Huge heritage event is for whole of North Devon

THOSE with a piece of North Devon's history tied up in the bricks and mortar of their homes, businesses or premises are being invited to share it this September. Heritage Open Days, from September 10-13, is being opened up this year to include not just Ba

THOSE with a piece of North Devon's history tied up in the bricks and mortar of their homes, businesses or premises are being invited to share it this September.Heritage Open Days, from September 10-13, is being opened up this year to include not just Barnstaple but the whole of North Devon.The event is designed are designed to help celebrate England's rich architecture, history and culture. Throughout the country thousands of properties and sites, of every age, style and function are involved and open their doors free of charge to visitors.The North Devon Conservation Society, which is co-ordinating the event locally on behalf of the Civic Trust, is keen to see as many properties to take part as possible. "From castles to factories, town halls to barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples, buildings of all sizes, ages and functions are open for tours and events," said chairman John Wilsher, who is co-ordinating the event locally together with Society treasurer Philip Milton. "You don't need to take part for all of the four days, or even for a whole day. Simply opening a building, for example, on one occasion at a convenient time is enough to be part of the experience."This year there is going to be significant publicity for the participating properties so we want as many to benefit as possible. Grant funding is available to produce a full colour free programme of the places participating. There is going to be much national publicity through English Heritage and we hope North Devon will take full advantage of this."Private homes, businesses, charities, public or voluntary organisations might all have hidden architectural treasures from history on the premises."You might have a beautiful 17th century plaster crest in a private room of your public or a 1650 restaurant with character features usually hidden from the public," continued Mr Wilsher."Smaller dwellings may have a particular feature their owners are very proud of and would love to share - a plaster ceiling, contemporary bread oven, original fireplace. "Don't be shy - share England's rich and varied heritage with like minded interested people!"Early registration is encouraged and any building in North Devon with historic features or usage can apply. Find out more at www.heritageopendays.org.uk and even register online, or call John Wilsher on (01271) 374899 or Philip Milton on 344300.

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