Past opens up for free exploration

MBCH-28-07-13- Willington Archaeology. Willington Dovecote.'b13-744 ENGPNL00120130728172019
MBCH-28-07-13- Willington Archaeology. Willington Dovecote.'b13-744 ENGPNL00120130728172019

Despite being labelled in the past as “boring”, or “the bit between Oxford and Cambridge”, Bedfordshire boasts a rich cultural history, and is giving people the opportunity to explore it for free.

The county is hosting a four-day series of events encouraging people to dip into the hidden stories behind some of its iconic buildings and important sites.

From Bedford’s Medieval lime kiln, to the Tudor dovecote, at Willington, many historic properties are opening their doors as part of a nationwide Heritage Open Days event.

Volunteers will be on hand to give tours, walks and talks to provide an insight into the foundations of Bedfordshire.

Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “Each of the locations holds fascinating stories and this is a great opportunity to learn more about our local history and about some of our historic local landmarks. 

“These events will be free to attend so I hope lots of people will be able to take a look behind the scenes and discover some of the stories that have become part of our local heritage.”

The event runs from September 11 to 14. Leaflets with list of sites and booking details can be collected from libraries, The Higgins Museum and the Tourist Information Centre. For more information go to

Events Taking Place:

Hidden Landscapes: An archaeological walk with The Higgins, Bedford

The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane, Bedford, MK40 3XD

Friday 12th: 11.00am to noon

Pre-Booking Required: 01234 718618 or email

Look inside the Lime Kiln Vault, with Bedford Tour Guides

The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane, Bedford, MK40 3XD

Saturday 13th: 10.00am to 1.00pm & 2.00am to 4.00pm

“I Never Knew That!” Free Guided Walk around Bedford Town Centre

Tourist Information Centre, St Paul’s Square,

Bedford, MK40 1SJ

Saturday 13th: 11.00am to 12.30pm (max 25 people)

Pre-Booking Required: 01234 276257 or email

The Panacea Museum Private Tours

9 Newnham Road, Bedford, MK40 3NX

Friday 12th: 11.00am to 1.00pm

Saturday 13th: 11.00am to 1.00pm

Sunday 14th: 3.00pm to 5.00pm (max 25 per tour)

Bookings: 01234 353178 or email

John Bunyan Museum & Meeting with WW1 Exhibition & Craft Activities

Bunyan Meeting, Mill Street, Bedford, MK40 3EU

Thursday 11th & Friday 12th: 11.00am to 4.00pm

Saturday 13th: 11.00am to 6.00pm

St. Paul’s Church: Open Days, Recital & Laying Up of Colour

St. Paul’s Square, Bedford, MK40 1SQ

Saturday 13th: 10.00am to 4.00pm,

Sunday 14th: 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Foster Hill Road Cemetery Tours

Foster Hill Road, Bedford, MK41 7TD

Sunday 14th: 2.00pm to 4.30pm (max 12 per tour)

Bromham Mill & Cafe Guided Tours

Bromham Mill, Bridge End, Bromham,

Bedfordshire, MK43 8LP

Friday 12th: Open 2.00pm to 4.00pm, Tour at 2.30pm.

Saturday 13th: Open 10.00am to 4.00pm, Tours at 1.30pm

& 2.30pm. Sunday 14th: Open 10.00am to 4.00pm,

Tour at 2.30pm

Stevington Windmill

Stevington Windmill, 2 Windmill Lane, Stevington,

Bedfordshire, MK43 7QZ

Saturday 13th: 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Moot Hall, Elstow - Step into the World of John Bunyan

Moot Hall, Church End, Elstow,

Bedfordshire, MK42 9XT

Saturday 13th: 1.00pm to 4.00pm

Willington Dovecote Celebration: 100 Years with The National Trust

Church End, Willington, Bedfordshire, MK44 3PU

Saturday 13th: 1.00pm to 5.00pm

Moggerhanger Park, Private Tours

Moggerhanger Park, Park Road, Moggerhanger,

Bedfordshire, MK44 3RW

Thursday 11th: Tours 11.30am & 2.00pm

(Tours last approx 50 mins. Max 20 per tour)

St. John the Baptist Church, Cockayne Hatley

Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire, SG19 2EA

Sunday 14th: 11.00am to 4.00pm

Queen Anne’s Summerhouse

The Warren, Shuttleworth Estate, Old Warden,

Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9EB

Friday 12th, Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th: 10.00am to


Luton Hoo Walled Garden

Luton Hoo Estate, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 4LF

Saturday 13th: 11.00am to 4.00pm (max 10 per tour)

Ailesbury Mausoleum & Crypt

Church Road, Maulden, Bedfordshire, MK45 2AU

Sunday 14th: 3.00pm to 5.00pm