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Heritage Open Days in Guildford

Join in and celebrate Guildford’s architecture and culture for free during Heritage Open Days on 13th-16th September. Over 90 events and activities will be available in the borough during the four-day event with properties opening their doors to visitors.

The event provides a rare opportunity to explore some of Guildford’s architectural and cultural gems that are either not usually open, or would normally charge an entrance fee. Heritage Open Days also includes guided tours, activities, talks and exhibitions.

The event is locally-organised by Guildford Borough Council, Guildford Town Guides and the Guildford Society and sponsored by Thesis Asset Management.

In August a colour brochure will be available at the Tourist Information Centre, 155 High Street, Guildford. You can also download a copy in August by visiting the council’s website at www.guildford.gov.uk/heritageopendays. Alternatively you can view an online event directory on the national Heritage Open Days website www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory.

Due to space restrictions, some venues will require tickets. For details please check our brochure or the national events directory.

Below are a selection of properties, events and activities including walks that are either new or returning to the programme.

George Abbot School
Woodruff Avenue, Burpham, Guildford GU1 1XX

Described by the Good Schools Guide as ‘utopia made flesh’ this is a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the history of the school. As well as a chance to see its typical 1950s and 60s architecture, you will be able to browse old school photographs, year books dating back to the 1950s and vintage press cuttings.

The school will open at 2pm with a welcoming address at 2.30pm followed by a talk from local historian, Moira MacQuaide, who will cover the history of the local area and the school.

Tours of the school will take place from 3pm and a pop up café serving hot and cold drinks and a range of homemade cakes will be open throughout the afternoon until the event closes at 4.30pm. Please note that this event is free but we will be accepting donations towards activities for the 80 young carers who attend the school.
Booking essential via https://hod_georgeabbot.eventbrite.co.uk.
Parking available on site.
Saturday 2pm-4.30pm

West Horsley Place
Epsom Road, West Horsley, KT24 6AN

The Mary Roxburghe Trust is delighted to offer visitors a free guided tour of beautiful and historically-significant West Horsley Place. Dating from 1425, Grade I listed West Horsley Place has developed organically over the centuries and is currently on Historic England’s At Risk Register.

Find out about the fascinating history of the house and help support the Mary Roxburghe Trust’s mission to restore it to life and create a vibrant centre for the performing and visual arts and the teaching of crafts on site. Tours will last 45 minutes with start times throughout the day.

Tour places are limited and must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment. All visitors are free to explore the 18th century walled gardens at their leisure.
Tour places can be booked by telephone: 01483 282032 or email: info@westhorsleyplace.org from 3rd September.
Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm

Stoughton at the end of the Great War
Cardwells Keep (formerly Stoughton Barracks), off Stoughton Road, Guildford

A community event on the green, once the home of the Queen’s Regiment, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Displays of military, local and social history, activities for children, music including the Surrey Police Band, participation by groups and organisations including the Surrey History Centre and the Royal British Legion, service of reflection, light refreshments or bring your own picnic. It follows on from the hugely successful Stoughton in the Great War event that took place in 2014.
For further details contact: 01483 825424.
Saturday 2pm-5pm

The Lull before the Storm
St Mary’s Church, Quarry Street, GU1 3TY

Was Guildford really basking in a golden summer of complacency before World War One unexpectedly broke out or is this an illusion? Talk by Matthew Alexander historian and former Curator of Guildford Museum
Thursday 7pm for 7.30pm

Fakes and Originals
Led by Guildford Town Guides.
Walk takes approximately 1.25 hours

When is a building a fake? This walk reveals some deceptive features in Guildford’s historic buildings. Are they fakes or originals? All will be revealed!
Meet at Tunsgate Arch
Friday 2.30pm

Lewis Carroll
Led by Guildford Town Guides
Walk takes approximately 1.5 hours.

This walk celebrates the life and times of the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, his connections with Guildford and the surrounding area. The Chestnuts, the Alice Garden and St. Mary’s Church form a major part of the tour, together with Guildford Museum’s collection of memorabilia.
Meet at Tunsgate Arch
Saturday 2pm

Guildford Story
Led by Guildford Town Guides.
Walk takes approximately 1.5 hours.

Explore 1000 years of the history of Guildford as a centre of industry, trade and transport, through the architecture and people of our town. Guildford Castle; Lewis Carroll’s House; the Guildhall and Abbot’s Hospital all play an important part in this story.
Meet at Tunsgate Arch
Saturday 2.30pm


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