Free weekend of history

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CELEBRATE the rich and varied local heritage of Lincolnshire for free during Heritage Open Days 2012 from September 6-9.

Special openings and events have been arranged across the county and all are free of charge. Visit Heritage Lincolnshire’s website ( or pick up a booklet to plan your visits.

This year’s theme is Trade and Travel and the programme is the most diverse and varied ever, with a large number of events taking place for the first time specific to the theme. Here are some local ones.

* Historic RAF College Cranwell guided tour on Saturday 9-11am. Pre-booking essential (Tel: 01529 488490). Visitors must be dressed in smart casual clothing. Not suitable for children under ten. Cameras allowed.

* Visit the 16th century Fulbeck Manor, in Fulbeck, and view its collection of 400 years of portraits of the Fane family. Tours last one and a half hours. Sunday 10.30am-12noon and 2pm-3.30pm. Pre-booking essential. Call 01529 461499.

* Virtual tour of St Swithun’s church roof in Leadenham on Sunday 2pm-5pm. See in detail historic ‘Plumber’s marks’. These names and dates could help trace your family history.

* At Mrs Smith’s Cottage Museum, East Road, Navenby, climb the bedroom ladders in this Grade II listed building and find out about the fascinating way of life of the unique occupant, Mrs Smith. The Village Treasure Hunt will take 1 hour and costs £1, with prizes. Prize for winning entry in ‘Who Has Travelled The Furthest Competition’. Saturday and Sunday 1-4pm.

* All Saints Church, Nocton will be open Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 12noon-4pm for visitors to view finest Gothic revival church in Lincolnshire, with extensive wall paintings. Tours on Ripon and Hobart families, at 12 noon and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. Light lunches, cakes, tea/coffee.

* Osbournby Heritage Room on North Street, Osbournby open Saturday and Sunday 1-5pm, displaying collection of village photographs and memorabilia.

* St Denis’ Church, Silk Willoughby open 10am-4.30pm Thursday to Sunday (pre-booking essential - call 01529 302427). A 14th Century church with Norman font, medieval poppyheads and Jacobean pulpit, lectern with upstanding wooden eagle, Christopher Whall east window and Glen Cartel stained glass window. On display copies of marriage register 1837-1978, burial register 1813-2010.

* Sleaford History Group presents: Carriers, Commerce and Cash. Part I on Sunday 10am-11.30am starting at Sleaford Market Place for walk round central Sleaford with Mike Turland looking at evidence of trade and travel including coaching and hotels, the Mail, carriers and pubs, the Navigation, railway developments, banks, markets and living over the shop.

Part II of this tour is from 2-3.30pm on Sunday from Money’s Yard Car Park, Sleaford. Walk through the town with Simon Pawley along Sleaford Navigation. Visit the Navigation wharfs and office. The walk will also explore the town’s water, wind and steam mills; the building of Carre Street from 1820s; and much more. Tour lasts approximately 1½ hours.

* Navigation House, Carre Street, Sleaford, open Sunday 11am-4pm to discover story of the trade and travel on the River Slea. Children’s trail to win a reward.

* Cogglesford Mill open on Sunday 11am-4pm on East Road, Sleaford. Discover history of milling and effect on trade. Children’s I-spy trail. Free competition to win a hamper.

* Sleaford Historic Car and Motorcycle Show will be on Saturday: 10.30am - 4.30pm on Lafford Terrace Car Park, Council Offices, Eastgate, Sleaford, comprising cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles from across the ages. Free admission. Free programme (while stocks last, normal charge £1) to anyone carrying an HOD brochure.