There will be plenty to enjoy over the Oxford Open Doors weekend on 10 and 11 September this year when the city across all walks of its life, the town, the University and Colleges throw open doors and invites you in- free to all.
With the theme of ‘Music, Chapels and Choirs’ the bells of Magdalen Tower will ring at 10am on the Saturday morning to herald the start of weekend with the Botanic Gardens opening early for visitors to gather. Other ‘musical’ events include a special Choral Evensong at Christ Church on Saturday evening, organ recitals, a chance to handle old musical instruments and a concert at the Sheldonian on Sunday afternoon to round off the weekend.
Buildings old and new feature this year with the award-winning Blavatnik School of Government a hot ticket, sitting alongside the old with the restored Chapels of St Luke’s and Trinity, and University College and Balliol opening for the first time. Hidden and Quirky gets a look in too with the c16th Real Tennis court and demonstrations in Merton Street, Oxfordshire Emergency Planning Unit in a Cold War Bunker or a tour of Holywell Cemetery where Wind in the Willows Kenneth Graham is buried.
What is Oxford Castle Unlocked doing?
On Saturday and Sunday, enjoy FREE access to the historic castle mound between 10am and 5pm.
On Sunday, between 9am and 1pm, take a FREE guided tour of the 1000 year old buildings. Climb the Saxon St. George’s Tower, descend into our atmospheric Norman crypt and explore the Georgian prison wing with a costumed character guide from the castle prison’s history. Tour spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and cannot be booked in advance.
Debbie Dance, OPT’s Director says “We have such a great programme for you this year, and the ringing of bells and sounds of music can only add to the party atmosphere and sense of fun”.
“Partnership lies behind the success of the event which could not happen without the University, and the many Oxford places and people who help us, not to mention our amazing volunteers”.
All events are available on the Oxford Preservation Trust website with brochures also available to pick-up across the City and County. Bookings open at 9.00am on 16 August. With a special OPT members only programme, you may wish to become an OPT member, which you can also do via the website at www.oxfordpreservation.org.uk.