VISITORS will get a rare chance to see inside historic buildings when they throw open their doors at the end of next week.

More than 2,500 properties across England - including 200 in Yorkshire - are opening free of charge for this year's Heritage Open Days.

In Huddersfield, visitors will be able to climb to the top of Lindley Clock Tower and see behind the scenes of the Lawrence Batley Theatre.

English Heritage expects more than 800,000 people will take part in the open days, on September 12 to 15.

The annual event is co-ordinated by the Civic Trust, with the support of English Heritage.

David Fraser, English Heritage regional director, said: "These open days are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the region's rich history.

"Marvellous churches, industrial relics, Georgian bathhouses, a Moravian settlement - even a Victorian mortuary - are just some of the attractions taking part, many open to the public for the first time."

Heritage Open Days also include walks and talks on architecture and culture, art collections, special exhibitions and concerts.

The oldest building in Holmfirth will be among those opening.

Th'owd Towser in Daisy Lane was built in 1597 and served as a jail, fire station, an ambulance station and a constable's office.

Elland Parish Church will show its hidden history.

All Saints' Church, on Savile Road, will open its doors on September 13 and 14.

It is part of a programme of events to celebrate the church's centenary. Fr David Burrows, Vicar of All Saints, said: "The church remains in many ways a hidden gem. Yet it is a moving testimony to the best of human endeavour in architecture and art."

Objects of interest include eight statues of saints, which were given to the church 100 years ago.

The statues were recently restored by the original firm of wood carvers, based in Italy.

Also worth seeing are the refurbished hanging rood cross, the copper fleche and the roof, which has undergone a major repair programme.

The church open weekend has been organised by its church council.

Civic Trust chief executive Martin Bacon said: "Heritage Open Days provide an opportunity to see behind the façades of all sorts of buildings and find out more about local and national architecture.

"It's a fantastic event, run by a vast network of volunteers.

"Many of the attractions are not usually open to the public, so it really is a valuable opportunity for people to know something new about the community."

A full list of properties and activities can be seen at  or by phoning 08700 100 150



Batley Cemetery, Cemetery Road: Art in the Cemetery. A competition in which artists and photographers are invited to depict features of the cemetery and a guided walk on heritage open days. Meet at the Twin Chapels. Sat and Sun 10am to 4pm.

Batley Parish Church, Stocks Lane: 13th-15th century church, 15th-16th century oak screens. 15th century tomb of Sir William and Lady Anne Mirfield, unusual tower parapet. Sun 10am to 3pm.

St Paul's Church, Hanging Heaton: Grade II early Victorian church. Notable tower. Guided tour of tower on request. Sat 10am to 4pm, Sun noon to 4pm.

The Twin Chapels, Batley Cemetery, Cemetery Road: The newly restored Victorian Twin Chapels are Grade ll listed and are a thriving, multi-purpose venue. Fri Sat Sun Mon 10am to 4pm. There will be an art exhibition on Sat and Sun.


Dewsbury Minster, Rishworth Road: Dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, recently refurbished, displays of vestments, registers, silverware and local history. Sat 9.30am to 3pm, tours 11am and 1pm. Sun 2pm to 4pm, tour 2.30pm.

Lees Hall, Lees Hall Road, Thornhill Lees: 15th century, timber-framed house with 17th century stone-built addition. Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 11am to 6pm.

Living History Weekend, Thornhill Parish Church, Church Lane: Sealed Knot in series of small themed areas around life in the English Civil War period. Fri, Sat, Sun 10am to 4pm.

Thornhill Parish Church, Church Lane: Medieval church, recently restored, containing monuments dating to Saxon times, stained glass from about 1600, plus Victorian architecture. Fri, Sat, Sun 10am to 4pm. A concert with a £5 entry charge on Saturday at 7.30pm, with medieval music by Estampe.


All Saints' Church, Savile Road: Early 20th century church. Grade ll* listed building described as a masterpiece of architectural skill with copper fleche and magnificent statuary. Sat 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm, Sun 2pm to 4pm.

Clay House, Rochdale Road, West Vale: Former yeoman clothier's house, reclad in stone in the 17th century with barn (private) and small park. Sun 1.15pm to 5pm.

Lecture and slide show at Clay House on buildings in the landscape of the Calder Valley. Sun 1.30pm.

Clay House tour: Short tour of former mill village. Sun 3pm. 1500.

St Mary's Church, The Cross, Elland: 12th century church with original chancel arch, medieval east window and Norman bell-cote. Sun 2pm to 4pm. Organ recital (£5 entry) on Fri at 7.30pm with Phillip Tordoff.


Lydgate Chapel, Holmfirth Road, New Mill: Chapel and schoolroom. Sat and Sun 10am to 4pm.

Th'owd Towser, Daisy Lane, Holmfirth: Sat and Sun 10am to 4pm.

Wooldale Quaker Meeting House, Pell Lane: 1783 meeting house, including meeting room and gallery. Graveyard, ancient sundial and parish boundary wall. Sat and Sun 11.30am to 4.30pm.

Beaumont Park talk, Huddersfield Technical College main building, New North Road: John Ross, of the Friends of Beaumont Park, will be giving a talk about the park and its restoration. Mon 7.45pm.

Colne Valley Museum, Cliffe Ash, Golcar: Museum in restored handweaver's cottage. Includes The Joys of Needlework, a retrospective exhibition by Huddersfield Embroiderers' Guild. Sat and Sun 2pm to 5pm.

High Flatts Friends Quaker Meeting House, 9 Quaker Bottom: Very early meeting house (c1652/4). Situated in a hamlet which was, until recently, exclusively Quaker owned. Visit the building, have a look at some records and talk to the Quakers. Fri and Mon 10am to 4.30pm, Sat 10am to 5pm, Sun noon to 5pm.

Huddersfield town centre walks: Guided walks detailing interesting aspects of the town's history and architecture. Flexible itinerary, depending on visitors' interest. Meet outside the railway station. Sun 10.30am.

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield: Opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn the secrets of the former Wesleyan chapel. Tours 10.15am, 11.15am and 12.15pm. Booking essential on 01484 430528.

Lindley Clock Tower, Lidget Street: Art nouveau clock tower designed by Edgar Wood. Climb the 69 steps to inspect the clock working and enjoy the views. Sat Sun 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Putting Honley on the Map, Parish Rooms, Church Street, Honley: Event placing Honley in time and space by exhibition of historic and contemporary maps. Sat 10am to 4pm, Sun 11am to 4pm.

Beaumont Park, Beaumont Park Road: Walk in Victorian park which has many hidden corners of interest. Meet at the park house. Sun 2pm. Access to some areas difficult, dogs and children welcome.

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