Heritage Open Days 2019

Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers. Every 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.

Heritage Open Days  -  from Thursday 13 to Sunday 22 September 2019

Each year the festival grows and develops, and is being held over 10 consecutive days, it is also the 25th anniversary of the national event. 

The theme for this year - 'People Power' - is in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre; a recognition of the myriad ways that people have changed the world, from marches and sit-ins to peaceful protests and rebel songs. The Blue Planet II Effect in 2017 galvanised public action after the airing of the documentary which includes images of marine life decimated by pollution and plastic waste. However, this theme is entirely optional, and there is a wide spread of events across the festival.

For more information visit the national Heritage Open Days website:


A Heritage Open Days in Tyne and Wear 2019 booklet giving details of all the participating buildings, tours and talks will be available at local libraries and museums from the beginning of August. Some of the Sunderland highlights include:

  • My Musical Memories of the 1960s - talk by Ian Mole about 1960s music in local venues
  • Ryhope 1919 - talk by local author Glenda Young
  • Photographic display of 1990s Pub Football at Southwick Holy Trinity Church
  • Sunderland Chapel of Light - former St Columba's church
  • Victorian and Edwardian Roker - guided walk
  • Darwin Brewery Open Day
  • The Radical North - symposium of lectures celebrating popular radicalism in the North
  • Exploring Edwardian Bishopwearmouth - guided walk

For more information please contact the Heritage Team by emailing info.heritage@sunderland.gov.uk