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Explore Kingston’s architectural gems this September

Surbiton heritage

Local people are invited to explore the borough’s most interesting buildings for free from 7 to 17 September as Kingston takes part in both Heritage Open Days and Open House London.

The Heritage Open Days (7 to 10 September) are being organised by the Kingston upon Thames Society, a group of expert volunteers who are passionate about heritage and architecture. For the first time, Kingston is additionally taking part in Open House London on the weekend of 16 to 17 September.

Some of the highlights of the Heritage Open Days 7 to 10 September,  include access to the Ivy Conduit, built by Cardinal Wolsey in 1515 as part of the water supply system for Hampton Court and an exhibition at the Hawker Centre, site of the original Great Richmond Road Factory where over a period of 75 years; cars, lorries and aircraft, including the original Hawker jet aircraft were designed and built. In addition there are guided history tours of Kingston’s town centre and riverside and that of Surbiton outlining its illustrious past.  There’s even a Trycyclingathon event being organised from Claremont Gardens where participants can join cycle tours to celebrate the borough’s glorious cycling heritage.

Participating venues in the Open House weekend 16 to 17 September include; Clover House on Kingston Hill, Dorich Museum in Kingston Vale and Fredrick W Payne, the longest operating funeral directors in the borough with a Grade II listed interior.

These weekends allow you to look behind the doors of private houses, schools and businesses and learn of the rich history or significance of each unique location from expert volunteers.

Cllr Andy Johnson Creek, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Growth and Identity said:

“We want Kingston to be named the first London Borough of Culture and it’s fantastic events like this which set us apart.

“We’ve all walked past buildings in the borough and wondered about its history and what it looks like inside. Now is our chance to take a look! I do hope as many people as possible explore our truly remarkable buildings in Kingston during this exciting fortnight of culture.”

To take a look through the programme and find out which sites are taking part, visit www.kingston.gov.uk/heritagefortnight.