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 to celebrate the country's rich and diverse heritage. Visit Petworth free of charge on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September and join in on some unique activities for Heritage Open Day.

Guided Walks of Petworth Town

New for 2018, Petworth House is uniting with Petworth Town to bring you some free guided walks around the area.

Running from Petworth House from 11.30, 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30 on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September, book on to one of these guided walks that takes you to some of the historic parts of Petworth Town including the Petworth Cottage Museum, the old Somerset Hospital, the Roman Catholic Church and the site of the old Petworth House of Correction.

Tours last an hour and are bookable from Church Lodge Reception with the meeting point by St Mary's Church, just outside of the Church Lodge Reception. There is limited availability and visitors are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

But it's not just Petworth House that is free for Heritage Open Day, aspects of the town are getting involved too.

Coultershaw Heritage and Beam Pump

Saturday 15 September: 11am - 5pm

Sunday 16 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 8 September: 2pm - 4.30pm

Saturday 15 September: 2pm - 4.30pm

Petworth Cottage Museum is a Leconfield Estate worker's cottage sympathetically restored as if it were in 1910, when Mary Cummings, a seamstress was the tenant. Mrs Cummings was a seamstress for Lord Leconfield in the late 19th Century. The Leconfield Estate was a blanket employer in the town - total staff numbers ran in to the hundreds.

Virtually everyone was employed by the estate either directly or indirectly by providing labour or goods. Those who failed to be employed or did not like the town would seek work away from the town.

St Mary's Church

Saturday 15 September: 9am - 5pm

Sunday 16 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

Sunday 16 September: 10am - 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. However in the 1900s it ceased flour production and the waterwheels were removed. In 1929 a Gilkes turbine was installed and this was used to power the mill to produce flour for a time and then as a sawmill. This turbine has now been fully restored to working order and the mill started producing flour again in May 2018. 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 15 September: 10am - 5pm (House opens at 11am)

Sunday 16 September: 10am - 5pm (House opens at 11am)

In the state rooms we've highlighted the most cherished items in the collection, chosen by the staff and volunteers at Petworth House.

Discover these seven world-class objects including the 1592 Molyneux Globe and a manuscript of Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales'.

We are also offering one free Incredible Inventions trail per family.

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