This post was written by Richard Nevell.
There are hundreds of local history and archaeology societies in the UK, and there’s a reason there were 50 million visits to heritage sites in England alone in 2010. Wiki Loves Monuments covers some headline attractions such as Edinburgh Castle and Westminster Abbey, but it also includes buildings closer to home. The competition is a great chance to learn more about your local history. There are also heritage open days throughout the UK in September, which provide fantastic opportunities to engage with history and take some pictures for Wikipedia while you’re at it. In the first week of the competition we’ve had over 1,000 uploads and we want to see the images flooding in. With that in mind, below are some details of events which will let you interact with your local history.
Between Thursday 12th and Sunday 15th September, Heritage Open Days in England allows people to enter buildings they might not have the opportunity to the rest of the year. It is driven by volunteers, around 40,000 of them and in 2011 1.7 million people seized the chance to explore. There are too many to list here, but you can learn more at the Heritage Open Day website.
While England has a four-day event, in Wales there are open doors in four weekends in September. From Lamphey Bishop’s Palace to Neath Abbey, you’re spoilt for choice (and hopefully Wiki Loves Monuments will be spoilt for pictures). More details can be found on their events page.
In Scotland there are Doors Open Days, and September is Scottish Archaeology Month, so join in the celebrations and take plenty of photographs. The Scottish Civic Trust has a website dedicated to the event, where you can read more about which buildings are involved.
In Northern Ireland alone there are 410 properties taking part in European Heritage Open Days 2013. They have full details on their website. Focused on the weekend of 14th and 15th September, it is a chance to see more of the country’s built heritage, from Parkanaur Manor House to Mullaghmore House. I’ve just noticed we’ve only got one or two pictures of those places, and none of the inside. Will you step forward and help out?
Most importantly: have fun in September!