Some of Woking Borough’s most iconic buildings will be taking part in the Heritage Open Days weekend between 10 and 13 September, which celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties which normally are closed to the public or charge for admission.
Woking Borough Council has produced a free, handy guide to all the sites taking part, available from the Civic Offices, Woking Library and all nine venues hosting a special event over that weekend.
Although Woking is often seen as a modern town with its attention firmly focussed on the future, the Borough has a long and rich history. It contains several nationally significant heritage sites, and a number of ancient churches and other important places of worship. Often described as ‘hidden treasures’, these sites offer a rare glimpse into Woking’s fascinating past.
For example, for the first time visitors can enjoy a stroll around the Peace Garden at the Muslim Burial Ground in Maybury before its official opening later this year. Extensively refurbished and landscaped over the past year, this Grade II listed burial ground will be open for tranquil contemplation and informal talks about this special place.
In addition, visitors to Woking can also enjoy some of the Borough’s more modern buildings by taking a look inside WWF-UK’s award-winning headquarters The Living Planet Centre and the The Lightbox nearby, which will be hosting a joint architecture trail as well as workshops, tours and object-handling sessions. Or, why not peep behind the scenes on a backstage tour of the New Victoria Theatre?
Other sites that will be welcoming visitors include Woking Palace, where pre-booked tours will enable visitors to view the excavations currently taking place on site, and Brookwood Cemetery, where guided walks will be available. In addition, historic churches St. Peter’s in Old Woking and St. Mary-the-Virgin in Horsell will both be opening their towers, and the Shah Jahan Mosque will be offering informal tours of the first purpose-built mosque in Britain.
For more information about Heritage Open Days, please pick up a leaflet from the Civic Offices, Woking Library or from any of the venues mentioned above. Alternatively, the full Heritage Open Days programme, plus information about other events taking place in Woking Borough this year, is available at www.celebratewoking.info