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Historic West Midlands buildings open up for Heritage Day

By Jordan Harris | Dudley entertainment | Published:

Some of the most historic buildings in the Black Country gave visitors a unique insight into the past at a series of open days over the weekend.

Sites such as the Black Country Living Museum, Haden Hill Museum and Dudley Coroner's Court took part in Heritage Open Days, a nationwide effort to celebrate the history and culture behind some of our oldest and most important buildings.

At the popular Black Country Living Museum on Tipton Road, Dudley, curators showed guests some of the sites hidden treasures, offering a chance to find out the stories that lie behind some lesser known pieces of the 80,000 objects stored at the museum.

At Haden Hill Museum on Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath, an afternoon of live jazz was organised, where Union Jack flags flew proudly, as the venue itself was opened up for people to see in all its glory.

Guests were given a chance to unlock and discover some of the secrets of the attic and store rooms at the Victorian gentleman’s residence.

At Moseley Old Hall in Featherstone visitors were thrown straight into the middle of an historic adventure from the building's past.

For just 70 hours in 1651 Moseley Old Hall protected the future King of England, Charles Stuart, from discovery by Parliament soldiers.

Fearing for his life the young man hid in an apparently ordinary home, helped by a family and their friends.

Costumed characters brought the story to life over the weekend, with visitors getting in on the action too.

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A rare opportunity for people in Dudley was the chance to see inside the Grade II* listed Coroner’s Court, in St James’s Road, Dudley.

It was designed by Harvey and Wicks and built between 1924 and 1928 as part of a group of civic buildings which also includes the Town Hall and the Memorial Tower. T

The courtroom has remained largely unchanged and retains its original fittings and furnishings.

In Walsall, people had a chance to step back into the past at the Locksmith’s House on New Road, Willenhall.

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The property celebrates the efforts of the small family-run lock-making businesses which thrived over a century ago.

The house is recreated with the actual belongings and furniture of the Hodson family of lock makers, the last inhabitants of 54 New Road, Willenhall.

The working class family home is accompanied by a two-storey workshop building and a working forge and machinery.

Nationally, Heritage Open Days see 40,000 volunteers across England organise 5,000 events to honour historic venues.

Jordan Harris

By Jordan Harris
Senior Reporter - @JHarris_Star

Reporter covering Staffordshire/Walsall - also a keen gig goer

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