Hidden historical sites open for Coventry’s Heritage Open Days – Coventry City Council

The annual Heritage Open Days will be taking place in and around Coventry from Friday 9 September to Sunday 18 September, and once again venues – many not usually accessible to the public – will open.

Even more venues are open in Coventry than in previous years after a number of venues have been refurbished with external funding of more than £40m from national and regional partners.

These include the newly re-furbished St Mary’s Guildhall, located in the city’s historic Cathedral Quarter, stands as a testament to medieval Coventry’s power and wealth. The Guildhall is home to the magnificent Coventry Tapestry, which along with its spectacular interiors, provides a glimpse into the city’s fascinating history. You can also see the newly uncovered medieval kitchens. More than 30 venues will be open to showcase the amazingly diverse history and heritage ingrained in the city. Entry to all of the venues will be free.

During the 10 days castles, churches, cemeteries, museums, exhibitions and lots more will be open with activities including walking tours.

All opening times, tour booking information and venue details are online and contained in the free Heritage Open Days brochure which will be available soon.

Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council and Cabinet Member for events, said: “We are always proud to take part in Heritage Open Days.”

“It is an excellent showcase for the city with its fascinating and rich history. It also wouldn’t happen without the support of all the volunteers that work so hard to open venues and I’d like to thank them for making the event so special.”

Councillor David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Heritage, added: “It’s great to see so many venues taking part in the Heritage Open Days and I am sure visitors will be able to find something of interest for all the family.”

“This is our 28th year taking part in the event and as always, we have a wide range of venues and activities that are all free and accessible.

”This year there is even more to see thanks to local and national partners and funders who have worked in partnership with the council to complete major restoration projects at many of our heritage sites including the Guildhall, Drapers Hall, Lychgate Cottages, and Charterhouse.

“This means visitors can see even more and get an even better insight into the city’s past.”

For details of what is happening over the 10 days check online or pick up one of the free brochure from the Council House and other locations.

Below is just a taster of some of the places taking part.

The Council House will also be opening its doors for visitors to see the Council Chambers and Lord Mayor’s and Lady Mayoress’s parlours.

There will also be plenty going on at the canal basin with cars, motorbikes, boats and more exhibited during the Heritage Weekend and Food Festival. The canal basin also has the homes of Riley Cars Heritage Archive and the Coventry Model Railway Club who also have exhibitions on as part of Heritage Open Days.

There is an exhibition in a series of rooms above The Litten Tree pub. The building was built in 1911 to house the prestigious Rover Co Ltd showrooms and has had a fascinating history since.

Visitors may also fancy a ride on a miniature railway. Bridge View Light Railway will be showing the engineering inside their engines and much more at their site in Baginton next to the River Sowe.

If anyone would like to get a new insight into some of the city’s churches, Holy Trinity which houses the famed Doom painting, will be open to explore and St John the Baptist Church in Fleet St is probably one of Coventry’s “hidden gems” with a wealth of history and amazing interior.

Also, Coventry’s Greek Church will be open for visitors and the Great Unitarian Church will be joining us opening for the first time – and highlighting the many inventions and discoveries by Unitarians.

The Charterhouse on London Road, will be holding hard hat tours showcasing the huge restoration work taking place.

The beautiful Bagot’s Castle is once again opening, where visitors can enjoy river walks as well as the castle ruins and see the Bagot’s Goats. You will also be able to take a look at the old Alvis test track in amongst the lovely countryside.

Brochures will be available from the Council House, Tourist Information Centre in The Herbert, libraries and participating venues and the information is also online at so start planning your visits today.

Many tours need to be pre-booked so check either online or in the brochure to make sure you don’t miss out!

Further information is available online which has up to date details of all that is happening across Coventry during Heritage Open Days 2022.

Find out more about Heritage Open Days

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