Opening up the borough's history - The Rugby Observer

Opening up the borough's history

Rugby Editorial 21st Aug, 2023   0

A HOST of Rugby’s historic and iconic buildings open to the public for free next month for the annual Heritage Open Days celebration.

Highlights include a chance to find out the hidden history of Coombe Abbey Park, tours behind the scenes at Rugby Theatre and trips to Rugby Distillery to discover how to create craft gins.

Heritage Open Days runs from September 8 to 17, with a packed programme celebrating Rugby’s history and culture.

Rugby mayor Maggie O’Rourke welcomes visitors to a tour of the Town Hall on September 8, followed by tea and cake in the Mayor’s Parlour.

The Percival Guildhouse throws open its doors on Saturday 9 September for visitors to discover the history of the near 100-year-old building, while St Marie’s Roman Catholic Church welcomes visitors on both Friday 8 September and Saturday 9 September.

Tin Type Trailer bring the magic of Victorian-era photography to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum on September 9, with plenty of loud bangs, bright lights and smoke created by demonstrations of the wet plate collodion process invented by Frederic Scott Archer in the 1850s.

Guided tours of Princethorpe College take place on September 10, while visitors can explore the historic buildings on the Cotesbach Estate on September 8 and 9.

And Rugby’s team of volunteer town guides celebrate Heritage Open Days with a special tour of the town centre on September 16, setting off from Caldecott Park at 11am, and tours of the town centre’s public art on September 9, September 15 and 16.

A vintage Midland Red single decker bus stops off at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum on September 12, offering trips to Hillmorton and Houlton at 11am and 2pm, while the Marton Museum of Country Bygones welcomes visitors on September 10, September 16 and 17.

Art at The Alex opens its doors over both Heritage Open Days weekends, with local artists and makers demonstrating a host of traditional arts and crafts, including pottery and lacemaking.

And Harborough Magna’s Grid Studios, home to more than 20 artists, opens to the public on September 16 and 17 September, offering visitors the chance to discover the history of the building – a former isolation hospital and, later, a maternity ward.

The full Heritage Open Days programme, together with online booking for tours which require it, can be found on The Rugby Town website

Tom Kittendorf, Rugby Borough Council chief officer for leisure and wellbeing, said: “Heritage Open Days gives residents the chance to discover the history on our doorsteps, with many of the buildings closed to the public during the rest of the year.

“We have a packed programme for this year and with limited places available on many of the tours, it’s best to book early to secure a place.”



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