Hundreds enjoy visiting Grantham’s heritage sites

Carys and Samuel Davie, at Grantham House, which was opened to the public for the Heritage Open Days festival EMN-160913-123151001
Carys and Samuel Davie, at Grantham House, which was opened to the public for the Heritage Open Days festival EMN-160913-123151001

Hundreds of people visited historic buildings and venues around Grantham over the weekend during the popular annual Heritage Open Days festival.

The event was part of a national initiative to give visitors free access to places and establishments, many of which are not normally open to the public.

Christine and John Shotliff examine a grave stone at the old burial ground in Manthorpe Road, Grantham, which was opened to the public for the Heritage Open Days festival EMN-160913-123130001

Christine and John Shotliff examine a grave stone at the old burial ground in Manthorpe Road, Grantham, which was opened to the public for the Heritage Open Days festival EMN-160913-123130001

Around 80 people enjoyed looking around the octagonal reading room at the Philosophical and Scientific Library Museum and Dispensary in Finkin Street on Saturday.

The building, which is now occupied by Brown & Co estate agents, was built in 1838.

The same day, there were about 100 people walking around Sir Isaac Newton’s school room at the Old King’s School. Visitors got the chance to look at school records, uniforms and memorabilia.

More than 200 people attended the public opening of the old burial ground on Manthorpe Road on Sunday. It was first opened in 1813 and has remained undisturbed since it closed 159 years ago. Several visitors took the opportunity to look for gravestones of their ancestors.

Derek Jackson shows Rosemary Lester an historic book in the Trigg Library at St Wulfram's Church, Grantham, which was opened to the public for the Heritage Open Days festival EMN-160913-123057001

Derek Jackson shows Rosemary Lester an historic book in the Trigg Library at St Wulfram's Church, Grantham, which was opened to the public for the Heritage Open Days festival EMN-160913-123057001

Other buildings opened for the special heritage days were St Wulfram’s Church, its tower and treasures, plus the Grade 1 listed Grantham House and its spectacular gardens.

Costumed Tudor band, Mowbray Musicke, kept everyone entertained at various venues and refreshments were served throughout the weekend.

Grantham Civic Society chairman Courtney Finn, who was one of a small number of volunteers who helped steward the festival, said: “It was lovely. Saturday was awful weather-wise and people were coming in looking like drowned rats but we still had good attendances everywhere.

“It was great to have the beautiful octagonal reading room open for the first time and we were very grateful to Brown & Co for letting us in.

“There was a very big turnout for the opening of the old burial ground and there were some very nice gravestones for people to look at.”

The theme of this year’s open days was natural England and next year it will law and order.

Mr Finn added: “The volunteers were very tired at the end of the weekend but it was a big success once again.”