BUILDINGS across the District are preparing to throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, culture and history, welcoming visitors as part of the Heritage Open Days festival from today to September 19.

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture and in the Bradford district there are 13 activities and events that people can take part in for free during the festival.

The theme for this year’s festival is Edible England which is being embraced by several of the buildings in the Bradford district.

Activities in the Bradford district include

• Feast and Famine: The incredible history of food at St George’s Hall on Tuesday 14 September 3pm and 6pm. An illuminating one hour heritage talk on the incredible history of food at the stunning Victorian auditorium. Find out about royal visits, lavish banquets, the soup kitchen, celebrity chef and much more. Booking required visit

• Bradford Council’s Museums and Galleries Service is encouraging youngsters to connect with history. At Cliffe Castle, Keighley on Saturday 11 and Monday 13 September 11am-3pm children can get inspired by the art of the ancient Egyptians by making a bookmark out of real papyrum, write their name in hieroglyphs or create a secret message. At Bradford Industrial Museum on Saturday September 11 between11am-3pm, be a street artist for the day by using chalks to create an outdoor gallery by drawing on the bricks of the building or playing hopscotch on the pavement areas.

• City Centre Walking Trail – Organised by Visit Bradford, download and take the self-guided Bradford Heritage Trail at any time to see some of the city centre's primary heritage hotspots, rich in history and architectural design.

• Take part in a walk around the Manningham area of Bradford with a costumed guide to discover the fascinating buildings and people from the past and the present including some future plans for the area. Setting off from Lister’s Mill at 2pm on Sunday 12 September

• Bradford Cathedral will be open for its Cream of Yorkshire event on Sunday 19 September, where people will be able to find out about some of the significant and little-known people connected with the cathedral and Bradford’s past via fascinating talks, displays and family activities.

• The Titanic Relaunched Finale takes place at South Square Centre in Thornton on Saturday 18 September 12pm-4pm. A team of staff, alumni and students from Bradford College are recreating costumes from their original 1982 Titanic themed party.

• Take a self-guided walk and discover the Food the Romans Gave Us at The Manor House Art Gallery and Museum in Ilkley. On Saturday 11 September 2pm to 4pm there will also be a special Family Fun afternoon.

• Explore the 17th century East Riddlesden Hall and historic barn, set within intimate gardens and open green spaces. Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 10.30am to 4.30pm (House open 11am-3pm).

• Book a guided tour at Rail Story at Ingrow, Keighley on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September and go behind the scenes at the Engine Shed and Carriage Works museums to discover what's happening in their workshops as they repair and restore locos and carriages.

• Learn about the history of The Dining Hall in the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Saltaire on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September with hourly tours between 10am to 5pm. This event is part of the 20th anniversary celebrations for UNESCO's recognition of Saltaire as a World Heritage Site and the Saltaire Festival.

• High Royds Memorial Garden, Chapel and Nature Reserve is the last resting place for 2,861 former pauper patients of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum (latterly called High Royds Psychiatric Hospital). The Heritage Chapel which remembers those who have gone before and helps with the campaign to remove the stigma surrounding mental health will be open Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 12pm to 4pm. A special Remembrance/Thanksgiving Service will be held starting at 4pm on Sunday 12 September to commemorate those who have gone before and those with mental health issues today.

• Visit Bradford have updated their '24 hours to spice up your life' online blog encouraging people create their own curry trail.

• Churches across the district opening their doors include:

o Lower Wyke Moravian Church Saturday 11 September 10am-4pm and Sunday 12 September 1pm-4pm. Learn about the history of the church through displays and tours.

o St Mary’s Church, Wyke Saturday 18 September 10am-4pm. Learn about the history of the church with a guided tour, activity sheets for children and the chance to play the church organ

o All Saint’s Church, Ilkley Saturday 18 September 10am-4pm. Learn about the history of bread from Anglo Saxon time to the space age.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “The Heritage Open Days festival is a great way for people to have a free day or few days out discovering more about the history of some of the district’s most fascinating old buildings.”

For information about all of the events and activities for Heritage Open Days visit: or