On Friday 11th September 2015, 10am – 4pm and Saturday 12th September 2015 10am – 4pm Brackley Town Hall is open as part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days initiative.
Following the recent approval from the HLF for the restoration of the Town Hall, the Town Council is once again throwing open the doors of the building and inviting the public to come and take a look around.
Building on the success of the last two years of Heritage Open Days, the Town Council is theming this years’ event around the Georgian period to reflect the time the Town Hall was built and originally used. Over the two days there will be opportunities to try your hand at games from the Georgian period, have a go at historic crafts, sampling historic recipes and trying on some authentic costumes. Information will be provided on the history of the Town Hall, the restoration project and its future. And of course, the ever-popular tours of the attic will be running across both days. All events and activities will be free.
Brackley Town Hall is a Wren-inspired Grade II* Listed building at the heart of Brackley town centre. The historic Town Hall was built between 1704 and 1707 by the 4th Earl of Bridgewater Scroop Egerton, then Lord of the Manor of Brackley. It was constructed to unite the previously separate villages of lower and upper Brackley and was originally used as a place to trade wool and as a manorial court. It has played an important role in the life of town for over 300 years and continues to do so. Visitors can learn more about the building’s history, explore the dusty attic and marvel at the technology of the 130 year old clock by climbing up the tower.
“After last year’s triumphant event, we’re looking to make 2015 another superlative year,” says Loyd Grossman, Patron of Heritage Open Days. “New funding sources and a higher profile means we are in a stronger position than ever before to celebrate our wonderfully diverse local heritage, and to encourage local communities to engage with the hidden histories on their doorstep.”
Cllr Peter Rawlinson, Project Champion said: ‘The restoration of this fantastic building is starting to gain real momentum now and is rapidly moving from feasibility and design to delivery. We are extremely pleased to be opening the doors to the Town Hall once again as part of this year’s heritage open day festival and hope that the events and activities we are putting on will be popular with residents and visitors. We hope that the community takes a real interest in this year’s event and joins us to find out more about the Town Hall’s history and its future.’
Alongside the Heritage Open Day event, Brackley Town Council is delighted to announce the award of £2,199,400 by HLF to repair and upgrade the ‘vulnerable’ building as a rejuvenated community venue. This new National Lottery investment will pay for repairs to the stonework and clock tower along with installation of new facilities including toilets, new kitchen and a lift. The restoration of the Grade II* listed building is being backed by experts at the Georgian Group and Historic England. The Lottery funding will be matched by £500,000 from both South Northamptonshire Council and Brackley Town Council itself.
Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the country; in 2014, over 4,600 events welcomed around three million visitors across England. Heritage Open Days operates as part of the National Trust with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Historic England. Every single Heritage Open Days event is free, including over 150 National Trust properties, which waive their entry fees on the Saturday of the Heritage Open Days weekend.