Visit five historic locations in Grantham for free over heritage weekend
Five historic locations in Grantham will be open to the public next weekend as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme.
England’s largest festival of history and culture, the open days on Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, are supported locally by the Grantham Civic Society.
Civic society secretary Dr John Manterfield said: “The Heritage Open Days are great free days out for families and visitors and the five venues open should be fun for everyone.”
In St Wulfram’s Church on the Saturday, visitors can go down to the crypt beneath the Lady Chapel and climb the spiral staircase to the Trigge chained library, which features two of the earliest books ever printed dating to the 1470s, the oldest printed in Venice in 1472.
Other items include a book of beasts or bestiary produced in Zurich and containing engravings of animals and birds as well as other creatures that the author may not have actually seen, such as a Merman.
Another printing masterpiece is a volume from a polyglot bible produced in Antwerp. This is printed in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin. Visitors can also book for a tour of the bell-ringing chamber and the tower.
There are also four recently conserved funerary monuments, including that to Captain William Cust, unfortunately killed by a cannon ball.
The church is open from 9am to 3pm and the coffee shop will be open and guidebooks and other souvenirs on sale.
Close by is the Old School at the King’s School, accessible from Church Street between 9.30am and 1.30pm.
Here, visitors can see an exhibition of school memorabilia as well as Isaac Newton’s name on the window sill. At 11am, Dr John Manterfield will be delivering a Latin lesson. Any school-age children are welcome to go and take part to learn about Tudor school rules.
ChristChurch, in Finkin Street, is open from 10am to 3pm and there will be re-enactments of Victorian schooldays with a chance for children to dress up. A new book on the history of this former Wesleyan chapel built in 1842 will also be available.
On the Sunday, from 1pm till 3.30pm, the Old Burial Ground on Manthorpe Road will be open. The entrance to this is opposite Slate Mill Place, just along from the filling station.
This burial ground was in use between 1812 and 1857 and is an evocative space which is a haven for wildlife. You can learn about our ancestors through their slate headstones. Family historians will be on hand to help with queries.
Then from 2pm to 4.30pm, Grantham House gardens, covering some five acres, will be open. Tea, coffee and cake will be on sale and two ground floor rooms of this National Trust property will also be open without charge.
The house was originally built in the 14th century and was the home of the Hall and Skipwith families and later of Lady Cust, mother of Speaker Sir John Cust of Belton.
Civic society chairman Courtney Finn said: “Last year we welcomed over a thousand visitors across the Heritage Open Days weekend. We look forward to seeing many more this year.”