Open Doors 2011

Friday 26 August 2011

European Heritage Days 'Open Doors' 2011

Neath Abbey and Gatehouse

Neath Abbey and Gatehouse

Wales is set for its biggest-ever free celebration of cultural heritage this September as Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, in partnership with Civic Trust Wales, open the doors to a number of historic sites across the country, which are either usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.  

As part of the Open Doors European Heritage Days 2011, a number of different sites will be open for free at certain times during September, allowing access for all to explore and enjoy Wales’s rich and diverse heritage. As part of the celebrations a number of buildings across Wales of every age, style, period and function from castles to factories, and town halls to tithe barns and parish churches are open free of charge to the public.

From Saturday 3 September, Cadw will open the following monuments free of charge (for those which are not already free to enter) around Wales and invites the general public to explore:

North Wales

Hafoty Hall, Flint Castle, Rhuddlan Castle, Rug Chapel and Valle Crucis Abbey

Hafoty Hall at Llansadwrn on Anglesey will be open every weekend during September – 3 and 4, 10 and 11, 17 and 18, 24 and 25 (12 – 4pm). A guide will be available on these days to answer questions and conduct tours on request.

Flint Castle will be open on Saturday 3 September (10am-4pm), while Rhuddlan Castle is open on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September.

Rug Chapel will be free to enter on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September (10am-5pm).

Valle Crucis Abbey will also be free to enter on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September as part of the Llangollen Open Doors programme.

All venues have guided tours available on all days.

South-East Wales

Caerleon Fortress Baths, Amphitheatre and Barracks, Caerphilly Castle, Chepstow Castle.

Caerleon Fortress Baths, Amphitheatre and Barracks is open on Sunday 18 September (10am-5pm). There will be costumed guided tours at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm starting from the Baths entrance.

As part of Caerphilly Fringefest, held to coincide with the evening BBC Proms in the Park event, Caerphilly Castle will be free to all on Saturday 10 September (9.30am-5.30pm). A fun packed day for all the family will include the Monmouthshire Minstrels, fire wielding jesters and escapologists Fiery Jack and Marrio Morris along with dragon processions and storytelling with Alchemy. There will also be an opportunity to sample the fare served as part of the medieval banquets at the castle in early December during Illuminata 2011.  

On Sunday 18 September, Chepstow Castle will open its doors as part of Monmouthshire’s Open Doors ‘Overlooking the Wye’ event.  Doors open from 10am-5pm.

At Newport Castle on Saturday 3 September there will be talks on the history of the castle held during the day (10am-2pm).

South-West Wales

Cilgerran Castle, Lamphey Bishop’s Palace and Neath Abbey.

Cilgerran Castle is open on Saturday 10 September (10am-5pm).  As well as the opportunity to explore this historic monument, there will also be a flower festival taking place for visitors to enjoy.

Lamphey Bishop’s Palace is open on Saturday 10 September from 10am-5pm with medieval costumed guided tours taking place from 10am-4pm.

Neath Abbey is open from 10am – 5pm on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September. Guided tours are available throughout the day.

For the full list of participating sites (with opening dates and times) and updates on the Open Doors 2011 programme, go to the Civic Trust for Wales website