Heritage Open Days 2023

Published Thursday, 17 August 2023
Heritage open day at Hinckley museum and a group of people outside thatched cottage

History enthusiasts and families are once again invited to a series of Heritage Open Days across the borough this September.

The free event returns from Friday 8 September until Sunday 17 September, with local highlights including a walking tour through Hinckley’s historic buildings, a play about the inventor of the Hansom cab and a series of ‘have a go’ events at Argents Mead. 

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of culture and history and aims to open up access and insight to buildings not generally seen by the general public.

This year’s events in the borough include:

  • Atkins Heritage Tour, Atkins Building, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley - Saturday 9 September: 10am-12 noon. A historic Hinckley building’s walking tour, featuring buildings that all have a connection to the notable Atkins hosiery family. Places on the tour must be pre-booked either by phone or email. Call 01455 247070 or email info@atkinsbuilding.co.uk 
  • A Gentle Genius play, Atkins Building, Lower Bond St, Hinckley - Friday 8 September and Saturday 9 September performances at 10am, 11am and 3pm. Free, no booking required. Hinckley High Street Heritage Action Zone, supported by Historic England and the Borough Council, present a one-man play on Joseph Hansom, the inventor of the Hansom Cab, performed by the Red River Theatre Group and suitable for the whole family. For more information, please check the council’s website and social media
  • Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel, Hinckley - Saturday 9 September, 9am (morning only). Display of archive material art and craft items, music and poetry. There will be a talk about the Atkins Family in conjunction with the Hinckley & District Museum and Atkins Building
  • Burbage Heritage Tour, Burbage Community Library, Church Street, Burbage - Saturday 9 September, 2pm to 3.30pm. Burbage Heritage Group have arranged a short walking tour of Burbage based upon a hand-drawn map of Burbage illustrating its notable buildings past and present and the stories of people who inhabited them. The tour starts at Burbage Library on Church Street and takes a circular route approximately ¾ mile on the pavements of the village
  • Local History Photos and Information, Castle Street Hinckley - Saturday 9 September, 10am to 4pm. Hinckley District Past and Present will have a stand on Castle Street within Hinckley Market showing local Hinckley History, with display boards showing photos and members of the group to talk to members of the public
  • ‘Have a go’ Workshops and Medieval Music, Argents Mead, Hinckley - Saturday 16 September, 11am to 4pm. ‘Have a go pottery workshop’ suitable for the whole family. Meet a potter who will undertake workshops with children to make period pots, which the children can take aware once dried. ‘Hands on’ activity to educate both young and old in the use of siege weapons. How they work and the technology behind their construction. A working model will be available for those who wish to try their hand at loading and firing. Plus, an array of Medieval music will be performed throughout the day.  
  • Hinckley and District Museum, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley - Sunday 17 September, 2pm to 4pm. Visit the thatched timber box framed cottages dating from the 1680s, housing a local history museum of Hinckley and the surrounding area. See the ‘secret’ cottage garden, with Fairtrade drinks available. ‘Old fashioned’ toys to play with, and children's dressing up area too. No booking required

Executive member for Culture and Deputy Leader at the Borough Council, Councillor Mark Bools, said:

I am very pleased to see this event return for two weeks this year.  

The Hinckley and Bosworth area has so much history and culture to offer, and the festival provides an interesting insight to the hidden history of our older buildings and the opportunity to have a really good look around many of them, while exploring different areas of our borough at the same time.

To complete Hinckley’s Heritage offering, on Sunday September 17 throughout Hinckley town centre, hundreds of rare classic vehicles have already entered Hinckley BID’s 12th Annual Motorshow. Open from 10am to 4.30pm, this show is free to attend and enter. Fun for all the family and to appeal to all age groups, there will also be some sought-after, top-of-the range modern vehicles including both luxury and sports. All events are free to attend, booking required only where stated. 

For more details of all venues participating in Heritage Open Days (heritageopendays.org.uk)