It’s Heritage Open Days time again! Farnham will once again be celebrating this increasingly popular occasion, inviting visitors to come and explore the town’s best buildings and beautiful green spaces, and the good news is that all visits are free!
All the details with essential information about booking, are in the lavishly-illustrated brochure, available online from www.farnhamsociety.org.uk, or www.farnham.gov.uk, or by picking up one of the 5000 paper copies distributed around the town and surrounding area.
Due to its increasing popularity, Heritage Open Days nationally this year will be taking place over two 4-day periods instead of just one. The first will run from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th September, and the second from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th September.
Farnham’s 2018 theme is centred on the town’s green spaces, with guided walks, ‘virtual walks’ for the less mobile, and opportunities to visit gardens and open spaces large and small around the town, ranging from the open spaces of the park to the tiny desert garden framing the entrance to the Crafts Study Centre in Falkner Road. Look for the green leaf symbol in the brochure!
Another theme is the centenary of the passing of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which for the first time gave some women a vote, and Dr Chris Wiley will be giving a talk on Dame Ethel Smyth, composer and Suffragette who wrote the anthem ‘March of the Women’.
Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September
Farnham is kicking off Heritage Open Days celebrations on Saturday 8th September with invitations to visit the Rural Life Centre in Tilford for craft demonstrations, hands-on activities and guided tours, and the magnificent mansion Waverley Abbey House for tours and the chance to walk round the historic grounds and lake, with views of the abbey ruins across the fields.
On Sunday 9th September, Farnham’s most important and oldest building, the Norman castle will be open all day from 11am-5pm with unmissable attractions for young and old alike. There will be re-enactments by the Civil War Society in the grounds, a hog roast, cream teas on the Great Lawn, full afternoon teas accompanied by a harpist in the historic setting of the Great Hall, and much else.
Thursday 13th September to Sunday 16th September
Visitors are really spoilt for choice during the second HODs period, from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th September. 25 properties will be open in Farnham town centre filled with tours and demonstrations. A talk on ‘Something to Shout About – the Role of the Town Crier’ by Farnham’s Town Crier, Jonathan Jones, is on offer at the council offices. In addition, a further ten fascinating properties will be open in Farnham’s surrounding villages, including the Victorian Farnham Pottery in Wrecclesham.
This year for the first time Coxbridge Farm, whose history goes back to the 15th century, will be welcoming visitors with an opportunity to go inside the listed barns and take a tour of the farm land in an open tractor. Also for the first time, South Farnham Infants School, previously known as the Bourne School, will be bringing back memories for many people by opening its doors, as will Badshot Lea Village Hall, housed in the old village kiln.
Heritage Open Days in Farnham is presented by the Farnham Society, with generous support from Farnham Town Council, but the biggest thanks are due to the property owners all over the town and surrounding area who voluntarily open their doors, set up demonstrations and exhibitions, and welcome visitors from far and wide to come and sample all that Farnham has to offer.
This is Farnham at its best and all are welcome.