Berkshire Heritage Open Days this weekendBy Karen Jordan
September 07, 2012
People interested in Reading’s architecture and culture can see behind the scenes on heritage tours starting this week.
Offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or that charge for admission, heritage tours will take place across the town until Sunday, with dedicated volunteers on hand to share and experience local history and culture.
The Museum of English Rural Life is joining forces with the Friends of the University of Reading to offer a heritage trail featuring a tour of MERL’s fine Victorian premises and an opportunity to learn more about the history of the university’s original home.
It is open every day until Sunday from 3pm to 4pm – email email@example.com or call (0118) 378 8660 to book.
The doors will be open at 17 Castle Street, central Reading, a 16th century house once owned by a Reading mayor and used as an inn and doctor’s surgery.
Now a solicitor’s practice, original items include diamond chimneys, coach and horse mounting block, shoe carving on the beam timbers.
It will be open tomorrow from 9.15am to 4.30pm.
The tower at St Andrew’s Church, High Street, Sonning, which has stunning views, will be open on Sunday from 3pm to 5pm. For disabled parking call (0118) 969 2132.
An exhibition on A Year in the Life of Sonning and Sonning Eye with a jubilee photo competition will also run in the St Sarik Room at St Andrew’s Church on Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.
Guided tours of the Abbey Quarter will include behind-the-scenes access to the Museum of Reading and the Abbey Ruins.
Find out more about the history of the site as well the ongoing conservation programme today from 11am to 12.15pm and 1pm to 2.15pm, or tomorrow from 10.30am to 11.45pm, 11.30 to 12.45, 1pm to 2.15pm and 2pm to 3.15pm.
Booking for these tours is essential by calling (0118) 937 3400.
This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users and stout footwear is advisable – no flip-flops or high heels.
Forbury Gardens hosts a Bandstand Marathon on Sunday from 1pm to 4.30pm, featuring the Trinity Concert Band in the Victorian bandstand.
Almost 30 works of rarely seen art will be on show at Basildon Park on Saturday in an exhibition called British Art from the 1950s.
The park is open from 10am to 5pm and the exhibition from noon to 4.30pm.
A Behind the Bookshelves tour of Central Library in Abbey Square will feature a look at rare books and other materials in the strongroom tomorrow from 11am to noon. Places are limited, so please book on (0118) 901 5950.
Berkshire Family History Society will be at Berkshire Record Office in Coley Avenue to allow visitors to trace worldwide ancestors with the help of a 6,000-item library and internet access to millions of records.
Doors open from 10am to 4pm from today until Sunday.