Heritage Open Days

Surrey’s Heritage Open Days 2021



Featured image: St Giles’ Church and Graveyard

Every year as part of Heritage Open Days, historical places and sites of interest across England open their doors to visitors, to discover hidden places and try new experiences for free. Sarah Holloway, Programme Manager for Heritage Open Days, said: “We’re all interested in where we live but we don’t necessarily know the stories behind the buildings and spaces we walk past each day. Our event organisers keep finding creative ways to tell these tales and keep them alive.”

This year, supported by People’s Postcode Lottery, Heritage Open Days returns between the 10 – 19 September – read on for some ideas in Surrey and head to the website for details on availability and times.

Holmesdale Natural History Club Museum Open Days

Holmesdale Natural History Club Museum

14 Croydon Road, Reigate, Surrey

Founded in 1857 the Holmesdale Natural History Club is opening its private museum of Natural History, Local History, Local Archaeology and Geology.

The Museum’s Collections on display include local artefacts including Roman tiles, medieval drainpipes, stones from Reigate Castle, Victorian stuffed birds, local bottles and mementos, prehistoric flints, fossils, and documents relating to the history of Reigate and Redhill.

Click here for more info.

11 September 10am – 4pm
St. Giles' Church Heritage Open Days

Behind the scenes, Epsom Playhouse

Ashley Avenue, Epsom

Join a backstage tour and find out what goes on behind the scenes at the theatre and how it all comes to the stage.

10 September

Vintage Bus, Epsom

Clock Tower, High Street, Epsom

Experience some history in a 1960s mobile cinema, one of seven commissioned by the ministry of technology to visit factories and demonstrate new production techniques. Watch some Pathé newsreels that feature Epsom and Ewell.

10 – 11 September

Explore Kingston

History Centre and Guildhall

Take a tour of Kingston History Centre and enjoy a talk on the history of the Guildhall. From there visitors will be taken to the upper floor of the Guildhall to see the Council Chamber and other rooms.

10 – 18 September, various dates

The Lumley Chapel, Cheam

Lumley Chapel (St Dunstan’s), Church Road, Sutton

Visit this early medieval building containing a large collection of monuments to the inhabitants of Cheam dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries.

11 September

St Giles’ Church, Graveyard and The Dell Centre Open Afternoon

St Giles’ Church, Park Lane, Ashtead, Surrey

St Giles is a lovely 12th century Grade II* listed church with a full Horsham stone roof that was re-laid in 2020/21. The main East window above the chancel is from Herkenrode Abbey near Liege in Belgium and dates back to the late 15th or early 16th century. Other windows from Herkenrode Abbey are in Lichfield Cathedral. The church has a peal of 8 bells and 18th century glass in the west window of the tower was recently restored. There are many notable features from the 13th to 18th centuries. In the graveyard are several war commission graves, and a Roman ditch to the edge of the churchyard. The church and graveyard will be open in the afternoon for visitors with tours available.

Refreshments will be available between 2pm and 4.30pm in the Dell Centre, situated next to the church. Families and children are welcome.

Click here for more info.

19 September 2pm – 5pm
Ashtead Meadows

Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands

1 Fairholme Crescent, Ashtead, Surrey.

In the last 10 years volunteers have been creating a wetland area alongside the Rye Brook. In that time they have planted a Jubilee Wood, reshaped the river banks and created ponds and scrapes to encourage the biodiversity of the area. Hard surfaces have been laid on the public footpaths to enable circular walks to take place without the need to cross muddy ground and also ensuring accessibility for buggies and pushchairs.

A Centenary Field has been created to commemorate those Ashtead residents who fell in the Great War and a wooden walkway has been constructed to the ponds where there is new seating. Visit the Centenary Field for a picnic followed by an amble through the fields alongside the Rye Brook to Ashtead Woods Road where guided walks are planned to start.

The Meadows also offer a very pleasant walk along the Rye Brook.

Click here for more info.

10 – 19 September 10am – 4pm
St. John the Baptist Church

St. John the Baptist Parish Church, Old Malden

Church Road, Worcester Park, Surrey.

This ancient church is a hidden gem in suburbia with history from Early Iron Age shown through a timeline of history boards.

A Grade II listed Jacobean Church (1611) built on Saxon ruins with a Victorian extension (1875) and a contemporary extension (2004) within a conservation area. Ancient fields and Hogsmill River nearby. Connections with Walter de Merton and Merton College Oxford. The artist Millais painted the background to Ophelia on the nearby river Hogsmill. History boards on display showing evidence of Early Iron Age and Roman occupancy.

Click here for more info.

10 September: 11am – 4pm ; 11 September: 10am – 5pm; 12 September: 2pm – 5pm; 13 September: 11am – 4pm.

St Andrew’s Church, Kingswood

St Andrew’s Church, Kingswood, Brighton Road, Kingswood, Tadworth, Surrey.

St Andrew’s distinctive steeple is a landmark for miles. Benjamin Ferrey designed this Grade II flint building which is cruciform in shape with beautiful stained glass windows from both the 19th and 20th Century.

Explore this Victorian replica of 14th century Church of St John the Baptist located in Shottesbrooke, Berkshire, by architect Benjamin Ferrey.

Click here for more info.

12 September 1pm – 4pm

Bagshot Chapel

Bagshot Cemetery, School Lane, Bagshot, Surrey.

This unusual chapel building has huge historical significance for the residents of Bagshot and is an important part of Bagshot Cemetery.

An attractive early 20th century chapel of rest, set in a closed cemetery which contains the grave of tragic servant girl, Emily Jane Popejoy, whose death was a Victorian cause celebre.

Click here for more info.

11 September 10am – 4pm and 18 September 10am – 4pm