Residents and visitors are being encouraged to go behind the scenes at some of Braintree District’s hidden historical treasures including Dick Nunn’s Smithy during Heritage Open Days.
The national Heritage Open Days celebration of history, architecture and culture runs from Friday, 9 September to Sunday, 18 September, and gives free-of-charge access to some of the district’s most fascinating buildings.
Venues across the Braintree District will throw open their doors at specific times during the 10-day event, with options to suit everybody.
Visitors could enjoy:
- Guided tours of St Nicolas Church, Witham including a new display about William Van Mildert, former curate and founder of Durham University. There will also be a recital of French songs by soprano Hazel Morgan
- Go behind the scenes at the Warner Textile Archive and see Royal fabrics and historic silk designs, followed by a free visit to Braintree District Museum
- Take a guided walk around Silver End Garden Village. Built in 1926 to house the workers of the village’s Crittall factory, the area is home to the internationally-recognised 'modern movement' flat roofed houses, some of which are Grade II listed
- A chance to see the beautiful interior of St Peter’s Parish Church in Bocking, find out about its history and enjoy some refreshments
- Find out more about Dick Nunn’s Smithy in East Street, Coggeshall. This atmospheric brick and pantiled smithy was where the remarkable Victorian blacksmith Henry ‘Dick’ Nunn spent most of his working life. It has smoke-stained walls, dusty bellows and heat-cracked hearth bearing witness to the passing years
- See inside Earls Colne Quaker Meeting House, built in about 1733. This is the oldest Quaker meeting house in use locally and the meeting room retains much of its historic layout and a number of early features, including raised gallery seating and benches.
Cllr Graham Butland, Leader of Braintree District Council, said: “Each year we see some great locations opening their doors for Heritage Open Days and we encourage residents and visitors to take advantage of this annual opportunity to see inside our historic venues.
“We are very fortunate here in Braintree District to have an amazing wealth of history right on our doorstep, some are well known but others are hidden away and often forgotten.”
For a full list of local venues taking part in Heritage Open Days and details of the events, visit the website