Excitement builds as Heritage Open Days return this weekend

HMS Sultan opened the doors to Fort Rowner back in 2015. Picture: LA (Phot) Dave Jenkins
HMS Sultan opened the doors to Fort Rowner back in 2015. Picture: LA (Phot) Dave Jenkins
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HUNDREDS of heritage sites across the region will be opened up to the public this weekend, as people discover more about the history of where they live.

Heritage Open Days are back with a bang this year, with twice as many days where historical locations will be available for people to take an exclusive look around.

Open days this year will run over the course of two weekends – this weekend (September 6-9) and next weekend (September 13-16).

The idea of Heritage Open Days initially began in Gosport, and organisers are keen once again to showcase the rich history the town has to offer.

Committee member Richard Bourke said: ‘Because there are more open days this year we can do more events, including some new ones.

‘I think it's great that something like this can make people more aware of the incredible history of the place they live.

‘There are people who may have lived somewhere all their lives but have no idea about the history; to me, that’s like living next to the Tower of London but never visiting it.

‘Heritage open days really brings every historical site throughout the region out of its shadow – there really are some incredible stories to tell.’

But it’s not just Gosport that will be diving into its history over the next two weekends, with a number of events taking place right across the region.

In Portsmouth, Fort Cumberland and HMS Excellent will be opened to the public; HMS Collingwood’s heritage collection will be on display in Fareham, and a guided history tour will be held at Staunton Country park in Havant.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan says that it is hugely important to preserve the rich heritage across the region.

He said: ‘Portsmouth has a rich cultural heritage and is home to some of the country’s most significant historical landmarks.

‘These Heritage Open Days which enable people to see normally inaccessible artefacts or sites, are a fantastic way to let the public enjoy even more of the amazing history our great city has to offer.’

For more info on events go to heritageopendays.org.uk