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Heritage open day launched for Cheltenham

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: August 14, 2013

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FANTASTIC architecture and culture was in the spotlight at the launch of Heritage Open Days at the headquarters of Cheltenham Civic Society.

Historic landmarks, which are usually closed to the public or subject to an admission charge, will throw their doors open to visitors from September 12 to 15 for free.

Buildings of every age, style and function from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns and parish churches to Buddhist temples, offer a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures for four days each September.

A wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture.

The event was launched by Roger Woodley of the Civic Society and the town's mayor, Councillor Wendy Flynn.

The Heritage Open Days will have more than 40 events, along with a number of walks and talks on various heritage, architecture and culture features around the town.

Mr Woodley said: "We have a few firsts this year such as the opening of John Dower House and we would love to hear from people who remember it as Cheltenham's Police Station before 1970.

"Another first will be our much-loved Municipal Offices which is likely to have a change of use in coming years.

"We also have a very fine collection of churches open with fine stained-glass windows from various eras which deserve to be better known.

"There will also be a good selection of walks about particular features of Cheltenham."

All of Cheltenham Grade I-listed buildings will also be open during the four-day festival.

It is the largest number of events organised in the town as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme and the event comes with financial support from Cheltenham Civic Society and Cheltenham Borough Council.

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