The annual National Heritage Open Days are on the weekend of the 8th-9th September this year, when buildings and sites are open to the public and entrance is free, and there are volunteers at each venue to talk to visitors. So get out there and enjoy the great historic buildings and sites of Colchester!
Colchester Library will be open; go there first to view a map with all the open buildings and sites marked, and there will also be a display of books relating to the buildings in the Local Studies section of the library.
Buildings or sites in Colchester which will be open to the public on one or both days are:
Colchester Castle and the Castle Park
the Audley Chapel in the former church in Berechurch Hall Road
Colchester Baptist Church
Colchester Royal Grammar School
Holy Trinity church
Roman theatre remains
3 West Stockwell Street, the offices of Sparling, Benham and Brough
St Botolph's Church
St Giles' Masonic Centre
St Helen's Chapel
St James the Great Church
St James the Less Church
St John's abbey gatehouse
St John's Orthodox Church
St Leonard at the Hythe church
St Martin's church
Colchester Arts Centre (St Mary-at-the-Walls church)
the Minories house and Folly
*** Roman Circus House and garden (the site of part of the Roman circus), off Circular Road North - information at http://www.thecolchesterarchaeologist.co.uk/
There will also be events, including town tours from the Town Hall and a guided walk of the Roman town wall. There will be performances illustrating events from 2,000 years of Colchester's history outside the castle. There will also be two events at firstsite.
Four local composers have created pieces of music inspired by buildings in Colchester, and these will be performed at the buildings on the Heritage Open Days for 'Music in place 2012': '... History and architecture will come alive with a series of musical interludes composed in response to each building. Join four local composers and the acclaimed Britten Sinfonia on a musical journey through some of Colchester's most historic buildings ...'. The four buildings are the Town Hall, St Martin's church, St Botolph's Church, and Colchester Arts Centre (St Mary-at-the-Walls church).
For details on all the open buildings or sites and events, go to http://www.visitcolchester.com/thedms.aspx?dms=13&feature=1112&venue=06…
The buildings are all listed or on the local list; all the sites, except for Colchester Cemetery, are Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
Read more about each building on this web-site, under 'listed and locally listed buildings'.