his dream in person.

Greenhead Park is an attractive Grade II listed Victorian town park which has been restored to its former glory thanks to a multi-million pound Heritage Lottery funded project. It was the vision of Alderman Thomas Denham, memorialised by a plaque on the Park Lodge as the man who ‘secured the Park for the town’.

Alderman Denham set out his ideas for a park for the people of Huddersfield in a letter to the Huddersfield Examiner in 1869, and will be making an ‘appearance’ 150 years on to guide visitors round the park and spell out his vision. Park historian David Griffiths will be on hand too to explain how far Denham’s ideas are reflected in the Park as it is today.

Booking is essential. Email:
or Phone 01484 223200, press 3 (Huddersfield Tourist Information Centre option). 


Huddersfield Library – behind the scenes

Thursday 19 September: Tours 11:00am and 3:00pm

90 minute tours of the Library, including West Yorkshire Archives and areas (and material) usually closed to the public.

Huddersfield Library was designed by Edward H. Ashburner and opened to the public on 15 April 1940. This tour will allow visitors to see parts of the library normally closed to the public, including stack areas and the West Yorkshire Archive Service stores, as well as selections of material from the collections of Huddersfield Local Studies Library and West Yorkshire Archive Service (Kirklees).

Booking is essential. Email:
or Phone 01484 223200, press 3 (Huddersfield Tourist Information Centre option). 

huddersfield library

One comment

  • For three of these events, booking is required – the tours of Huddersfield Library, Huddersfield Town hall and Greenhead Park. Bookings must be made at the Visitor Information Point (VIP), Huddersfield Library, Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield, HD1 2SU; Phone: 01484 223200, press 3 (Huddersfield Tourist Information Centre option); Email: The VIP’s opening hours are: Mon – Fri 9 AM – 5 PM, Sat 10 AM – 4 PM. If you don’t book you may, regrettably, be turned away as capacity is limited.
    David Griffiths, for Kirklees HOD Committee.

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