Wales’s only Ancient Corporation offers rare glimpse inside as iconic buildings get set to Open their Doors to thousands of visitors

Thursday 27 August 2015

Wales’s much-loved museums, historic attractions and hidden gems are expecting to welcome thousands of visitors next month as part of Open Doors – the largest volunteer event in the heritage sector in Wales.

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  • Picture of Tintern Abbey

    Tintern Abbey

  • Picture of Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Caerphilly - Open Doors 2015

    Llancaiach Fawr Manor - Open Doors 2015

  • Picture of St Nicholas' Greek Orthodox Church - Open Doors 2015

    St Nicholas' Greek Orthodox Church - Open Doors 2015

  • Picture of Denbigh Castle - Open Doors 2015

    Denbigh Castle - Open Doors 2015

This year we are launching Open Doors from the home of the Laugharne Corporation, one of few such corporations and open field systems still running in Britain and the only one in Wales today.

The Laugharne Corporation will be offering the public a rare glimpse inside its historic courtroom and is just one of hundreds of venues across Wales that will be giving visitors free entry, exclusive access, or putting on special events throughout the month of September.

Buildings and sites that are usually closed to the public will be among the many unseen gems taking part in Open Doors. These include the 17th century Home Farm of the Ruperra Estate in Caerphilly, which once provided the food for the Morgan of Tredegar living at the castle, and the recently restored Prince’s Pier Warehouse in Anglesey, which took slates from North Wales quarries and immigrants looking for a new life to New Orleans and other ports along the Gulf of Mexico.

From a Wrexham Colliery celebrating 200 years of the mine safety lamp, to Wales’s largest Victorian cemetery, and a 151 year old historic house transformed into a thriving spiritual community, visitors can explore all types of the country’s fascinating buildings and sites, with over hundreds of events to discover.

There will also be the chance to enter the cells of Ruthin Goal and learn about the life of the Victorian prisoners, as well as take part in an exclusive guided tour of the life and times of the bard, Daniel James, who wrote the words to the famous hymn and iconic rugby anthem, Calon Lân.

Additionally, we are offering the first 20,000 people to register through our Eventbrite page free entry to its paid-admission sites over the final weekend in September (26-27), as well as hosting a packed programme of activities and events in celebration of Open Doors.

Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “The Welsh Government is committed to making Welsh culture and heritage more accessible to the people of Wales, and the month-long Open Doors festival succeeds in doing this.  

“As well as co-ordinating the Wales-wide event, the Welsh Government will once again offer local people and visitors alike the opportunity to connect with our country’s fascinating culture, through offering 20,000 free tickets to historic sites in its care during the final weekend of Open Doors.

“However, we would not be able to organise such a large scale event if it wasn’t for the incredible dedication of the invaluable volunteers and community members who give up their personal time to help showcase Wales’s rich and diverse culture. I would encourage all members of the public to explore their local buildings and discover the stories behind them this September.”

Some venues have limited numbers of spaces or require advance booking. Visit our Open Doors section for full event listings and details of properties taking part in the programme. To register for a free entry ticket to Cadw sites on 26 or 27 September, visit our Open Doors Eventbrite page.