Celebrate our past

The Rev Gary Morgan at St Peter & St Paul's Church, Algarkirk. Photo:  SG290813-TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
The Rev Gary Morgan at St Peter & St Paul's Church, Algarkirk. Photo: SG290813-TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
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Join in Heritage Open Days 2013 and visit an historic building

Heritage Open Days 2013 takes place from today until Sunday and is a chance to discover and celebrate our past.

A number of local historic buildings are being opened to the public free of charge during this year’s four-day festival on the theme of Material Matters.

Visit one or two to appreciate the wide and diverse nature of south Lincolnshire’s historic buildings.

In addition to the sites featured on these pages, Chain Bridge Forge at Spalding will be hosting a number of events, including blacksmithing demonstrations and free taster sessions and stained glass window demonstrations.

The new Heritage Walks leaflet offers leisurely strolls along the River Welland or around the old town of Spalding.

There will be a number of child-friendly activities including quizzes, crafts and the chance to dress up as a 19th century blacksmith.

The forge, on High Street, is open on Friday from 10am to 3pm and on Sunday from 12noon to 4pm.

Another Spalding venue with historic interest is the Gordon Boswell Romany Museum, which houses historic collections of Romany caravans, carts, harnesses and more.

The museum will be open as part of the Heritage Open Days on Friday from 10.30am to 4pm.

• Sneath’s Mill Trust is opening the mill at Lutton Gowts on Sunday (10am to 4pm) to give visitors a chance to see the progress being made in restoring the Grade 1 listed building. Sneath’s Mill is probably Lincolnshire’s oldest standing windmill and has been unused since the 1930s.

Pictured are David Clownes, Graham Warrender, Jim Conlay, Kay Jenkinson and Bobbie Ashton at the mill.

• Discover Holbeach’s Victorian cemetery chapels in Park Road on Sunday (11am to 4pm) and hear how a local group is hoping to get funding to refurbish and restore them. In addition, the community arts project Transported will have a presence, there will be craft work on display from local primary schools, a walking trail, and Laddies’ ice creams and light refreshments will be available.

• Take a guided tour of the atmospheric Crowland Abbey and its ruined nave on Saturday (10am to 4pm) and Sunday (1pm to 4pm).

The parish church has a fascinating history. A monk named Guthlac arrived in what was an uninhabited island in the Fens in around 701 in order to live the life of a hermit monk. Following his footsteps, other monks made Croyland their home and a monastic community came into being – until 1539.

Refreshments will also be available during the open days.

• Ever wondered how such a low lying area is protected from flooding? Now is your chance to find out because Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board is opening its Pode Hole pumping stations to the public on Friday (10am to 4pm). The Board’s Pinchbeck Engine Museum of land drainage at Pinchbeck will also be open at the same time for those who want to find out about the history of drainage and reclamation since medieval times.

• Lutton St Nicholas Church is participating in the heritage event on Saturday (12noon to 5pm) when there will be demonstrations of bell ringing, as well as quilting, flower arranging and afternoon teas.

Tower captain Peter Butler and churchwardens Bernice Williams and Pat Saxton are pictured in the bell tower.

• The Market House at Long Sutton is participating in Heritage Open Days with a number of events on Saturday and Sunday (10am to 4pm). Long Sutton & District Civic Society will be displaying the Sutton Bridge Past & Present Exhibition shown in Sutton Bridge earlier in the year. At the same time, The Market House Photographic Group will hold its annual exhibition and display entries for the Historic Lincolnshire Competition. In addition, there will be a baby portrait studio, refreshments and more. Wendy Jeffries, Tony Button and Fay Archer are pictured at the Kenzie Thorpe display in May.

• Spalding Gentlemen’s Society Museum in Spalding isn’t normally open to the public so Saturday (10am to 4pm) is a rare chance to see its varied and interesting exhibits. These range from hatpins to firearms, books to cameras, beautiful glassware and fine ceramics to medals, coins and stamps. After visiting you may be tempted to become a member or hear lectures held at Spalding Grammar School from October to March.

• A tour of St Mary & St Nicolas Parish Church in Spalding is planned for Saturday (10.30am) as part of Heritage Open Days 2013.

The tour will be led by the Rev John Bennett, who will highlight the rich materials in the church, its medieval stonework, carved woodwork and Victorian and 20th century stained glass.

The tower will also be open from 10am to 4pm and there are some great views to be had on a clear day, and refreshments will be served.

• St Peter and St Paul’s Church at Algarkirk is currently in the middle of a major refurbishment project.

However, it will be open on Saturday (10am to 4pm) for a scaled down open day so people can see what is planned for the beautiful building.

• Further afield, at Dowsby, just a few miles north of Bourne, Dowsby Hall is open for free guided tours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (bookable in advance on 01529 461499).

As well as looking around the 1610 hall, visitors are able to stroll around the gardens, have tea and cakes and listen to Kafka, Dowsby’s own blues band.

• Finally, it’s Ride & Stride day on Saturday (10am to 6pm) when people cycle or walk between churches to raise money for a local church and the Lincolnshire Churches Trust.