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Stoke-on-Trent museums to open their doors for free heritage events this September

Councillor Lyn Sharpe, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Heritage Champion (pictured front, second from right) at the Heritage Open Days launch at St Bartholomew’s Church in Norton-le-Moors.
Councillor Lyn Sharpe, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Heritage Champion (pictured front, second from right) at the Heritage Open Days launch at St Bartholomew’s Church in Norton-le-Moors.
Published: Wednesday, 6th September 2023

Iconic museums across the city are hosting a series of free events this month as part of a special 10-day celebration of heritage.

Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors as part of the annual Heritage Open Days festival – giving visitors the unique chance to take part in special events and access to historic buildings which are usually closed to the public, or which usually charge for admission.

Heritage Open Days 2023 will run between Friday 8 September and Sunday 17 September. There will be over 50 free events across more than 20 venues in Stoke-on-Trent.

This year’s events include everything from guided tours and informative talks to interactive walks and family-friendly heritage activities.

On Friday 8 September, Gladstone Pottery Museum is waiving its entry fee, meaning families can visit the Longton venue for free – and learn all about what the conditions were like for people working in the pottery industry at that time.

On Saturday 9 September, the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley will be hosting ‘The Last Bottle Ovens and Ceramic Kilns of Longton’ event which is an illustrated talk about the bottle ovens and kilns which survive in Longton.

Also on Saturday 9 September, there will be a 2.5-mile guided heritage tour around Hanley, starting at the bandstand at Hanley Park at 11am.

Heritage Open Days is co-ordinated nationally by the National Trust, with the support of players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, and locally by The Heritage Network for Stoke-on-Trent, with the support of the Potteries Heritage Society.

Councillor Lyn Sharpe, the city council’s heritage champion, said: “Stoke-on-Trent has a rich heritage and what better way to celebrate that than with 10 days of free events and Heritage Open Days.

“I am immensely proud of what our city has to offer and I would encourage everyone to take up this amazing opportunity to visit, walk around and discover our local history and some of our hidden treasures. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

“I’d also like to say a huge thank you to The Heritage Network and their volunteers for organising this festival, to the Potteries Heritage Society for their support and to our wonderful venues for laying on a fantastic range of events.”

For more information about all of the events, search the online directory at www.potteries.org.uk/heritageopendays or www.heritageopendays.org.uk or go to www.stoke.gov.uk/heritageopendays.