Explore Tamworth’s heritage and history – for free 

September 5, 2017

FREE entry to Tamworth Castle, behind-the scenes looks at town buildings not always open to the public, guided walks and costumed characters are just some of things to enjoy as part of this year’s Heritage Open Day on Sunday September 10.

Many of the historic buildings in and around Tamworth will be opening their doors, inviting visitors to explore the town’s fascinating history free of charge. Costumed characters including medieval gravediggers, a Peeler and Thomas Guy, will join Green Badge guides and local historians in bringing the past to life.

Tamworth Castle is among the attractions that can be visited free of charge as part of Heritage Open Day, but entry is by pre-booked ticket only, available from the Tamworth Information Centre in Marmion House, Lichfield Street, in advance on 01827 709581 or email tic@tamworth.gov.uk.

Visitors to St Editha’s Church between 11.30am and 4pm will be able to climb the rare double spiral staircase (subject to Health and Safety criteria) and take part in guided tours of the building. Outside in St Editha’s Square, the Reliant Motor Club will be showing off their display of Reliant vehicles from 9am until 4pm and will be happy to talk about one of the town’s most famous exports.

Members of the public will also be able to take a peek inside the Town Hall in Market Street, between 10am and 4pm, where they can meet various organisations celebrating Tamworth’s past, including the Friends of Tamworth Castle, Tamworth & District Civic Society and the Green Badge Guides. Local author Phil Shanahan will also be on hand to share the story of Tamworth war hero Able Seaman Colin Grazier who famously helped shorten World War II in a daring U-boat mission.

Visitors can also pop into the Mayor’s Parlour to meet the Mayor and Mayoress and find many Tamworth treasures on display.

Green Badge Guides will begin guided tours from the Town Hall at 11am and 2pm. There is no need to book; just turn up for a fascinating and interesting tour of the town.

Other events taking place throughout the day include:

  • The Heritage Hub in Middle Entry open from 10am to 3pm
  • Thomas Guy Almshouses open from 11am to 3pm, with home-made cake and tea on offer
  • Free entry to Middleton Hall between 11am and 4pm. Contact 01827 283095 for more details
  • St Leonard’s Church in Comberford Lane, Wigginton, open from 1pm to 5pm
  • Spital Chapel of St James in Wigginton Road open between 10am and 4pm
  • Learn about the Masons at the Masonic Rooms in Lichfield Street (11am-3pm)

Heritage Open Day again coincides with the return of the popular Tamworth Gusto Food Festival which is taking place in the Castle Grounds on Saturday September 9 and Sunday September 10. The event, now in its third year, will bring more than 80 artisan food and drink producers to the area, alongside a packed programme of live music and entertainment for the whole family.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, Cllr Joy Goodall, said: “Heritage Open Day is a great opportunity to explore Tamworth’s rich history. There is so much to see, hear or visit and I would encourage everyone to pop along and find out more about this historical town.

“We are also delighted to welcome the hugely popular Tamworth Food Gusto Festival back for a third year, and, with so much going on, Tamworth will again be the place to be at the weekend.”

For more information, please visit www.visittamworth.co.uk/events/tamworth-heritage-open-day-2017.