Buxton Heritage Open Days 2017

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Buxton Heritage Open Days 2017 is here and this year Buxton will be showcasing more historic landmarks than ever before as part of the nationwide scheme where the public are able to gain a unique and rare glimpse at some of our towns most iconic buildings and places.

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. Every year for four days in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all FREE.

The Heritage Open Days events are proudly supported by the University of Derby.

 What’s on when? Here’s details of the full programme of Heritage Open Day events in Buxton:

Devonshire Dome Tales of the Wounded Soldier – Vera Brittain and WW1

Photo credit: Discover Buxton

When: 7th, 8th & 10th September 2017, 12 noon each day

Where: Devonshire Dome, University of Derby

Enjoy a costumed character guide of the Devonshire Dome, learning about the role of the Devonshire Royal Hospital and the type and conditions of the wounded soldiers.

Vera Brittain who grew up in Buxton and was the author of Testament of Youth, decided it was her duty to leave Oxford, where she was studying, and return to Buxton during the summer of 1915 to work as a nursing assistant tending wounded soldiers. The tale provides a powerful understanding of Vera’s commitment to pacifism.

Booking details: Pre-booking preferred, contact Claire Grabowski to reserve your place on 01298 330752 or email C.Grabowski@derby.ac.uk and for more information go to www.derby.ac.uk/HOD. Please note, booking closes on 7th September 2017. Max 15 people per tour/session.

Devonshire Dome – Series of public talks

Exterior of Buxton campus from the entrance

When: 10th September 2017, Talk 1 – 11.30am – 12.00 noon, Talk 2 – 2.00pm – 2.30pm, Talk 3 3.00pm – 3.30pm

Where: University of Derby, Devonshire Royal Campus, Buxton, ROOM: DO/GO4

TALK 1 – The architecture of Buxton with particular focus on the Devonshire Dome

TALK 2 – Growing up in Chatsworth: the children of the fifth duke and duchess of Devonshire

TALK 3 –  The RAF Bomb Store at Harpur Hill, Buxton

Booking details: No booking required, Max 100 people per tour/session. For more information go to www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/the-devonshire-domehod

Devonshire Dome Audio Tours

Photo credit: University of Derby Buxton

When: 7th September, 8th September and 10th September, 10am – 4pm each day

Where: Devonshire Dome, University of Derby, Buxton

Thursday 11am-4pm, Friday 11am-4pm, Sunday 11am-4pm (no booking required)

University of Derby Tourism students have developed a brand new audio tour to bring to life the stories of one of Buxton’s best loved buildings.

The Grade II* listed Devonshire Dome is one of the UK’s most fascinating buildings, with past lives as one of the grandest stables ever built and as a pioneering hospital – now spanned by what was the largest unsupported dome in the world when it was first constructed.

To take part in the Devonshire Dome Audio Tour, go to the University of Derby Library, situated inside the Dome at the Buxton Campus to pick up your free iguide from the library desk.

Booking details: No pre-booking required. Photo ID will be required for the issue of an audio tour. There are 10 individual audio tours available. For information about the Buxton campus go to www.derby.ac.uk/campus/campuses/buxton

Heritage Coal Mines Guided Walk (6km)

When: 7th September 2017, 2pm-4pm

Where: Meet at Poole’s Cavern Car Park, Green Lane, Buxton where everyone will make their way by car to the starting point

Discover more about Buxton’s coal mining 350 year history on this fascinating guided walk between Burbage and the Goyt Valley. Visitors will be taken on a guided walk lasting 2 hours of the Buxton Coalfields. The coalfields made a significant contribution to the lime burning industry. One can see and appreciate the extensive layout of the works and there are traces of the working visible.

Buxton’s last coal mine closed in 1918 ending 300 years of production on the moors above Burbage. Don’t expect major remains (pit head gear etc.) but look closely and you will find traces of old shafts, levels, tramways and other features dating mainly from the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Like any good detective story the fun is in piecing together bits of evidence to reveal the surprising scale of mining between Burbage and the Goyt Valley.

The walk is about 6km with about 120 metres of steep uphill. It can easily be shortened if necessary. The route follows moorland tracks that can be wet. Outdoor clothing and walking shoes / boots are recommended. Bring a drink and refreshments.

Booking details: Pre-booking required, contact Simon Fussell at Poole’s Cavern on 01298 26978 to reserve a place or email communications@buxtoncivicassociation.org.uk. Please note, booking closes on 1st September 2017. Max 15 people per tour/session.

John Carr –the Crescent’s Architect – Talk by Mary Wragg

When: 7th September 2017, 11am

Where: The Pump Room, The Crescent

A talk to learn further about John Carr, a prolific English architect of the 18th century and considered to be the leading architect of his time in Northern England.

Booking details: please email lmackenzie@buxtoncrescent.com

The Crescent’s Restoration – Talk by Richard Tuffrey

When: 8th September 2017, 10am

Where: The Pump Room, The Crescent

This free talk by Richard Tuffrey will discuss the huge restoration project of the Grade 1 listed building.

The Heritage Open Days events demonstrates Buxton’s resurgence as a spa town, underlined by the £50 million project to restore the Grade 1 listed Crescent building which is now well under way. Work began in the summer of 2016 and is expected to complete in 2019, when it will be transformed into a 5* luxury 80-bedroom spa hotel, operated by Danubius. The adjacent Pump Room built in 1894 will become a visitor interpretation centre.

Booking details: please email lmackenzie@buxtoncrescent.com

The Pump Room

When: 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th September 2017, 10am – 4pm each day

Where: The Pump Room, The Crescent

Pop in to see the work in progress in the Grade II listed Pump Room opposite the magnificent Crescent in Buxton. Volunteers and Buxton Crescent Engagement and Events Manager Liz Mackenzie will be available to answer your questions about one of the UK’s and Heritage Lottery Funds most high profile restoration projects.

Booking details: No booking required, max 50 people per session

St Mary’s Church Open Days

When: 7th, 8th & 9th September 11am – 4pm, 10th September 12 noon – 4pm

Where: Dale Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6LN

St. Mary’s Church was built during the First World War and consecrated in 1917. The simplicity of the design reflects the Northern Arts and Crafts movement, and the ‘eyebrow’ windows are a particular feature of interest. With occasional exceptions the church is kept locked so this is an opportunity to see inside this delightful building.

There will also be a display by the Buxton Well Dressing Committee showing how they uphold the Derbyshire tradition of well dressing.

At 3pm on Sunday 10th they conclude the weekend with a violin concert by the gifted young violinist Georgina Bloomfield.

Booking details: No booking required

Buxton Museum presents – Buxton’s Hidden Heritage, Meet the Romans

When: 9th September 2017, 11am – 3pm

Where: The old bowling green, adjacent to The Square and Old Hall Hotel in Pavilion Gardens.

Come along to their pop-up museum in Pavilion Gardens to handle real Roman objects, discover our digital tour of Roman sites in Buxton (via your smartphone or tablet) and make your own Roman or Celtic person from Aquae Arnemetiae. Then visit Buxton Museum and Art Gallery to see some of the Roman finds from Buxton and the Peak District in our new Wonders of the Peak gallery!

Booking details: No booking required

Edwardian Theatre Tales

When: 10th September 2017, 11am, 1pm, 3pm

Where: Buxton Opera House, Water Street

Sunday 11am, 1pm and 3pm (no booking required)

The perfectly delightful Edwardian actress Miss Lilian Violet Bowdine will offer insight into the history of theatre in the town of Buxton over the past 200 years culminating in a visit to her favourite theatre Buxton Opera House. So let us draw back the curtain and reveal the secrets and gossip of the theatrical legacy of Buxton.

Why not extend your enjoyment by exploring inside the Opera House with a tour where volunteers will be on hand to tell more about its fascinating history.

Booking details: No booking required

Buxton Opera House open day

When: 10th September 2017, 10am – 4pm

Where: Buxton Opera House, Water Street

Take a look inside one of the country’s finest examples of a Frank Matcham theatre.

Voted the Most Welcoming Theatre in the East Midlands 2015 and 2016, a team of friendly volunteers will be on hand during the day to tell you more about the fascinating history of this iconic building from its Edwardian beginning right up to the present day.

Refreshments available in the Dress Circle bar.

Booking details: No booking required

Tales from the Bower with Mary Queens of Scots

Photo credit: Discover Buxton

When: 7th September 11.30am, 8th September 11.30am & 1pm and 10th September 11.30am & 1pm

Where: Old Hall Hotel, The Square

As England’s oldest hotel, The Old Hall has some intriguing tales to tell! Mary Queen of Scots will grant you audience at the Old Hall Hotel, where she was kept under house arrest during Elizabethan times. These costumed tales from the bower offer a comprehensive understanding of her times in Buxton and especially for Heritage Open Days allow you inside the room she occupied.

After the tour, guests can book a table in the fabulous a la carte restaurant or wine bar to enjoy Afternoon Tea with a slice of Mary’s Cake – exclusive to The Old Hall Hotel, charged as per menus.

Booking details: Pre-booking required, please call: 01298 22841 or email: reception@oldhallhotelbuxton.co.uk. Max 10 per tour.

Clowes Chemist

When: 7th – 10th September, open 9.30am – 5pm every day

Where: Clowes Chemist, 4 Cavendish Circus, SK17 6AX

Visit this historic druggist and pharmacy which was established in 1875 and where you can still see much of the original features of this Victorian chemist. The building is listed with English Heritage and both the interior and outside of the building was originally designed by Robert Rippon Duke – well known for being responsible for designing many of Buxton’s iconic buildings.

Booking details: No booking required

Cavendish Arcade

When: 9th September, 11am

Where: Cavendish Arcade, Buxton

Join Discover Buxton’s Netta Christie on a journey through the history of the Cavendish Arcade as we peel back the layers to see the story of the hot baths of Buxton.

Booking details: No booking required

Buxton International Festival

Buxton photographed by Richard Richards Photography

When: 9th September, 12.30pm and 2.30pm

Where: Outside Buxton Opera House, Water Street

Street theatre which presents The Bard’s greatest hits on demand will be part of Buxton’s Heritage Open Days this year.

Shakespeare’s Jukebox, which performs favourite excerpts on request, will be outside Buxton Opera House for the public to enjoy. The Jukebox team are all members of Buxton Drama League, set up after one of the members bravely stood outside Buxton opera House in 2005 wearing nothing but doublet and hose challenged audiences to select an extract for him to perform.

The pieces performed are reviewed, added to and re-interpreted each year. Props and additional bits of costume have increasingly found their way in.

The Jukebox have very kindly lent their talents to the Heritage Open Day events in support of Buxton International Festival in order to demonstrate the importance to the town’s economy of its arts and culture.

Booking details: No booking required


To find out more about Heritage Open Days and to see a full list of national events visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk