Heritage Open Days 2014 – Don’t forget to book!

– Posted on Tuesday 30th September 2014

The 2014 Heritage Open Days events are booking up fast. Of the 40 plus events in this year’s programme, The Susie Cooper Museum and Archive, Pulrose Power Station and the guided tour around Knockaloe are already fully booked, but there are still places available on some very exciting guided tours to be snapped up.

This year’s Heritage Open Days take place on Friday 3th – Sunday 5th October and Friday 10th – Sunday 12th October. The two weekends offer the opportunity to explore some of the unusual or less publicity accessible historic properties, lands and buildings that celebrate the Isle of Man’s rich heritage and culture. Activities take place across the whole Island, there is something for everyone and everything is FREE to explore!

There is a unique opportunity to explore the hidden parts of St Thomas’ church in Douglas guided by Charles Guard. The tour looks at the turbulent early history of St Thomas’ (including riots and bricks thrown through Bishopscourt windows) and on to calmer times when the extraordinary murals were designed and painted by John Miller Nicholson. The highlight of the visit is the magnificent pipe organ, the Island’s most impressive instrument, and an opportunity to go under the church and see the rare pumping system, run from one of the old Douglas reservoirs that provided the wind for the organ. Tours are available everyday throughout both weekends.

Find out about the worldwide hobby of geocaching and find some of the treasures along the Heritage Railway line with local experts Alan and Angie Brook at the House of Manannan on Saturday 4th or 11th October. Adults and children can become hooked into finding hidden caches all over the Island and the world.

On Friday 10th October take a look behind the scenes at the Manx Museum. Curators will be on hand to take you into the stores and show you collections and objects not on display. Only a fraction of the National Collection are displayed in the galleries and this is an exciting chance to see archaeology and social history objects rarely seen.

The Isle of Man Victorian Society are hosting a guided tour of the beautiful Archibald Knox designed headstones found in Braddan Cemetery on Saturday 4th and Friday 10th October. Learn about the design, carvings and the people who have been remembered with these beautiful memorials.

The amazing diverse habitat of the Island’s uplands is the subject of a guided walk of South Barrule on Saturday 4th October. Guides with many different fields of expertise will show you what lives in, above and around the beautiful heather covered hills. You will be surprised by the amount of life in what is often viewed as a ‘barren’ landscape. The walk will be over rough terrain but there will be plenty to look at so the pace will be more than manageable for those of reasonable fitness.

There are also plenty of tours that don’t require pre-booking including walks in Laxey, guided tours in Sulby, tales of seafaring in Braddan churchyard and the historic council chambers in Douglas – open and free to explore during Heritage Open Days.

The programme featuring all of the FREE activities can be picked up from all Manx National Heritage sites and the Welcome Centre as well as most participating venues.. All listings can also be found online here. You can book many of the events by e-mailing or with some venues directly.

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