This September, Heritage Open Days will give families and friends all over the United Kingdom an opportunity to get out, enjoy themselves and learn a little about their local history. The museums and heritage sites of Barton-upon-Humber will be playing a major role in Lincolnshire’s Heritage Open Days by throwing open their doors to the public and putting on a whole range of special events.
The Open Days, which take place between September 7 and 10, have been steadily increasing in popularity, with hundreds of people flocking to Barton’s one-off events and rarely opened buildings, and 2017 looks set to be no exception.
There’s also a lot for children to do, with a celebration of comics marking Desperate Dan’s 80th birthday at the Wilderspin National School Museum, an Isaac Pitman themed treasure trail linking many of the Heritage Open Day sites and a free children’s quiz sheet about The Ropewalk’s history on offer.
As part of the weekend, visitors will get the rare opportunity to look around the only Anglo-Saxon tower in England at St Peter’s Church, which is open for free viewing and guided tours on Sunday.
There’s also another chance to look back into Barton’s distant past at Tyrwhitt Hall, a medieval great hall just next to St Peter’s.
The Ropewalk is another jewel in Barton-upon-Humber’s historic crown. The industrial rope factory turned modern cultural arts centre will be opening for a free film archive exploration night on Thursday. This will be followed by two guided tours at 10.30am and 2.30pm on Saturday providing a look back through The Ropewalk’s history.
The Joseph Wright Hall, formerly a Methodist chapel and Salvation Army citadel, will also be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, giving people a chance to see how much restoration has changed a fine example of Victorian Methodist architecture. Barton’s library will also be featuring a display on its history as a private home, orphanage and school building.
Samuel Wilderspin, the educational pioneer who founded a ground-breaking model school in Barton, or one of his agents, will also be giving lectures on the teaching methods that helped him change British education in the museum that bears his name on the Saturday. Cartoonist, Ken Harrison will be celebrating the 80th birthday of Desperate Dan, the comic figure he drew for 25 years at an exhibition in his honour from on Sunday.
For those who want a little taste of everything, there are two interactive Hidden History Walks filled with characters, costumes and activities for children and adults and supported by Barton’s new historical exploration app. The walks set off from the Wilderspin Museum at 10am and 11 am on Saturday morning, each lasting two and a half hours including stops.
Of course, the town’s heritage goes beyond its buildings, with countryside shaping and influencing it throughout its history from the verdant habitats of the riverside at Far Ings National Nature Reserve, to the pleasant acres of Baysgarth Park. Special events are being put on in both places starting with a relaxing and informative walk focusing on the history and wildlife of Far Ings at 11am on Thursday and continuing with a stroll in Baysgarth Park at 2 pm on Saturday. The historic Barton Carnival will also be coming to Baysgarth Park to add even more excitement to afternoons during the weekend.
For more information go to bartoncivicsociety.co.uk or heritageopendays.org.uk. Some events require booking via these sites or contact with the site in question.
Heritage Open Days Schedule
Thursday September 7
11am to 12.45: Guided Nature Walk – Far Ings National Nature Reserve
7.30pm: Film Archive Shorts Night – The Ropewalk
Friday September 8
The Ropewalk, the Wilderspin National School Museum, Baysgarth Park and Far Ings Nature Reserve open as usual.
Saturday September 9
10am – 12.30pm: Hidden Histories Family Trail – Wilderspin National School Museum
10.30am and 2.30pm: Guided tours and free children’s quiz – The Ropewalk
11.30am – 2.30pm: Train up a Child lecture – Wilderspin National School Museum
11am – 3pm: Open building – Joseph Wright Hall
12pm – 5pm: Barton Carnival – Baysgarth Park
2pm: A Stroll in the Park – Baysgarth Park
Sunday September 10
10am – 3pm: Open building with guided tours – St Peter’s Church
10am – 4pm: Comic Capers: Desperate Dan at 80 – Wilderspin National School Museum
10am – 4pm: Open as usual with free children’s quiz – The Ropewalk
11am – 3pm: Open Building – Joseph Wright Hall
12pm – 5pm: Barton Carnival – Baysgarth Park
2pm -4pm: Open Building – Tyrwhitt Hall