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Heritage Open Days 2021

HODs LogoHeritage Network LogoEvery year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It's your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it's all FREE. This year Heritage Open Days returns with a 10-day festival taking place from Friday 10th to Sunday 19th September. You can have free access to events and properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission or choose one of the many events that place especially for the festival. Building on last year's successful debut, there will also be online and self-guided events too. This year the national theme is 'Edible England'.

Here in Stoke-on-Trent, there will be the the usual chance to discover fantastic architecture and enjoy a wide range of events and activities that bring local history and culture to life. The city's brilliant museums will be taking part and we will be focussing on our unique industrial heritage with a range of events that feature our iconic bottle ovens. There will outdoor events too, with plenty of guided walks and tours, and chance to find out more about our parks, canals and green spaces. 

Hover over the icons with your curser for the key.

These are the events taking place in Stoke-on-Trent this year: Page 1 of 3   2 3 >

Arnold Bennett - more than an Omelette

Omelette Arnold Bennett

Barewall Gallery, The White House, 2 - 4 Market Place, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST6 4AT


Tuesday 14th September

12:00 - 15:00

An event based at a heritage building in Burslem linked with Arnold Bennett novels. To touch on the Edible England theme, and in association with a local café and art gallery, the focus will be on the Savoy Hotel's tribute to Bennett - the Omelette Arnold Bennett. There will be readings from Bennett where he's writing about food, dining out, institutions, etc.

Booking: Email the Society via the contact page:


 Partial wheelchair accessEdible England


Bethesda Chapel

35-37 Albion Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1QF


Saturday 11th September - 12:00 - 15:00

Wednesday 15th September - 13:00 - 16:00

Saturday 18th September - 12:00 - 15:00

Sunday 19th September - 13:00 - 15:00

Visit a 200 year old Methodist Chapel founded by important potters. Its restoration is a work in progress. We believe the Chapel has the widest span of any Chapel outside London and was very important in Stoke-on-Trent and known locally as The Cathedral of the Potteries. Made redundant in 1985 it fell into serious disrepair and is slowly being restored. We are basing our theme on World War Two to relate to other events that will be happening in the local area. For part of the open days on the 11th, 15th and 18th September our organist will be playing appropriate music.

Booking: not required

 Partial wheelchair access


Biking to Bottle Ovens

Starting from the Dudson Museum
Hope Steet, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 5DD


Sunday 12th September

10:00 - 13:00

Join Potteries Heritage Society and our partners for a pleasant morning cycle taking in 20 bottle ovens in the north of the city. Local experts and experienced cyclists will be on hand to guide you through the 12-mile route and to relate the history and heritage of these local icons. Part of a series of local bottle oven-themed events in Stoke-on-Trent. Parking at the Dudson Centre available by arrangement.

Booking: Pre-book online:




Bottle Ovens Facts  

Bottle Oven Facts

27 bottle oven sites. See interactive map.


Anytime during the festival



Potteries Heritage Society is opening up a wealth of information about bottle ovens. Each of the 27 bottle oven sites in Stoke-on-Trent will feature a QR code link to Bottle Oven Facts, as well as further information about bottle oven types. Over 40 pages of "Bottle Oven Facts" have been created to fit the screen of your smart phone or tablet, including all sites, oven types, locations and interactive maps.

Booking: not required



Chatterley Whitfield Colliery Open Weekends

Chatterley WhitfieldChatterley Whitfield Enterprise Centre
Biddulph Rd, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 8UW

Saturday 11th September
Sunday 12th September
Saturday 18th September
Sunday 19th September
10:00 - 16:00

The Chatterley Whitfield Colliery site is acknowledged to be the most comprehensive survival of a deep mine site in England, with a range of surviving structures and buildings unequalled in any other former or surviving coalfield site in Great Britain. It is not usually open to the public, however this FREE guided tour by The Chatterley Whitfield Friends will allow you to appreciate the array of buildings on site, which makes Chatterley Whitfield Colliery so unique.  Sorry but no underground tours. Limited Acces to some buildings.

Booking: Pre-book online: Details to be confirmed


Not usually openFull access


Exploring A R Wood's Tunstall

Tunstall Town Hall
Meet at Tunstall Town Hall, High Street, Tunstall, ST6 5TP


Monday 13th September

14:00 - 16:00

A guided walk around the Potteries town of Tunstall focused on the architecture and buildings created by Absalom Reade Wood, the surveyor to the Tunstall Board of Health. The event is co-ordinated by Potteries Heritage Society and led by Sentinel columnist and urbanist, Dave Proudlove.

Booking: Pre-book online:


 Full accessPram Pushchair Friendly


Exploring Longton's Heritage

Longton's Heritage
Meet at the Phoenix Works, 500 King Street
Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 1EZ


Friday 17th September

9:30 - 12:30

Join us for a walking tour of Longton to look at the town's rich heritage. The walk will cover all 20 of Longton's iconic bottle ovens and include special access curtesy of members of the Potteries Bottle Ovens Owners Club. The tour and discussion will be led by U3E's Phil Rowley and Potteries Heritage Society's Andy Perkin.

Booking: Pre-book online:


 Not usually openPartial wheelchair accessPram Pushchair Friendly


Exploring the Ceramics Industry at Dudson

Dudson Bottle Oven
The Dudson Centre
Hope Street, Hanley
Stoke on Trent


Sunday 12th September

10:00 - 15:00

A chance to see The Dudson Museum open's its doors on a Sunday to tell the story of the ceramic industry and the use of bottle ovens. The Museum tells the history of the Dudson Pottery, a family pottery business which dates back to the 1800's. Look at what life was like for children working as far back as the 1800's. There will be a selection of quizzes and activities to take part in, plus prizes to be won. There will be a tour of the Museum and a presentation from the museum curator.

Booking: not required


 Full accessChildren's Activities


Hanley Park - HLF Launch Event

Hanley ParkHanley Park, Cleveland Road, Shelton, Stoke on Trent , ST1 4DX

Saturday 11th September

11:00 to 16:00

To celebrate the end of the Heritage Lottery Fund renovation works in Hanley Park, we will be holding a special launch event with a Victorian theme. There will be a whole host of Victorian style attractions for people of all ages to enjoy. We plan to show some historic film footage of Hanley Park. We also are planning for Stoke on Trent allotment holders to contribute to the event with separate stands for flowers, produce and scarecrows.

Booking: not required


Pram Pushchair FriendlyEdible England


Heritage Open Days Speakers' Corner

Speakers CornerThe Bandstand at Hanley Park
Cleveland Road, Shelton, Stoke on Trent , ST1 4DX

Friday 10th September


Join members of The Heritage Network to launch the Heritage Open Days festival in Stoke-on-Trent. Find out what’s in store as participating hosts let you know about events coming up over the next 10 days. Local organisations will have a few minutes tell you what’s on offer and will bring along their displays and curios.

Booking: not required


Full accessPram Pushchair FriendlyEdible England

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 HODs Landscape (embellished)