Heritage Open Days: Free access to S Yorks sites

Sheffield City Hall
Sheffield City Hall
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Historic buildings across South Yorkshire are preparing to open their doors to the public as part of a nationwide celebration.

Heritage Open Days, organised by English Heritage, celebrates England’s architecture and culture by allowing visitors free access to historical landmarks which are usually closed or charge an entrance fee.

Buildings across South Yorkshire taking part this year include Sheffield City Hall, St Peter’s Church in Conisbrough – the oldest building in the county – Mansion House in Doncaster, Boston Castle in Rotherham and Monk Bretton Priory.

The event will take place across four days next month, from Thursday to Sunday, September 12 to 15.

Behind-the-scenes tours will be available at The Lantern Theatre in Nether Edge, Sheffield, the city’s oldest working theatre

Kevin Jackson, chairman of the theatre’s resident amateur theatre group Dilys Guite Players, said: “At 120 years old this year, and as a Grade II-listed building, it is a vital and unique part of Sheffield’s heritage.

“With only 84 seats, it is an intimate and atmospheric space.

“Members of the players will take guests on behind the scenes tours where they will be able to experience standing in the spotlight on our beautiful Victorian stage, wearing some of our favourite costumes, all while hearing about the fascinating story of the building and those who have cared for it.”

Guided tours of Sheffield Town Hall will be available on the Sunday. Visitors will be taken on a tour of all the main rooms, including the Lord Mayor’s parlour.

Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council cabinet member for culture, said: “We are pleased the annual Heritage Open Days will once again include a tour of the town hall.

“These tours give people the opportunity to learn more about this beautiful landmark building in the heart of the city centre.”

Loyd Grossman, patron of Heritage Open Days, said: “Everyone loves taking a peek behind closed doors and these four days offer a great way for people to connect with the history on their doorstep.

“England is steeped in history, but while we’re all aware of the major, iconic landmarks, there are hundreds of hidden heritage sites we simply don’t notice.

“Heritage Open Days bring these places alive, and give people the chance to really become aware of the history that surrounds them.”

For details and opening times of all the sites, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk.