Explore Fylde’s rich heritage and culture

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The Fylde’s fascinating historical buildings will be open to view this weekend.

A host of popular landmarks will open their doors for people to explore, providing an ideal opportunity to delve into the coast’s rich culture and heritage and to view inside buildings normally closed to the public.

Organised by Lytham St Annes Civic Society, the event locally is part of the natuonal heritage Open days scheme.

One of the most popular buildings to be opened is Lytham Hall, a grade I listed 18th century manor house which is set in almost 80 acres of parkland.

And as an extra element this year, visitors to the Hall, open on Sunday from 10am - 4pm, will be entertained with special dancing by Regency Rejigged in the stunning Gold room. Local poets will be reciting in the Morning Room.

Lytham Methodist Church will be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10.30am to 3pm for a peek at the church’s stunning interior including a tour of its stained glass windows. On Saturday from 11am to 3pm there will also be an antiques and collectables valuation.

Every day from 10am to 4pm, Lytham Heritage Centre will open its doors and this year there is an art exhibition planned including original paintings and handmade cards. Under the banner Wings Wheels and Card, Mike Hutchinson will show mixed media paintings and Lucy Hutchinson will display handmade cards.

Lytham’s best known landmark, Lytham Windmill is open daily from 10.30am to 4.30pm and the iconic Byzantine style White Church will be open Thursday 10.30pm to 4pm, Friday 11am to 3.30pm and on Sunday from 12.30pm to 4pm. This year, the Clifton Drive church marks its 103rd anniversary.

In neighbouring St Annes, the Town Hall is open on Saturday 1pm to 3pm and Sunday from 10am to 1pm and St Annes Parish Church is open 11am to 4pm on Saturday and 2pm to 4pm on Sunday.

The church will also host a Heritage Mural and World War 1 Exhibition to honour the memory of men of the Parish who died in battle.

Visitors can view the 40 First World War memorial gravestones outside in the churchyard, for which there is a trail guide. The Laura Janet Lifeboat Memorial and grave of Sir Charles Macara recently awarded Grade II listed status are also expected to be of interest.

Alongside the heritage weekend, the Civic Society is opening up Matlock House at 300 Clifton Drive South, St Annes.

Built in 1877, two years after the foundation of the town, Matlock House was where the local board of health, which preceded the establishment of a Town Council, first met.

The fire engine was kept at the rear and in 1900 the house was a school for a short time before becoming a doctors surgery for the next century.

On view will be the original entrance porch and the Victorian schoolroom with tiles depicting scenes from Shakespeare and Aesop’s Fables.

The house will be open on Saturday from 10.30am to 4pm

Marion Coupe, Lytham St Annes Civic Society’s chairman, said: “We are looking forward to the weekend. We helped to pilot the weekend 20 years ago and it is a very good thing to do.”

For more information log on to www.heritageopendays.org.uk