Heritage Open Days: Here are the Calderdale and Kirklees venues taking part

Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture, returns later this month.

Calderdale Industrial Museum. Volunteers Geoff and Pam Whippey with the 1899 Asquith's drill which was used in the construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Calderdale Industrial Museum. Volunteers Geoff and Pam Whippey with the 1899 Asquith's drill which was used in the construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Local people and visitors will be able to explore hidden places and try new experiences across Yorkshire and the Humber.

From a water mill to a Georgian bathhouse, hearing untold stories to going behind-the-scenes at a museum, this year’s programme has something for everyone, and it’s all free.

Many events will explore this year’s theme, “Edible England”, offering opportunities to learn about food production, celebrate local specialities and uncover the customs and quirks around what we eat and drink.

Brian Pearson, chairman of the fabric group, at Thornhill Parish Church

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.

“HODs connects people through shared experiences and this year, that feels more important than ever.

"It’s also one of the reasons we chose ‘Edible England’ as our theme. Food brings people together and what we eat and drink is at the heart of much of our culture, our history, our communities, and our daily lives.”

Christopher Southwell, visitor services and volunteer co-ordinator for Calderdale Museums, preparing to clean the housebody of Shibden Hall, Halifax

In Calderdale and Kirklees, many venues will be opening their doors to give people the chance to look behind the scenes.

Participating venues in Calderdale include:

Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

Hebden Bridge Picture House.

Oakwell Hall and Country Park, Birstall

Hope Baptist Church.

St Peter’s Church, Sowerby.

Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge.

St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Halifax.

Lister Lane Cemetery, Halifax.

Halifax Playhouse.

Calderdale Industrial Museum.

Halifax Minster.

Dean Clough.

All Souls Church, Halifax.

Bankfield Museum, Halifax.

Shibden Hall, Halifax.

Pepper Hill Unitarian Chapel, Shelf.

Artworks, The Everybody School of Art.

Lightcliffe Tower and Ann Walker Memorial.

Lower Wyke Moravian Church.

And venues taking part in North Kirklees include the following:

St Peter’s Church, Hartshead.

Spen Valley Food and Drink Heritage Trail.

Dewsbury Country Park.

Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury.

Greenwoods - Dewsbury’s oldest shop.

Dewsbury Town Hall.

Thornhill Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels.

All Saints Church, Batley.

Bagshaw Museum. Batley.

St Saviour’s Church, Brownhill, Batley.

Red House, Gomersal.

Oakwell Hall and Country Park, Birstall.

Heritage Open Days is coordinated and promoted nationally by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Every single Heritage Open Days event is free, including access to many sites that usually charge for admission.

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We’re delighted our players are able to continue to support Heritage Open Days in 2021.

"The festival has always been about bringing communities together, and this year we’re particularly excited to see how this can be done through food and drink events. It’s certainly a tasty theme!”

Full event listings are available at www.heritageopendays.org.uk - you can search by location or use the map function to discover what else is happening in your local area.

To ensure that visitors are safe and that events can keep to the latest Government guidelines, all event details are subject to change. Visitors should re-check details on the HODs website before confirming plans nearer the time.