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Heritage Open Days coming in September

Don't miss this chance to celebrate the history of your local community – for young and old alike

Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) is again supporting England’s largest festival of history and culture ‘Heritage Open Days’ with free events from September 10-19.

Every year in September, historic places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It’s a chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all free.

Cllr Martin Round, chair of the Economic, Regeneration and Leisure Committee at MBC, said: “For anyone interested in the history of our beautiful local area these free events really are a must. They are a chance to visit historic places in the borough, find out more about them and help celebrate their heritage, community and history.

“There are so many people involved in creating these wonderful visits helping to make sure that pride in our heritage and what is on offer is celebrated. I’d like to say a huge thank you to them for their enthusiasm in sharing such wonders with the public.”

Cllr Martin Round

The programme of events is listed here:

All Saints Church – come and discover the fascinating history of this beautiful church in a stunning riverside setting. It was built in 1395 by Archbishop Courtenay to become one of the grandest perpendicular churches in England. Open: 10-19 September, 10am to 4pm: No need to book.

Angel Day at St Michael & All Angels Church – discover stained glass angel windows inside the church, children’s activities, and an outdoor trail. Open: September 11, 10am to 4pm: No need to book.

Maidstone Town Hall tours – enjoy a tour incorporating the architectural features of this fine Georgian building, the richly decorated council chamber, the gaol and its graffiti. Open: Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 September. Tours at 9.30am, 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm on both days. Booking essential by emailing mayor@maidstone.gov.uk

Mote Park Hidden Histories Discovery Weekend – join us for an exciting weekend of exploration and discovery in the beautiful Mote Park. See archaeology in action as we survey different areas of the park using a variety of techniques and learn how to interpret the results. Discover hidden landscapes and how human activity has shaped the park over the centuries. Lots of fun activities for the whole family. Open: 11 and 12 September, 10.30am to 3.30pm. No need to book.

Mote Park Guided Walks – enjoy a series of walks in the beautiful Mote Park, looking at the living landscape, past and present. Open: 13 September, 11am to 2pm – daytime walk exploring the living landscape; 14 September, 5.30pm-8pm – Twilight Tales, an early evening walk with a chance to spot some different wildlife as the sun goes down; 16 September, 7.30pm to 9.30pm – Bat Tales, a late evening walk to learn how the park has developed into an incredible habitat for the large diversity of bat species in Kent. Use special trackers to search for bats and learn more about these remarkable creatures. Booking essential by emailing annmarielangley@maidstone.gov.uk

Visit the Herbarium, Maidstone Museum – come and see a beautiful wall painting of a grand picnic, created during the reign of Elizabeth I which is normally hidden from sight in what is today the museum’s herbarium. Open: 11 September, tours at 10.30am and 11.15am. Booking essential via the museum website.

Heritage Open Days is a national festival coordinated by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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