Heritage Open Day

Lombard Street in Petworth Town

Take part in Britain's largest festival of history and culture that brings together over 2,500 organisations and 40,000 volunteers to celebrate the country's rich and diverse heritage. Visit Petworth free of charge on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September and join in on some unique activities for Heritage Open Day.

Guided Walks of Petworth Town

Discover the unique local Heritage of Petworth and learn how the town has been shaped through the Leconfield Estate of Petworth House.

Join a free 1-hour walking tour of the town,​ running from Petworth House from 11.30, 12.30, 13.30 and 14.30 on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September, visiting locations around the town including the Leconfield Hall, Mrs Cumming's Cottage, Egremont Row and Percy Terrace.

To collect your free ticket (allocated on a first-come, first-served basis), go to Petworth House Church Lodge entrance, next to St. Mary’s Church. The meeting point for the walk is outside St. Mary's Church.

There is limited availability and visitors are advised to collect tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Leconfield Hall

Saturday 21 September: 11am - 4pm

Sunday 22 September: 11am - 4pm

Head to the Leconfield Hall to see a rolling slide show of historic images compiled by the Petworth Society. Browse stalls displaying historic memorabilia and relax with some light refreshments including tea and coffee.

United Reformed Church

Saturday 21 September: 11am - 4pm

Sunday 22 September: 11am - 4pm

The present church was built in 1855 and is an interesting example of mid-nineteenth century non-conformist architecture.

However, Protestant dissent was first recorded in Petworth in 1640 and the history of the Dissenters over the next two centuries had many twists and turns until the present church was built. For over 30 years they were in a purpose-built chapel in East Street until it was repossessed by the bailiffs - a long story in itself that will form part of a display of the church history from 1640 until the 20th century.

Coultershaw Heritage and Beam Pump

Saturday 21 September: 11am - 5pm

Sunday 22 September: 11am - 5pm

In 1782, the 3rd Earl of Egremont of Petworth House installed the Beam Pump alongside the watermill to provide more water for the town of Petworth. Before then, water had been supplied by springs and conduits as well as private wells.

The Beam Pump was powered by a waterwheel and pumped river water for 1½miles (2.4km) to Petworth through a cast-iron pipe, 3in (7.6cm) in diameter. The water was stored in two cisterns; one on Lawn Hill for Petworth House and the other in Grove Street to serve the town. The first water wheel was wooden and undershot. This was replaced in 1858 by the present more efficient breastshot iron wheel.

Petworth Cottage Museum

Saturday 21 September: 12pm - 4.30pm

Saturday 22 September: 12pm - 4.30pm

Petworth Cottage Museum is a Leconfield Estate worker's cottage. It was sympathetically restored as if it were in 1910, when Mary Cummings, a seamstress or Lord Leconfield, was the tenant.

The Old Railway Station

Saturday 21 September: 11.30am - 5.30pm

Saturday 22 September: 11.30am - 5.30pm

The Old Railway Station, Station Road, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0JF

Once a stop on the Pulborough to Midhurst Branch line – now a Bed & Breakfast with four Pullman Carriages to sleep in. The wooden station building and tea rooms will be open for visitors to learn more about its history and restoration.

St Mary's Church

Saturday 21 September: 10am - 5pm

Sunday 22 September: 1pm - 5pm

The families living at Petworth House have always had connections with St Mary's Church in Petworth town. Despite having a family chapel within the house, the earliest regular occupants of Petworth House, the 9th, 10th and 11th Earls of Northumberland chose to be buried within a purpose-built vault in the Chancel at St Mary's. From the 1750s, the church saw active patronage under the Earls of Egremont, who stopped using the private Petworth House Chapel in favour of the parish church. By the Victorian era, the Chapel performed a purely ceremonial function, and the church was used for all ceremonies surrounding births, marriages and deaths.

Burton Mill

Saturday 21 September: 11am - 4pm

Sunday 22 September: 11am - 4pm

Burton Mill is a restored watermill which has recently started producing stoneground flour. A small exhibition illustrates the history of the mill and the restoration of the 1929 Gilkes turbine.

Burton Mill was built in the 1780s and was a very productive flour mill for over 100 years. It originally had two overshot waterwheels which drove four sets of millstones and could produce 14 sacks of flour in 24 hours. There will be a demonstration of flour milling and a small exhibition to illustrate the history of the mill and the recent restoration work.


Petworth House and Park

Saturday 21 September: 10am - 5pm (House opens at 11am)

Sunday 22 September: 10am - 5pm (House opens at 11am)

As part of our Heritage Open Weekend offer, younger visitors can borrow an art adventurer backpack filled with art materials to take outdoors and be inspired by the plants and trees of Petworth. Together with the backpack, they will receive a clipboard, drawing paper and a guide, showing where to find interesting leaves. Our friendly volunteers will be happy to give tips and ideas on how to create beautiful nature-art.

We will also be offering one free 'Incredible Inventions' trail per family, as well as free self-guided 'Colour Catcher' activity sheets.

The art adventure packs and clipboards can be collected from a stand next to the Fire Engine House, 11am – 4pm (last pack collection at 3:30pm) on both Saturday and Sunday, where young visitors will also have the opportunity to use some watercolour paint to fill in the blank spaces on their colour catchers.

Visit Petworth for Heritage Open Day and join the festival expressing the love we share for our heritage.