Heritage Open Days 2020

This year has been a strange one hasn’t it? Lots of the events we enjoy have had to be postponed or cancelled, however we’re so excited that there is a ray of sunshine – Heritage Open Days is going ahead this year after all! They’ve had to take into account the COVID-19 situation but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the amazing heritage in Newark and Sherwood.

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival celebrating the amazing history and culture of our country. Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history – it’s your chance to see some hidden places and maybe try out new experiences!

This year, due to COVID-19, a number of our events have had to move online – but that’s okay! It means you can enjoy our heritage at your own pleasure and in the comfort of your own home.

In person events

Sconce and Devon ParkSconce and Devon Park Guided Tour

11th September | 2pm – 3pm | Booking required

Visitors are always surprised with the amount of history there is at Sconce and Devon Park so this guided tour with the Park Ranger is always a fan favourite every year!

This 1 hour tour will look at the history of the park and it’s wildlife including it’s connection to the English Civil War, Scales linen factory, willow weaving and the small gauge railway that crossed the park transporting gypsum to the river.

Due to COVID-19, this event is restricted to 10 people to maintain social distancing and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Civil War Tour of Newark, including Queen’s Sconce

12th & 20th September | 11am – 1pm | Booking required

Delve into the fascinating and tumultuous past of the town of Newark with this guided tour. The tour will begin at the bandstand at Newark Castle, where you will explore the history of why Newark became known as the ‘The Key to the North’, and from there head into Newark itself to discover some of the buildings and characters that played a part in the town’s Civil War history. The tour will end at the Queen’s Sconce – a fortification, built to defend the town from Parliamentarian attack and is the best preserved 17th century earthwork in the country.

Due to COVID-19, this event is restricted to 10 people to maintain social distancing and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Secret Tudor Garden

12th & 19th September | 10am – 3pm

At the National Civil War Centre there is a hidden gem – their secret Tudor garden! Within the lovely Tudor Court

yard there is a Herb Garden featuring traditional ingredients in 16th century remedies. The garden will be open from 10am – 3pm on the Saturday the 12th & 19th September for you to enjoy!

To aid social distancing, numbers may be limited if busy and you may be asked to wait a short while before entry. Please visit the National Civil War Centre website for information on the museum’s visiting times and prices.

Southwell Town Centre Walking Tour

Follow a self-guided walking tour of the ‘Jewel in Nottinghamshire’s crown’, and uncover the interesting and intriguing heritage of Southwell. This circular walk takes in a number of historical buildings, the high street with its beautiful independent shops, pubs and cafes, as well as Southwell Minster and The Archbishop’s Palace.

Online events

Newark CastleNewark Castle Virtual Online Tour

Facebook event | Video live from 11th September

Newark Castle has stood on the banks of the River Trent for over 900 years and therefore it has a story or two to tell! With Newark Castle’s Virtual Video tour, you’ll have the opportunity to discover the heights and horrors of this remarkable monument’s history!

You can watch the video from the 11th September on Newark Castle’s Facebook page and afterwards have a wander around the beautiful grounds yourself.

Palace Theatre – Behind the Scenes Video Tour

Facebook event | Video live from 11th September

The Palace Theatre Newark is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and they’re taking you on a celebration of this remarkable building for this year’s festival with a trip behind the scenes from the comfort of your home!

The video will be live from the 11th September on the Palace Theatre Newark’s Facebook Page, enjoy as the team reveal some of the Theatre’s fascinating secrets…

The Old Courthouse Virtual Tour

Now home to Southwell Town Council, a tour of The Old Courthouse is always a fan-favourite – this year you can enjoy a tour from the comfort of your own home! Just follow the link on the Heritage Open Days webpage to YouTube and enjoy a tour around this intriguing building, constructed in 1884.