Heritage Opendays weekend takes place on Thursday 8 to Sunday the 11 September 2016.
Heritage Open Days is an annual event which encourages and enables everyone in the United Kingdom to explore and enjoy the hidden heritage of their local surroundings - free of charge.
Many of the properties involved in Heritage Open Days 2016 are not normally open to the public. Many of those which do open, would usually make an admission charge.
Each property involved in Heritage Open Days offers its visitors some interpretation of its history or architecture, usually in the form of printed information, displays or in-person guides. In addition, many participating sites also offer guided walks, exhibitions, arts and crafts displays and family entertainment.
Ware joins 23,000 volunteers across England who will work behind the scenes to organise Heritage Open Days locally.
For more information about Heritage Open days in Hertfordshire visit the Heritage Open Days web site.
Participating properties in Ware
High Street, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9BZ
Leaside Church (Methodist and United Reformed). Originally built as The Independent Chapel 1816, rebuilt as the Congregational Church 1859, financed to half the cost by Joseph Chuck, a Ware maltster. In 1972 the United Reformed Church was formed by amalgamation of the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches, and in 1978 the congregations of the Methodist and URC Churches in Ware united to form Leaside Church. The Church is in weekly use for Sunday worship but is not normally open to the public on Saturdays.
Directions: Leaside Church is accessible from Ware High Street and is situated up an alleyway, next to "Garnier" near to the Isobel Hospice Charity Shop, opposite the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society.
Saturday 10 September: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Southern Maltings, Ware Arts Centre
Kibes Lane, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 7BS
The Southern Maltings, built in the 1830s, is now the only Ware maltings buildings in public ownership and the only one with most of its original features still intact. It has housed Ware Arts Centre at one end for the past 35 years which includes the original kiln rooms and malt stores. The large central malting floors area and the grain store at the western end of the building have been privately owned or used for Council storage (and publicly inaccessible) until recently. The Ware Arts Centre are in negotiations to lease the entire building.
Unfortunately, the current owners will not allow access for the full tour of the building.
Saturday 10 September: 1100-1600, Tours commencing every hour to 1500
Sunday 11 September: 1100-1600, Tours commencing every hour to 1500
Scotts Road, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9JQ
Scott's Grotto in Ware is a series of six interconnected chambers decorated with thousands of shells, flints and pieces of coloured glass. It extends 67 ft (20 m) into a chalk hillside. Above the grotto, on top of the hill, you can also discover the summerhouse, which in its day would have commanded a wonderful view over Ware. Scott's Grotto was extensively restored in 1990 and is a Grade I listed site. The summerhouse and gardens are Grade II. Take a torch.
Saturday 10 September: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Sunday 11 September: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Talk & Cream Teas at Place House
Bluecoat Yard, East Street, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9HL
Ware's Grade I listed medieval hall, Place House Hall, free entrance. There will be a pop-up tea room run by Vintage Allsorts and a talk on the history of Place House at 2.30pm by Miss Dorothy Abel Smith.
Sunday 11 September: 11:30am - 5:00pm. Talk starts at 3.00pm.
A tour of the Ware Priory
Grade I listed building founded as a friary in 1338. Reopened in 1994 after major restoration, now a wedding and conference centre. Picturesque riverside gardens.
Take a historic tour around the building and view the beautiful gardens and enjoy music from Ware Brass on the island. The tour lasts approximately 1 hour.
Directions: N of A10 Junction, signed Ware B1001
Sunday 11 September: Tour 2.00pm
Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin
High Street, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9BA
The parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Ware is an ancient foundation, mentioned in the Domesday Book. The present church is a Grade 1 listed building standing at the head of the High Street and attributed to 'The Fair Maid of Kent', mother of Richard II. The gift of the living is with Trinity College, Cambridge, being a part of their foundation, presented to the college by Henry VIII. Within the church is a richly decorated 14th century font, and the windows incorporate fine examples of Victorian stained glass by Whall and others.
The church will be open throughout the hours indicated. Church guidebooks are available and church members will be present on Saturday to welcome visitors.
Saturday 10 September: 09.00am-16.00pm
Sunday 11 September: 11.15am-17.00pm
Priory Lodge, 89 High Street, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9AL
Ware Museum is an independent museum opened in 1986 in the former Victorian lodge house of Ware Priory. The museum is entirely volunteer run. Refurbished in 2001, following a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, permanent displays show a timeline of Ware's Social, Industrial and Archaeological History from pre-historic times to WWII. In 2007 a second HLF grant allowed the museum to be further enlarged in preparation for the return of the Great Bed of Ware on loan from the V&A during 2012 with the help of an HLF grant. The Bed has returned to the V&A now but we still have a reproduction of a bedpost, that can be touched, and new displays.
Saturday 10 September: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday 11 September: 2:00pm - 4:00pm.
Ware Town Tour
Approximately 1/2 mile walk around Ware town centre focusing on its many historical features with one of Ware's experienced volunteer guides.
Saturday 10 September: Tour 2:30pm
Meet at Ware Museum - High Street.
Enjoy listening to Ware Brass play on the magnificent Priory Grounds.
Sunday 11 September: 3:00pm - 5:00pm