Explore Rochdale landmarks with Heritage Open Day events throughout September

Date published: 09 September 2019

The borough of Rochdale is ready to celebrate its fantastic architecture and heritage with the return of the National Heritage Open Days festival from Friday 13 to Sunday 22 September.

Every year in September, England’s largest voluntary cultural event returns as a celebration of local and national heritage. Co-ordinated nationally by the Heritage Open Days National Partnership and locally by Link4Life, Rochdale takes part by opening the doors to various historic buildings throughout the borough that are usually closed to the public or charge an entrance fee.

Local buildings full of history will be open and free to explore, many of which include differing age, style and function across the borough all with fascinating guided walks, tours and talks.

Visit historic churches across Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton, enjoy the amazing 13th and 14th century stonework of Rochdale Parish Church, see the recently restored store rooms at Long Street Methodist Church, Middleton or take a free one hour tour of our Grade 1 Victorian Rochdale Town Hall with the opportunity to take a look at the Mayors Parlour.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Heritage Open Days and in recognition of the national theme 'People Power, 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre', Touchstones Rochdale will be hosting artists Paul Fitzgerald and Eva Schlunke in a talk about their new graphic novel based on the Peterloo Massacre, which is currently part of the Touchstones Heritage Gallery exhibition.


St John the Baptist Catholic Church
St John the Baptist Catholic Church


Also, in support of the Heritage Open Days, Touchstones will be holding a Blue Badge Guided Heritage Trail with the opportunity to join them for Afternoon Tea at Touchstones Art Café. The Trail will explore Rochdale’s architectural heritage and you can gain an insight into what life in Rochdale was like in the nineteenth century.

Acknowledging the support received from all participating heritage organisations, Darren Grice, Deputy CEO, at Link4Life said: “We are lucky to have an amazing heritage within our borough to explore and this is an excellent opportunity for local people to come and enjoy Rochdale’s rich and diverse history and culture.”

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture at Rochdale Borough Council said: “I’m very proud of the borough’s heritage and think that this year’s buildings and events will appeal to people of all ages. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity and visit the wealth of historic properties and fascinating free events in next month’s programme.”

Full details of this year’s Heritage Open Days programme and how to pre-book the free sessions are available online at:

A complimentary Heritage Open Day Guide, detailing all activities across the borough, produced by Link4Life, can also be picked up from Touchstones Rochdale, local libraries and Link4Life leisure centres.

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