The annual Heritage Open Days highlights important locations around north-east Hampshire with great history
The rich history found around the area will be on show this month as this year’s Heritage Open Days sets up for a weekend.
The annual event celebrates historic monuments and sites across the country by allowing members of the public to experience them for free – including some they would not usually be allowed access to.
Held on Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15, there are 101 sites open throughout Hampshire and 324 in Surrey.
Highlights this year include hearing the remarkable stories behind the graves in Aldershot Military Cemetery in a tour on the Saturday at 10am which is organised by Friends of the Aldershot Military Museum.
Led by group chairman Paul Vickers, the tour will take in the final resting places of Victoria Cross-holders and aviation pioneers like Samuel Cody, as well as less well-known figures such as the six sappers who died while attempting to defuse an unexploded bomb close to Hook station during the Second World War, and Captain Charles Beresford who died attempting to stop a runaway horse.
Mr Vickers said: “Last year the Military Cemetery walk was very popular and people welcomed this opportunity to learn more about this fascinating aspect of our local heritage.
"We are pleased to be able to offer the cemetery tour again this year as part of our contribution to the Heritage Open Days.”
On the Sunday, the Prince Consort’s Library will offer a chance to see inside the purpose-built Victorian military building, founded by HRH Prince Albert in 1860 for the army in Aldershot, and enjoy talks on its history.
It retains many of its original features and after more than 150 years of service the Grade II-listed library is still the army’s premier military library, continuing to deliver books and information to army personnel worldwide.
On the same day, there will also be a tour of the military town, led by the Friends of the Aldershot Military Museum, including some parts due to be developed as part of Project Wellesley.
Elsewhere, Farnborough Masonic Centre will host tours of the lodge rooms and St Mary’s Church in Eversley will welcome visitors to see where Water Babies author Charles Kingsley is buried.
Hook’s Bramshill House, acquired in 1953 by the Home Office for a police training college, will be open on Sunday to allow people to see the grounds, stained glass windows and rooms that have hosted royal visits.
Visitors are welcomed in fancy dress with a Second World War theme and there will be bee keeping displays, music on the cricket pitch and refreshments.
The Odiham Society will celebrate with a display on the evolution of maps, including aerial photographs.
Other displays will include conservation projects past and present, an embroidery project planned to celebrate 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta, and archaeology in North Warnborough.
Guided walks and a family I-Spy trail around the centre of Odiham will be available.
For more information, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk .