SADDLEWORTH AND Oldham’s fascinating history and heritage will be celebrated at a number of events in September.
This year’s Oldham Histories Festival and Heritage Open Days run from September 3-23 and offer a great chance to find out more about local people, places, buildings and stories.
From talks to walks there’s plenty to discover, whether you’re interested in architecture or heritage or just curious about the history around you.
At Oldham Local Studies and Archives residents can discover the rich history of Oldham and its people, with archives dating back to 1597 and covering an enormous range of subjects.
Events will take place borough-wide and are all free and there is no need to book, unless stated.
Town centre highlights include an Oldham Town Centre Walk, Oldhamers and the Battle of Somme, a Photograph Open Day, notable Oldham figures, The ‘Revival’ Exhibition, and The Transformation of the Old Town Hall.
In Saddleworth, Heights Chapel above Delph will be open on Sat 10 Sept and Sun 11 Sept from 1pm-4pm, with refreshments available.
Visitors can find out the chapel’s history and see a display of original stencils used in its decoration, and on the Sunday there is a Songs of Praise service starting at 3pm.
Also in Delph, there will be guided tours of the site that was once a Roman fort on the Chester to York military road. Tours include findings from the latest excavations in 2014.
Meet in the car park outside the Castleshaw Outdoor Centre, Waterworks Road, Delph, OL3 5LZ. No dogs allowed. Thu 8 Sept, 1.30-3pm; Sat 10 and Sun 11 Sept, 2-3.30pm.
Holy Trinity Church, Dobcross, will open its doors on Thu 8, Fri 9, Sat 10 and Sun 11 Sept, from 10am-4pm.
Built in 1787, the Grade II listed ‘Pennine Auditory’ Chapel contains fine examples of original box-pews. Booklets with guides available at certain times.
In Lees, Grade II* listed Gothic church St. Thomas’ is open on Sat 10 Sepy from 10am-4pm so visitors can see the new community room and facilities, or enjoy tours of the bell tower (10am-12noon).
St. Anne’s Church at Lydgate is holding open days on Sun 4, 11 and 18 Sept from 2.30-4.30pm, showing church history booklets and registers, plus maps and suggested walks around the graveyards.
And the historic St. Chad’s Church in Uppermill will be open on Fri 9 and Sat 10 Sept from 10am-4pm and Sun 11 Sept from 1-5pm.
Find out about the long history at the current Grade II* listed building through Parish Registers, tours of the bellringing room, children’s activities and more.
Cllr Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “This fantastic annual event allows residents to learn about the rich heritage of our borough.
“Residents may not realise how much interesting history we have on our doorstep so I hope they take advantage of these events and get an insight into the history all around them.”
For event times, dates and more information look out for the Oldham’s Heritage Open Days leaflet in your local library or see the full list online: www.oldham.gov.uk/heritagedays
Alternatively, contact Oldham’s Heritage Open Days, Oldham Local Studies and Archives, 84 Union Street, Oldham, OL1 1DN or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 0161 770 4654.