Harrogate throws open its heritage doors as part of the Heritage Open Days festival

Heritage Open Days comes to Harrogate next month, from Friday 9 to Sunday 18 September, celebrating the town’s history, culture and architecture.

A bumper programme, with 23 different heritage sites – many usually closed to the public – opening their doors for free, welcoming Harrogate residents and visitors alike.

Sponsored by Harrogate Spring Water and coordinated by the Harrogate Civic Society, Harrogate’s festival brings people together with events at the town’s most prominent heritage sites.

There will be guided tours, talks, music recitals – and even the chance to explore “secret” and usually closed-off spaces.

Discover Harrogate’s fascinating spa history at the Royal Pump Room Museum, explore the magnificent Royal Hall, Harrogate Library and The Harrogate Club.  Feel the buzz onstage in a tour of Harrogate Theatre, climb a tower, or join one of four different hosted heritage walks.

Seven religious sites will be open, some with special music recitals or talks, and there are tours at Stonefall Cemetery.  Plus a castle, a well, a heritage centre, and even a council chamber to explore.

A highlight is the opening of Grove House and its gardens. Graeme Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Springfield Healthcare, the current owner, says:

“We’re delighted to be part of Harrogate’s Heritage Open Days and share the remarkable heritage of Grove House, the former home of Samson Fox, Harrogate’s famous engineering inventor, benefactor, and mayor.  When I bought the building I knew we had a unique opportunity to restore this beautiful Grade II listed house and grounds into high quality retirement apartments and a luxury care home for the community, whilst safeguarding the property’s rich heritage.

“We’re looking forward to opening our doors to showcase one of Harrogate’s oldest buildings, share stories of its past and the exciting plans for the future.”

Graeme Lee, at Springfield Healthcare’s Grove House

Stuart Holland, chair of the Harrogate Civic Society, adds:

“This year’s Heritage Open Days programme in Harrogate is the most varied and
interesting for some years, with a fascinating mix of the town’s historical, cultural, civic and religious sites to explore.

“The Harrogate Civic Society helps to coordinate participation by local venues in this festival, but all the hard work is done by the volunteers who open the doors, host the tours, and welcome their visitors.  They all deserve our thanks.”

Richard Hall, managing director at Harrogate Spring Water, comments:“At Harrogate Spring Water, we have always been immensely proud to continue Harrogate’s rich legacy.  From the town’s Victorian spa town heritage to its status today as a hub of culture and hospitality, we are delighted to lend our support to the 2022 Harrogate Heritage Open Days.”

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture.  Every year, thousands of volunteers and supporters organise events that allow us to discover hidden places and try out new experiences. Heritage Open Days is presented by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Every Heritage Open Days event is free, including access to many sites that usually charge for admission.

For latest updates on events in Harrogate, visit www.harrogatecivicsociety.org/events.