You can visit these heritage sites in and around Portsmouth for free this month

Take a behind the scenes look at the Mary Rose. Picture: Mary Rose/ Hufton+C
Take a behind the scenes look at the Mary Rose. Picture: Mary Rose/ Hufton+C
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Portsmouth residents are being invited to celebrate the city’s heritage this month. 

As part of Heritage Open Days 2018, sites across the area are putting on free events between Thursday, September 6 and Sunday, September 16. 

The Round Tower is hosting Heritage Open Day events. Picture: Will Caddy

The Round Tower is hosting Heritage Open Day events. Picture: Will Caddy

Including such popular attractions as the Mary Rose and the Round Tower. 

Read More: Ten events you must not miss in the week ahead

Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers, across the country. 

Here are our picks of best Heritage Open Days events around Portsmouth: 

Portsmouth Cathedral is taking part in Heritage Open Days. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Portsmouth Cathedral is taking part in Heritage Open Days. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Behind the scenes tour: The Mary Rose Collection

Get an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Mary Rose Collection, going in depth on the work involved in caring for the unique and invaluable items. 

This is a 60-90 minute tour for up to 10 guests.

Tours will take place: 11am and 2pm on Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th September and Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th September.

Tours must be booked in advance and can be done so by clicking here

Groundlings Theatre

Discover the history of the Old Beneficial School on one of Groundlings' historical tours.

Explore the truth surrounding Charles Dickens' birth and learn of former pupil Sir Henry Ayers, the man who became a rock in the middle of Australia.

The tours will take place between 1pm and 4pm on Thursday, September 6, and Thursday, September 13. 

No bookings required. 

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Groundlings Theatre, Costume Exhibition

Come and view the theatre’s immersive costume exhibition that travels through the ages from Jason and the Argonauts to Saturday Night Fever.

With expert guides on hand, you will be able to walk amongst some of the theatre's more famous costumes seen on TV and in Film and Theatre.

From a dress worn by Golden Globe Winning actresses to costume used in BBC's Titanic.

Learn about the history and explore the art of costume with activities including demonstrations on how to put on an Elizabethan Dress.

Exhibition runs from 1pm - 4pm on Friday, September 7. 

HMS Excellent Naval Establishment

An Island constructed by convicts, which became the first Naval Gunnery School ashore.

Tour the grounds, which once had a zoo.

Visit the Victorian buildings, view the Church of St Barbara, museum and State Gun Carriage.

The exhibition will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, September 8, and Sunday, September 9. 

Phoenix Lodge Rooms

Free Admission to one of Portsmouth's historic buildings, Phoenix Lodge Rooms 110 High Street Old Portsmouth.

It has been used by Freemasons since 1842. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling are among the men who have frequented this building.

View unique furniture and masonic furnishings while listening to local Freemason.

Gain an insight into the life of Freemasons both past and present.

Ask questions – discover the many charities both local and national supported by the Freemasons.

It will be open on Saturday, September 15 between 11am and 4.30pm. 

Portsmouth Cathedral

What’s On during Heritage Open Days: 
- The Grailly-Hewitt Books 
- The Tangier Plate 
- Sarum Group Frontals 
- Clock Tour 
- WRNS Stone and Memorial Book 

Enjoy indoor and outdoor tours with our Cathedral Guides. Come and see rare documents and artefacts on display. 

Heritage Open Day events will be on between 10am and 4pm on Friday, September 7 to Sunday, September 9. 

Southsea Skatepark

There will be extreme sports demonstrations, gallery of posters and photographs at the Southsea Skatepark on Sunday, September 16 between noon and 6pm. 

The skatepark will be offering free have a go sessions to all visitor – with helmets and equipment to loan. 

The Round Tower

As part of the Heritage Open Days the Round Tower, which is nearly 600 years old, will launch a new information panel. 

It explores the deeper history of this unique architectural structure. 

The open day events will be on Saturday, September 8, and Sunday, September 9, between 11am and 1pm.

Fort Cumberland

There will be guided tours of Fort Cumberland as part of Heritage Open Days. 

The tour will include the ramparts with their gun emplacements of various dates, the magazines, and the well-preserved High Angle Fire battery of 1890-4. 

Fort Cumberland tours on Thursday, September 13, Friday, September 14, Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16  at 10.30am and 2pm. 

There will also be tours of the archaeological laboratories on Sunday, September 16 only at 11am and 1.30pm.