Hampshire's historic attractions go down a storm on Heritage Open Days

PRIDE for historic attractions shone bright as guests were treated to a bumper weekend of activities celebrating their value in the community.

Monday, 12th September 2016, 6:18 am
Updated Monday, 12th September 2016, 4:51 pm
The crowds were entertained with some great music Picture: Sam Stephenson

Venues across the region threw open their doors to the public and opened up areas not normally on display for the national Heritage Open Days scheme.

It’s an occasion that celebrates all of the positives that assets brimming with history and heritage have to offer.

Party fever gripped Gosport as Royal Clarence Yard laid on a mini-festival to mark the initiative and boost visitor numbers.

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A line-up of classic Minis

The former Royal Navy Victualling Yard – a 19th-century site which acted as a storehouse for food and a range of other equipment used by servicemen – laid on a range of entertainment for all the family.

Spectators got to check out classic Minis and buses, an array of stalls and watch a fun-filled dog show.

Live music was also put on.

And craft stalls were available to browse in the slaughterhouse, which is not normally open to the public.

A line-up of classic Minis

Philippa Dickinson, secretary of Royal Clarence Yard open days, and who serves on the committee for Gosport Heritage Open Days, said: ‘It’s been very successful. Every time we put on an event, more and more people come down here.

‘It’s a hidden gem and a lot of the people from Gosport who come down say they didn’t know it was here.

‘Yet it’s been open since 2005, and we have over 500 families who live here.

‘We have Grade II-listed buildings, and we are one of the most important parts of Gosport and Portsmouth Harbour’s heritage and history.

‘It’s a beautiful, beautiful place.’

Other attractions open to the public included The Elms, in Bedhampton, once described as ‘the gem’ of the village.

And people got to discover Staunton Country Park’s historic structures, from the Chinese Bridge to the Shell House.

A guided walk was held yesterday around the idyllic setting.