Dozens of Black Country sites to open doors for heritage event

Attractions and historical landmarks will be throwing open their doors to the public this week as part of the annual Heritage Open Day series.

Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Wolverhampton Art Gallery

The four-day event is a celebration of the country’s architecture and culture. Venues which do not usually open to the public or charge to let people in will welcome people for free as part of the once-a-year chance to discover the treasures lying within.

Around 30 attractions in Wolverhampton will be taking part, along with four in Sandwell and five in Dudley.

And every day this week we will be taking you behind the scenes of one of Wolverhampton's off-limits venues with an exclusive set of videos.

Today, we start with a virtual tour of the Barnhurst Sewage Works, which is responsible for the waste of over 1,300 homes across the city, while tomorrow we visit Wolverhampton Archives which once belonged to the Molineux family.

On Wednesday, we go behind the scenes at the Light House, the former Chubb factory, which is Wolverhampton’s only independent cinema and on Thursday we speak to the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Cllr Milkinder Jaspal, at his parlour.

Finally, on Friday we will take a look at The Grand Theatre, which has hosted many big names since it was built in 1894 by Architect Charles J. Phipps.

A spokesman for the Heritage Open Days series today said: “This is about redefining how we discover and celebrate our past, with a four-day festival that throws open the door of thousands of historic buildings, bringing to life the people, stories, adventures and eccentricities that make our heritage unique.”

People in Wolverhampton can head to attractions including Bilston Town Hall, Banks’s Brewery and Wolverhampton Art Gallery to take people behind the scenes.

Bantock House, Compton Hospice, The Light House Cinema and St Peter’s Collegiate Church will also be involved.

In Dudley, one of the highlights is the Black Country Boating Festival, being held at Bumblehole Local Nature Reserve in Windmill End, Netherton, on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

It will see a weekend of boats, music, traditional ales and family fun on offer.

People can also get a look behind the scenes of Dudley Council House on Saturday, with tours taking place from 11.30am.

A Dudley Ghost Tour History and Memorabilia exhibition will also be held at The Station Hotel, in Castle Hill, from 7.30pm on Friday, from 11am to 4.30pm and 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday and from 11am to 4.30pm on Sunday.

Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll will come under the spotlight at The Manor House, in West Bromwich. Visitors will be able to get a light-hearted look at adult life in Tudor times on Thursday from 6pm.

The museum, in Hall Green Road, will also be offering guided tours on Saturday and Sunday from 1pm.

Oak House Museum, in Oak Road, West Bromwich, is also taking part.

Tours will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday from 1pm, while on Sunday people will be able to take a trip up the ‘mysterious flight of stairs’ which leads to the top floor of the building which is not usually open to the public.

In Willenhall the locksmith’s house in New Road will be opening on Saturday.

The home of Staffordshire County Council will also open its doors to visitors on Saturday from 10am to 4pm, with tours at 11am, 12pm, 1pm,2pm and 3pm.

Heritage Open Days runs from Thursday to Sunday, 12-15 September, 2013:

Bantock House Museum, Finchfield Road, Wolverhampton: Sunday 11am to 5pm;

Behind the Scenes at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton: Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am to 4pm;

Buddha Vihara, Upper Zoar Street, Penn Fields, Wolverhampton: Sunday 10am to 12.30pm, 2pm to 4pm;

Church of St Chad and St Mark, Lime Street, Penn Fields, Wolverhampton: Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 1pm;

City Archives, Whitmore Hill, Wolverhampton: Thursday 10am to 5pm, Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm;

Compton Hospice, Compton Road West, Compton, Wolverhampton: Friday and Saturday 2pm to 3pm and 3pm to 4pm.

Darlington Street Methodist Church, School Street, Wolverhampton: Saturday 10am to 4pm;

Barnhurst Sewage Treatment Works, Oxley Moor Road, Wolverhampton: Friday 11am, Saturday 9am, 10.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, Sunday 9am, 10.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

Dovecote Public House, Ryefield, Pendeford, Wolverhampton: Friday and Saturday 10.30 to 1pm;

Guided Wolverhampton Heritage Walk, meet at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Road, Wolverhampton: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 2pm;

Tettenhall College, Wood Road, Wolverhampton: Saturday and Sunday 2pm and 4pm;

St Peter’s Collegiate Church, Queen Square, Wolverhampton: Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 1pm;

Wightwick Manor and Gardens, Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton: Saturday 11am to 5pm;

Mayor’s Parlour, Civic Centre, Wolverhampton: Friday and Saturday 10am to 12pm;

Locksmith’s House, New Road, Willenhall: Saturday 10am to 4pm.

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Comments for: "Dozens of Black Country sites to open doors for heritage event "

Frank Adey

You have printed the times when the events are taking place, but not the dates. Do they refer to the week starting from the 9th, or that from the 16th?


One of the greatest heritage sites in the Black Country is non other than the Bratch pumping Station in Wombourne (Wombourn for GWR fans). The pinnacle of victorian engineering, sited in Wombourne to pump water from the sand stone beds to the people of Bilston via the reservoir nr Goldthorn Hill. One steam pumping engine restored by the Great steam engineer Mr Len Crane.

Now sadly locked away from public view and the dedicated friends of the Bratch who looked after the site by Severn Trent Water and there Health and safety moles.


This should be a compulsory part of education so the kids know what it was like and your right, Len Crane who's an old friend of Fred Dibnah is brilliant ambassador for history and has done so much for the upkeep of local historical equipment and gets little recognition for his work. We have now become so terrified of risk, we no longer do anything

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