Hampshire’s historic venues open their doors for Heritage Open Days

Hampshire residents and those from further afield will have special access to venues including the last remaining part of what was once the world’s largest military hospital - all for free as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days

Sep 10 2018

Winter sunrise

A number of Hampshire County Council sites will open their doors as part of the national initiative held every September.

Hampshire County Council Leader, Councillor Roy Perry, said: “We’re committed to ensuring that Hampshire’s cultural landmarks, such as the Great Hall and Hampshire Record Office, continue to be accessible and enjoyed by local residents as well as visitors from all over the world. In turn, Hampshire’s tourism industry continues to thrive, enabling award winning and historically important venues to be visited for many years to come.”

The County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: “We’re very fortunate that Hampshire has a fantastic variety of history and heritage and that many of the buildings, monuments and artefacts in our care have amazing stories to reveal to visitors.

“The range of Heritage Open Days we are hosting for free in Hampshire will enable visitors of all ages to travel back in time and explore key figures and moments in the county’s history in fun and interactive ways.”

Heritage Open Days being held at County Council venues include:

The Vanished Hospital – Then and Now, Royal Victoria Country Park – 11 September, 6.30-8.00pm

Dr Simon Daniels will explore the rich history of Netley’s famous military hospital, which Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for, in the stunning setting of the newly restored Royal Victoria Chapel.

Stories of Netley’s Nurses: In their own words, Royal Victoria Country Park - 13 September, 6.30-8.00pm

Visitors will hear the stories in the own words of Netley’s nurses, many of whom were volunteers, and were local girls themselves. Some even served overseas, and tragically died on hospital ships sunk by enemy action. In this centenary year of women’s suffrage, we get a glimpse into the lives of Netley’s heroines.

In this talk we will take our feet back to the same spot we would have stood on a hundred years ago. With the help of old photographs and the stories of the people who were here, we will get a feel for what it was like to live – and sometimes die – in this hospital.

Hampshire County Council’s historic buildings, Winchester – 13-16 September, 11.00am and 3.00pm

Join an expert guide for a special historical tour which, as well as The Great Hall, will also include Serle’s House and the Council Chamber.

The Great Hall, Winchester 13, 14 and 16 September, 10.00am-4.30pm. 15 September, 10.00am-4.00pm.

Visit a specially curated exhibition ‘Extraordinary Women’, in celebration of some of the most inspirational female figures who were born, or spent much of their lives in Winchester and the surrounding area. The exhibition ties in with the centenary of women’s suffrage.

Hampshire Record Office, Winchester 15 September, 11.00am and 2.00pm

Go behind the scenes at Hampshire Record Office to discover how documents spanning the last 1,000 years are preserved. There will also be a chance to view a small display of documents including Hampshire’s extraordinary women, including Jane Austen and Florence Nightingale.

Wessex Film and Sound Archive, Winchester – 15 September, 11.00am-3.00pm

Take a look at a brand new pilot scheme using local archive film for reminiscence activities to help those living with dementia. The newly compiled DVDs, containing montages of life aspects such as work, home, holidays and school, will be available for loan for reminiscence work for care homes and voluntary sector organisations.

Established in 1994, Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s rich and diverse cultural heritage of the country’s communities by working with organisations to open their doors to historic monuments and buildings, in particular those normally closed to the public.

More details on Heritage Open Days in Hampshire can be found at www.heritageopendays.org.uk