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Historic properties open their doors for Heritage Open Day in Deal, Dover and Sandwich

By Eleanor Perkins

The annual Heritage Open Days organised by English Heritage is well underway from Thursday to Sunday.

Some of the places taking part are not usually open to the public, would normally charge an entry fee, and span hundreds of years of history. 

Robin Ward who is opening up Tom Paine's Cottage for Heritage Open Days

Robin Ward who is opening up Tom Paine's Cottage for Heritage Open Days

Scroll down for the full list

Deal Town Hall is among the venues opening its doors and will focus on the 300th anniversary of the birth, in Deal, of Elizabeth Carter who was a scholar, poet, classicist, writer and translator, and a member of the Bluestocking Circle.

Deal Town Hall

Deal Town Hall

There will be the Deal’s Daughter exhibition by genealogist Pat Smith, historic publications by Elizabeth Carter including a personal copy of her own publication of her later poems, a project by the pupils of Goodwin Academy including animation and a tableau of found material film and text by artist Colin Priest.

The original letters of Elizabeth Carter to her friend Miss Highmore, which have recently been restored along with the letter book and oak frame, will also be on view.

Tom Paine’s Cottage is set to be a popular attraction in Sandwich. Thomas Paine author of the Rights of Man, whose writings influenced the American and French Revolutions, came to Sandwich in 1759 and opened a shop at 20 New Street.

The cottage in New Street is now used for holiday lets, but the owners are once again offering viewings as part of the weekend’s programme.

There will also be the chance to tour the Guildhall with the town sergeant, visit the museum to see the Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest, climb up inside a windmill and find out about a masonic temple and hall.

The Grand Shaft in Dover

The Grand Shaft in Dover

In Dover, visitors are invited to explore the Grand Shaft Staircase, a unique triple staircase which was started in 1804 and finished in 1807.

It connected the barracks and fortifications on the Western Heights through the 250ft cliff to sea level and out into the town, enabling troops to move quickly up or down its 140 steps within the cliff plus another 59 into the barrack yard.

In 1812 a Mr Leith of Walmer rode a horse up the staircase for a bet. The entrance is in Snargate Street.

Deal's Timeball Tower

Deal's Timeball Tower

What to see in Deal:

Astor Community Theatre - Saturday 10am to 3pm
Blessed Mary of Walmer, Church Street - Saturday 10am to 6pm
Deal Angling Club, The Marina - Saturday 10am to 1pm
Deal Rowing Club, The Marina - Saturday 10am to 1pm, Sunday 11am to 3pm
Maritime and Local History Museum - Saturday 11am to 4.30pm, Sunday noon to 4pm
Masonic Hall, Sondes Road - Saturday 10am-4pm
Medieval Manor House, Church Street - Saturday 10.30am to 3.30pm
Royal Marine Heritage Trail, Deal Castle - Saturday 1pm-3pm
St Andrew’s Church - Saturday 10am to 6pm
St George’s Church - Saturday 10am to 6pm
St Leonard’s Church - Saturday 10am to 6pm
St Martin’s Church, Northbourne Road - Saturday 10am to 6pm
St Mary’s Church - Saturday 10am to 6pm
St Nicholas’ Church, London Road, Sholden - Saturday 10am to 6pm
St Saviour’s Church, The Strand - Saturday 10am to 6pm
Timeball Tower - Saturday and Sunday 11.30am to 4.30pm
Town Hall, High Street - Saturday 10am to 4pm,
Sunday 1pm to 4pm
Walmer Lifeboat Station, The Strand - Saturday and Sunday 10.30am to 3pm
Betteshanger Sustainable Parks, Almond House, Betteshanger Road - Sunday noon to 4pm
Maritime History Walk, starts at Timeball Tower - Sunday 1pm to 3pm
Sandown Castle - Sunday 1pm to 4pm

Town Hall Council Chamber in Dover

Town Hall Council Chamber in Dover

What to see in Dover:

Western Heights North Entrance tunnel – Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2pm
Grand Shaft Staircase – Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
Town Hall/Maison Dieu – Guided tours Sunday only, 10am to 4pm
Maison Dieu House – Saturday 10am to 4pm
St Edmund’s Chapel - Saturday 10am to 4pm
St Martin’s Priory at Dover College – Guided tours only at 11am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday
St Mary the Virgin Church – Saturday 10am to 4pm
Bell Tower of St Mary the Virgin – Saturday 1.30pm to 4pm
Unitarian Church – Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
St Radigund’s Abbey – Guided tours on Sunday 10.30am to noon and 2.30pm to 4pm

The White Mill, historic museum which is open for Heritage Open Days

The White Mill, historic museum which is open for Heritage Open Days

What to see in Sandwich:

Crypt at St Peter’s Church - Saturday noon to 4pm

Empire Cinema, Delf Street - Saturday and Sunday 2pm to 4pm

Noah’s Ark, King Street - Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm

Sandwich Guildhall - one hour tours starting at 10am and 2pm Saturday and Sunday
Sandwich Guildhall Museum - Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
Sandwich Masonic Hall - Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
Sandwich United Reformed Church, Cattle Market - Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
St Bartholomew’s Hospital Chapel - Saturday 10am to 4pm, Sunday noon to 4pm
St John’s Cottages Garden - Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm
St Mary Church - Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
The Chanter’s House garden - Saturday and Sunday 2pm to 5pm
The Parish Church of St Clement - Thursday and Friday 10am to 4pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm, Sunday 2pm to 5pm
Thomas Paine’s Cottage - Saturday noon to 4pm
White Mill Rural Heritage Centre, Ash Road - Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm

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