SOME of the north west's most iconic attractions will hold special events this weekend as part of a heritage celebration.

From Roman remains to 1940’s tea dances and ornate Turkish Baths, the region reveals its historic secrets as part of the Heritage Open Days 2014 weekend, which runs from Thursday September 11 to Sunday September 14.

This year, Heritage Open Days celebrates its 20th anniversary and there will be over 550 free events are taking place around the north west.


1. Connect at Calderstones Mansion, Liverpool

New for 2014, discover the secrets of Calderstones mansion which has been closed to the public for over thirty years.

Join the Reader Organisation for tours that tell the secrets of the house; its link with the Cunard Shipping Company, John Lennon and the ancient Calder Stones themselves - older than stonehenge!

Then on Sunday come and be whisked back to the 1940s with a tea-dance, swing-dance taster sessions, live music and refreshments in our Art Deco Theatre Garden.

Thurs-Sun 10am-4pm

2. Bank Hall, Bretherton, Lancashire

Explore the grounds of Bank Hall, a Jacobean manor house built 1608 and extended in 1832 by the owner George Anthony Legh Keck.

The estate has a vast history and in later years was leased to the families of local businessmen, playing host to many well known people.

The house has been derelict since 1972 and the Friends of Bank Hall hold open days in the grounds.

The gardens have many varieties of flowers and trees including Lancashire's oldest yew tree and many specimen trees from Legh Keck's arboretum, one of which is a fallen giant redwood (one of only two known in the UK!).

Sun 12-4.30pm

3. Blackburn Heritage Festival, Blackburn Market, Lancashire

Discover the history of Lancashire on a plate as our local celebrity chef, Philippa James opens her demonstration kitchen to talk tripe and black puddings amongst other delicacies!

Take a peek inside Blackburn’s Masonic Hall or attend a talk on the founder of the town’s Ragged School, James Dixon and his work on the Blackburn Orphanage.

Cooking demo Sat 11-3pm, Masonic Hall Sat/Sun 9am-3pm, Ragged School Thurs 2pm.

4. Victoria Baths, Manchester

A great opportunity to explore Victoria Baths: Britain's finest historic municipal swimming pool, which also has a Turkish baths suite.

It is rich in early 20th century architectural splendour - stained glass windows, mosaic floors, decorative tiles and terracotta.

For Heritage Open Days we are hosting a Contemporary Glass Fair with exhibits and stalls from the region's leading glass artists.

Guided tours are on offer throughout the weekend.

The Gallery Choir is performing on Saturday, 1300-1500.

Sat/Sun 11-4pm

5. Working Class Movement Library Open Day, Salford

Behind-the-scenes tours of a beautiful building which houses one of the most unusual libraries in the world.

The Working Class Movement Library exists to tell the story of people's fight for a better world; a place of ideas, questions and demands.

The collection covers everything from working conditions to political, union and sporting life. It's full of stuff to inspire you to investigate, and to spur you on to participate.

Sat 11-3pm, Tours 11.30, 12.30, 1.30, 2.30pm

6. Quarry Bank Mill, Wilmslow, Cheshire

The River Bollin flows through the site and the history of Quarry Bank; a source of life, power and leisure.

This special Heritage Open Days event celebrates the role of the river in the past, present and future of the Mill with storytelling, hands on activities and special behind-the-scenes access to our brand new Hydro and Fish Pass scheme.

The spectacular backdrop of the garden and woods contrasts with the working Mill, providing an unforgettable day out for all.

Sat 12-4pm, Tours 1pm & 3pm  

7. Bidston Lighthouse, Wirral

New for 2014, the first Bidston Lighthouse was built in 1771, further from the shore than any other lighthouse in Britain.

The present Grade II listed Lighthouse was built by Mersey Docks and Harbour Board in 1873. Guided tours (pre-bookable) and heritage displays. Fantastic views from the lamp room.

Sat 11am-4pm

8. Cheadle Hulme School, Stockport

Formally the Manchester Warehousemen and Clerks Orphan School, visitors have the chance to discover how the school and its pupils would have functioned during the First World War, through costumed multi-media presentations and tours of the main buildings.

There will also be an opportunity to visit the School’s history exhibition and a World War I memorial exhibition, which includes artefacts loaned by members of the School community.

Sunday 10.45 and 3pm, pre-booking essential

9. Chorlton Eco Show Home, Chorltonville, Greater Manchester

Take a self-guided tour around this lovingly-restored arts and crafts property than now encompasses over 100 eco-design features, technologies and systems.

The Ecospheric team will be on hand afterwards providing free advice for your own property.

Fri-Sun 11am-5pm

10. Romans in Ravenglass, Cumbria

What is being dug up at Ravenglass? Take part in the on-site activities and get your hands on some real Roman artefacts.

Have a go at digging and find out more about the Romans in Ravenglass. Bring your finds along to be indentified by the Portable Antiquities Scheme (Friday only).

Don’t forget to join one of the regular tours of the excavation site.

Fri/Sat 10.30am-5pm

For more information visit  to and plan your weekend by choosing from guided tours, family-friendly themed events, fairs and festivals.