Bristol Doors Open Days 2017
A huge cultural event
On Friday 8 September, we opened Historic England’s South West offices to the public for the first time as part of Bristol’s hugely popular Doors Open Days.
Doors Open Days is one of Bristol’s biggest cultural events. Produced by the Bristol Architecture Centre and part of Heritage Open Days, Doors Open Day is now in its 24th year. It inspires around 70,000 visits to the city’s historic and contemporary buildings, encouraging people to experience them at first hand.
More than just a funding partner
We’ve helped fund Bristol Doors Open Days through a capacity-building grant since 2016, but offering our office as a new venue for the 2017 event was a great way to show our support for this much-loved festival.
We were delighted that people were interested in visiting our building, and that tickets for our tours were snapped up in a couple of days.
Sharing our stories
We welcomed 65 visitors to our specially researched guided tours, all delivered by members of our local team. We shared the story of 29 Queen Square, from its construction in 1711 as a wealthy merchant’s house with an elaborate façade complete with grotesque masks, to its decline in fortunes in the mid-18th century when Victorian philanthropists bought it as a home for destitute sailors. Finally, the building was converted in the late-20th century to the offices we occupy today. The hidden gems we pointed out to our visitors included a late-18th century safe, tiny plaster cherubs, and plaques recording the benefactors of the sailors’ cabins. We loved meeting everyone who came along and received very positive feedback. Watch this space - we’re considering running another event next year.