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Heritage Open Days – A Celebration of Astounding Inventions

Heritage Open Days



Annual festival of people, places and community is open for registrations 

9th-18th September 

England’s largest festival of history and culture, Heritage Open Days. (HODs), Is back this September. Brought to you by the National Trust. Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and run by thousands of local organisations and volunteers, Heritage Open Days gives everyone free access to experiences and events across England. This year HOD’s will honour the English inventions and innovations we can’t live without.

Each year, places across the country throw open their doors and give people the chance to see hidden places. Also try new experiences for free. Many events will adopt this year’s theme – Astounding Inventions – offering a celebration of the cutting-edge creations that make our lives easier as well as the imaginative inventors behind them.

Alongside stories of wonders, the festival will highlight some of the blunders, fads and outright failures that pepper England’s rich history of innovation.

Liam Montgomery, Heritage Open Days Marketing & Projects Manager says: “We’re thrilled to be focusing in on inventions for this year’s festival. As they offer such an exciting lens for examining heritage. From the humble chocolate bar to the World Wide Web, England has an incredibly diverse history of innovation and discovery. We wanted to celebrate this by sharing stories from across the regions to really showcase the ingenuity and hard work behind them. Once again, we’re very excited to see what our community put together!”

Tilehurst Bell Ringing, Reading, Berkshire 

Celebrating the great British invention of church bell. This celebration of church bell ringing set in a beautiful and historic church includes hands on have a go sessions.

The British Lawnmower Museum, Southport, Lancashire

At the cutting edge. The astounding invention of the lawnmower. Come along to the museum for special tours and talks focusing on this most British of obsessions.

The History of Gas – Beverley, North Yorkshire 

Join internationally acclaimed historian of gas, Professor Russell Thomas, for a talk on the origins and development of the industry. Also how Beverley came to be lit by the elegant gas lamps that still stand today.

Great Linford Manor Park, Milton Keynes, Berkshire 

Learn more about park’s fascinating history. Including the Industrial Revolution and the coming of the Grand Union Canal. As well as the unique opportunity to step aboard the astounding invention that is Milton Keynes’ community electric canal boat, Electra.

British Vintage Wireless and Television Museum – London 

From rare pre-war radios to television sets. There is so much you can learn, changes in technology during a century of broadcasting.

The scale of Heritage Open Days is itself astounding. Last year more than 44,000 organisers and volunteers ran 4,000 events across the country. Festival-goers said their visit made them more proud of their local area (80%) and felt events were a great way to bring communities together (70%).

Meleri Roberts, Heritage Open Days Coordinator for Leeds Civic Trust, West Yorkshire said. “As an organisation that champions the heritage, culture and diversity of Leeds, Heritage Open Days is a natural platform for the Trust to reach a wide audience and to showcase the treasure the city has to offer. It is a great way to bring local organisations, businesses and passionate local storytellers, historians and creatives together on an annual basis to explore, reinterpret and provoke our city’s ever evolving heritage.”

Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said. In supporting the festival this year, our players are helping to bring people together to share the stories, places, and spaces important to them. We’re looking forward to what we can learn from the country’s inventors and innovators. Past and present.

Heritage Open Days is brought to you 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.

For further information, and to register your event, visit

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