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Birmingham Heritage Week 2019

Home > Birmingham > Gardens | Free | Family | Historic Houses | Walks
by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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Secret gardens and lives revealed
Secret gardens, exhibitions on the closed Longbridge plant and open days that bring to life the fascinating history of the city are on offer for this year's Birmingham Heritage Week.

birmingham heritage week 2019, aston hall, servants life
The life of servants at Aston Hall is part of the week


There will be more than 100 events taking place for all ages in Birmingham Heritage Week from 12 to 22 September - and many of them are free.

The festival organised by Birmingham Museums Trust aims to let residents and visitors find new parts of Birmingham they have never seen before as well as rediscover well-known sites, but see them from a new perspective.

At the centre of this year's Heritage Week is the hugely important story of The Lost Children. This exhibition at Birmingham & Midland Institute, in Margaret Street, showcases the emotional and fascinating life stories of just a few of the 6,000 destitute children sent from Emigration Homes in Highgate, Birmingham, to live with farmers in Canada between 1873 and 1948.

It's a little known story about what used to happen to children aged from as young as two to eleven and is sure to be emotive. The exhibition runs from 14 to 22 September and is open between 10am and 4pm.

Birmingham Heritage Week 2019, Lost Children exhibition
The Lost Children Exhibition tells a lesser known tale of Birmingham history


Elsewhere, visitors will also be able to discover the Secret Gardens of Handsworth from 1pm to 3pm on 20 September. A specially-extended tour will take people through magical walled gardens behind nine striking Georgian houses, which are usually closed to the public. The tour starts at Soho House Museum and costs 5 per person.

Other events include a free tour of Baskerville Keyhill Cemetery at 6pm on 13 September at twilight when visitors will learn about the story of Birmingham printer John Baskerville by torchlight.

Bringing to life the role of those 'downstairs', there is a special guided tour on 12 September at 1pm at the beautiful Jacobean mansion of Aston Hall, which focuses on the lives of servants in the 17th century.

There will also be a chance to look closely at the Victorian architecture and artwork in the beautiful Waterhall Gallery, which is part of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

In terms of the city's art venues, Ikon Gallery will also have an exhibition on display by Stuart Whipps about the former car factory at Longbridge from 11 to 15 September. The show reflects on the closure of the Longbridge motor works in Birmingham, which is part of his long-term art project The Kipper and The Corpse.

birmingham heritage week, stuart whipp exhibition, longbridge
Remembering the motor factory at Longbridge


The factory was the last British-owned volume car manufacturer that was responsible for making Rover cars for many decades. Through making the project, Whipps seeks to understand its inevitable closure that devastated the south part of the city.

Meanwhile, the historic suburb of Bournville, famous as the home of Cadbury's chocolate, will have an open day on Saturday 14 September when many of the area's historic buildings will be open to the public for free.

And there will be rare access to all the First World War Bilberry Hill Gun Proof Range sites in Lickey Hills Country Park where guides will explain the history behind these remnants of World War One on 21 and 22 September from 11am to 4pm.

Irene De Boo, Coordinator for Birmingham Heritage Week 2019, said: "We're back with a brilliant array of events for Birmingham Heritage Week 2019 and the listings are even easier to navigate on our website, so it's the perfect time for visitors to start planning and filling up their diaries with exciting events."

Further details on events, prices and opening times can be found at the Birmingham Heritage Week website.
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Why? Find out more about Birmingham's secret past
When: September 12 to 22, 2019
Phone: organisers - 0121 348 8000
Where: Various locations including Aston Hall, Trinity Road, Aston Birmingham, B6 6JD
Cost: Many events free or various prices
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