Visit a former Worcester prison on National Heritage Day
Follow in the footsteps of former prisoners who were locked up in the holding cells at Worcester‘s Guildhall (High Street, Worcester WR1 2EY).
The Guildhall was once the seat of justice for the city, and is throwing its doors open to visitors on Saturday 14 September from 10.00am to 4.00pm for National Heritage Day.
This is your opportunity to step back in history and visit the cells and Court Room, which witnessed scenes of high drama for many years. Prisoners, many of whom were sentenced to death, were led up to it through a trap door in the middle of the floor, and once sentenced, were taken down again to await their fate.
The history of the Guildhall will be brought to life with costumed characters and guided tours. There will be a history-themed colouring in activity for children in the Court Room, and the opportunity to visit the Mayor’s Parlour complete with swords and maces.
“The Guildhall is an ornate and stunningly beautiful building which has hosted royalty on a number of occasions. However many Worcester residents have never been inside to experience its magnificent paintings, chandeliers and rich history,” says the Mayor, Cllr Allah Ditta, who will be welcoming visitors on the day.
“It’s well worth a visit – especially as it’s completely free!”
Councillors will be on hand to show visitors round the Guildhall’s treasures and to reveal secrets from the building’s fascinating past – including the palatial Assembly Room, described by King George III as “a handsome gallery”, and where Queen Elizabeth II has dined three times.
The Commandery will also be offering free entry on Saturday 14 September from 10.00am to 5.00pm for Heritage Open Day. It will be exploring the siege of 1643 where the people of Worcester came out to defend the city from the Parliamentarian army of Gloucester. There will be talks and tours, a cannon drill and a 17th century drum workshop where visitors can experience the importance of drums on the battlefield.
Heritage Open Days (https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/) celebrate England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or which normally charge for admission.