Heritage Open Days 2022: What’s on in South Yorkshire

This September, explore some of the region’s most historically interesting places with Heritage Open Days.

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture which sees places across the country throw open their doors to give people the chance to see hidden spaces and try new experiences for free.

This year, the theme is Astounding Inventions, highlighting cutting-edge creations and the imaginative inventors behind them.

Entry and events are FREE and take place between Friday 9th and Sunday 18th September. You can find a full list of events via www.heritageopendays.org.uk, but here are just some of the events happening locally.

Birley Spa Bath House Tour

Fridays 9th & 16th, Saturdays 10th & 17th, and Sundays 11th & 18th September

Tours at 11am, 1.30pm, 3pm

See inside Sheffield’s only Victorian bath house with a spring fed plunge pool. Hear about the plans for restoration

Booking essential, call Fiona Milne 07494529747

Birley Spa Lane, Hackenthorpe, Sheffield S12 4ED

Elsecar Great Engine Demos and Guided Site Tours

Saturdays 10th & 17th and Sundays 11th & 18th September

Exciting demos of the Newcomen Beam Engine, the first practical steam engine used to pump water out of mines. The Earl’s Great Engine at Elsecar dates back to 1712 and is still in its original location. See it in action and hear more about how it worked and the man behind its invention, Thomas Newcomen.

There will also be a chance to see the Elsecar New Colliery Fan House and look down the mine shaft.

Demos on Sundays at 12pm and 1pm. Guided site tours each day at 2pm.

Booking for tours essential, call 01226 740203

Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ

Hemingfield Colliery

Saturdays 10th & 17th 10.30-4pm and Sundays 11th & 18th September 12.30pm-3.30pm

Join the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery to explore the history and heritage of this scheduled Victorian colliery, once part of Earl Fitzwilliam’s Elsecar Collieries. Regular guided tours of the site, its coal working, railway and canal history, and connections to Elsecar, Wentworth and the wider world.

No booking required

Hemingfield Colliery, Hemingfield, Barnsley S73 0NX

Wentworth Pewter Factory Tour

Sunday 11th to Sunday 18th (except Sat 17th)

10am-4pm (till 3pm on Sundays)

Visit the family-run pewter factory at the heart of Sheffield’s metalwork industry to see the creation process for the products by craftsmen – and maybe even have a go yourself.

No booking required

Monarch Works, Catley Road, Darnall, Sheffield S9 5JF

Inventors Uncovered at Wombwell Cemetery

Wednesday 14th 10am-12.30pm, Friday 16th and Saturday 17th September 10am-4pm

Head to the cemetery’s Victorian chapel to discover Wombwell’s forgotten inventors, as well as cemetery themed inventions such as cast iron coffins and Victorian funeral bier.

No booking required

Wombwell Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Wombwell, Barnsley S73 8HY

Aizlewood’s Mill Tour

Wednesday 14th September 10am-3pm (on the hour)

Take a tour of this Victorian flour mill dating back to 1861 in the nursery gardens of the former Sheffield Castle. John Aizelwood was a miller from Rotherham and his company was one of the first to use the iron roller reduction method.

Booking essential, call 0114 282 3123

Sheffield’s Transport Industry and Driving the Sheffield-Simplex

Thursday 15th September 2pm

Discover the rise and fall of Sheffield’s motor manufacturing industry including the stunning Sheffield-Simplex which were funded by the Earl Fitzwilliam of Wentworth Woodhouse.

Booking preferred www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum

Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield S3 8RY

Wentworth Castle Gardens: Locking and unlocking stories of invention

Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th September 10am-5pm

Learn more about early electric used in the Victorian conservatory, the first fire engines designed by Stainborough’s Joseph Bramah, and see inside the iconic Rotunda temple monument from 1742.

There will also be guided house tours of Wentworth Castle, now used by Northern College, on Friday 16th which are bookable on the day.

No booking required

Wentworth Castle Gardens, Park Drive, Stainborough, Barnsley S75 3EN

The life of Donald Swanson talk at National Emergency Services Museum

Friday 16th September 4pm

Learn about the life of Donald Swanson, the Victorian detective who led the investigation into the infamous ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders of 1888, through six key objects from his personal archive.

Booking essential www.visitnesm.org.uk

The Old Fire Station, 101-109 West Bar, Sheffield S3 8PT

Hoylandswaine Nail Forge

Saturday 17th September 11am-3pm

See England’s last working nail forge with its original hearth and chimney.

No booking required.

Barnsley Road, Hoylandswaine, Barnsley, S36 7JA

Rotherham’s Chapel on the Bridge

Saturday 17th September 10.30am-2pm

See inside this 15th Century chapel that has been an almshouse, jail and tobacconist. Do you dare go down into the crypt? Hear the stories of female engineers including Lady of the Lamp, Monica Maurice, who married at the chapel in 1938.

No booking required

Bridge Street, Rotherham S60 1RB

Thundercliffe Grange Tours

Sunday 18th September 10am-3pm (every 20mins)

See inside this historic house that was developed by iron and steel barons, the Earls of Effingham. Thundercliffe sits on the site of a medieval monks’ iron working centre. The hall is now a private residence, but was once a mental asylum for women, and then a home for children with severe disabilities.

Booking essential www.thundercliffegrange.co.uk Thundercliffe Grange, Grange Lane, Kimberworth, Rotherham S61 2SQ