News

Kingston Heritage Festival is back like you’ve never seen it before!

Kingston’s rich and diverse history will once again be celebrated as the Kingston Heritage Festival returns with lots of activities for residents and visitors.

Between 11 and 20 September, people can delve into Kingston’s heritage with a series of Open House and Heritage Open Days, talks and walks, as well as plenty of online events celebrating the borough’s rich 1,100-year history, all free to explore.

Kingston Heritage Hub are behind the festival, a borough-wide network open to all local heritage groups and individuals managing heritage projects, it is an initiative set up by the Council's Kingston Heritage Service with Kingston First and Kingston Upon Thames Society. 

While many of the borough's buildings won't be open as usual due to the Covid-19 pandemic, four stunning churches have opened their doors and Kingston Tour Guides will be delivering short socially-distanced talks in both Kingston and Surbiton. 

A selection of walks and trails you can explore at your own pace have also been compiled. As well as digital content that you can enjoy online from the safety of your own home; films celebrating the diverse culture of the borough to virtual tours behind the scenes of some of our heritage venues new and old. 

Councillor Rebekah Moll, portfolio holder for culture and heritage at Kingston Council, said:

“I am delighted that the festival can be enjoyed this year despite the challenges. There is so much for people to enjoy as we celebrate the history of our wonderful borough.

“Our teams and partners have worked tremendously hard in putting together a festival that will showcase Kingston and I want to thank everyone for their efforts.

“Make sure you take advantage of these unique opportunities while you can- you get to experience the best of our borough.”

Kirsten Henly, chief executive of Kingston First, added:

“We at Kingston First are thrilled to be part of Kingston Heritage Festival for a second year, inviting Kingstonians to delve into their borough's long and rich history. From historic walks around town centre landmarks to informative talks from local history experts and online tours to enjoy at home, there's plenty to discover.  

“Thanks to the heritage teams, festival partners and volunteers who've worked so hard to deliver a fantastic programme, in spite of the challenges the pandemic has thrown our way!”

You can access the full Heritage Festival programme by visiting www.inkingston.co.uk/heritage-festival 

Kingston Heritage Service has also launched its new website KingstonHeritage.org.uk where you can find more information about future heritage events and Kingston’s Heritage collections.  

Notes to Editors:

Kingston Heritage Festival is organised by Kingston Heritage Hub. Kingston Heritage Hub is a borough-wide network open to all local heritage groups and individuals managing heritage projects, it is an initiative set up by Kingston Heritage Service with Kingston First and the Kingston-upon-Thames Society. This year, Kingston Heritage Hub would like to thank Kingston University and Kingston Council for funding Kingston Open House.

Find out more about Kingston’s Heritage Collections

Find out more about Open House

Find out more about Heritage Open Days