Treasure the treasures on your doorstep as Newbury town hall opens to the public for one day
The public are being encouraged to treasure the treasures on their doorsteps as Newbury's town hall opens its doors this weekend.
The event is part of England's Heritage Open Days, which are running across the country during September.
Newbury Town Hall will be open from 10am until 2pm on Saturday and visitors will be able to view the council chamber, the civic staircase, the Town Hall portraits, the council’s maces and other civic regalia.
They will also get to see the Town Hall honours boards, which list the mayors of Newbury going back to 1596, and feature many well-known local family names.
Council leader Martin Colston said: “We are very lucky in Newbury to have such an interesting history, and I am proud of our heritage and traditions dating back to the first Charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1596.
"I would like to encourage anyone to come and have a look at our historic Town Hall on the open day.”
Although meetings in the town hall are open to the public and many community events are hosted there, the town council recognised that a lot of residents have never visited the building.
The free event aims to change that and all are welcome to go along on the day. Refreshments will be on offer and a lift is available for anyone who may need it.
As part of 2021's Edible England theme, there will be a special display which will focus on the history of Newbury Market, former mayors who worked in the food industry and the town council’s Allotments and Edible Crop initiative.
The Town Hall portraits are on the civic staircase, which leads to the council chamber, and include the portrait of Jack of Newbury dated 1550, as well as King George III and Queen Charlotte. 'The Newbury Coat' is also on display, featuring a very famous story from Newbury’s industrial past.
In the council chamber the mayor’s throne and the council’s maces – which date from 1707 and 1758 – will also be on display.
The Victorian Town Hall, which faces Market Place, was built from 1876 to 1878, with the Town Hall clock and clock tower added three years later, in 1881.
The municipal offices, which look out on to Mansion House Street, were built from 1909 to 1910.
Part of the National Trust, with funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery, Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the country and celebrates the country’s history and culture.
For more details and opening times, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk