Series of Heritage Open Days being held across Hinckley and Bosworth this September – here’s where

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 27 August 2022

FAMILIES AND HISTORY ENTHUSIASTS will be able to attend a series of Heritage Open Days across the borough of Hinckley and Bosworth this September.

The Hinckley and District Museum (Image: Supplied)

‘Heritage Open Days’ marks England’s largest festival of culture and history – and it starts from Friday, 9 September, and runs through to Sunday, 18 September.

The scheme aims to open up access and insight into buildings which are not generally seen by the public, and it includes a wide range of guided walking tours, exhibitions, events, and activities, which will appeal to both families and local history enthusiasts.

Coun. Keith Nichols, the Borough Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure, Tourism and Town Centres, said: “I am very pleased to see this event return for two weeks this year.

“Hinckley and Bosworth has so much history and culture to offer and the festival provides an interesting insight to the history of our older buildings and the opportunity to have a really good look around many of them, while exploring our Borough at the same time.”

The events included in the festival are as follows:

  • The Atkins Building, Fully Fashioned Memories and Astounding Inventions Exhibitions, Friday 9 September then daily from Monday 12 September to Friday 16 September, open 9am to 5pm. No booking required.

2022 celebrates 300 years since the first Atkins came to Hinckley to start his business.

The Atkins were a local notable hosiery family whose roots start in Hinckley in 1722 – a total of 300 years ago. They have had a ‘continuous’ family presence in the town with markers of their achievement, including Atkins Building still visible today.

‘Fully Fashioned Memories’ is one of the two exhibitions which is set to commemorate this local tercentenary with a photographic exhibition which celebrates the everyday factory worker at work and play from the 1960s to 2002.

The second Atkins exhibition is ‘Astounding Inventions’, which champions innovation from the East Midlands, with an exhibition showcasing past and present inventions, including the Hansom Cab, Framework knitting machine, and many more.

Refreshments are available from the Atkins building’s on-site café which serves up cups of Fairtrade coffee, slices of homemade cakes, breakfasts, and lunches.

As part of the 300th anniversary celebrations, Hinckley High Street Heritage Action Zone, supported by Historic England and with the assistance of The Cartridge House and Hinckley and Rugby Building Society, present the Hinckley 300 Commemorative Projections.

A montage featuring historical images of workers and sites from Hinckley’s hosiery manufacturing past will be projected onto the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society on Castle Street daily from Friday 9 until Sunday 18 of September.

The film, which will be shown every 15 minutes between 8pm and 10pm, features information, music and images supplied by local families and historians and should make for a fascinating display.

Other opportunities to explore and learn more about historic buildings and sites in the area include:

  • Atkins Heritage Tour, Atkins Building, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley – Saturday 10 September: 10am-12 noon. A historic Hinckley buildings walking tour, featuring buildings that all have a connection to the notable Atkins hosiery family. Pre-booking required by contacting 01455247070 or email Booking closes 5 September 2022 at 4pm.
  • Hinckley and District Museum, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley Saturday 10 September, Monday 12 September and Saturday 17 September 10am to 4pm and Sunday 18 September 2pm to 4pm.

Visit the thatched timber box framed cottages dating from the 1680s, housing a local history museum of Hinckley and the surrounding area.

New for 2022 are displays commemorating the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Atkins family hosiery business and of the 300th anniversary of the Hinckley Great Meeting Chapel. “Secret” cottage garden and Fairtrade drinks available.

“Old fashioned” toys to play with, and children`s dressing up area too. No booking required.

  • Castle Street Hinckley, Saturday 10 September, 10am to 4pm

Hinckley District Past and Present will have a stand on Castle Street within Hinckley Market showing local Hinckley History, with display boards and members of the group to talk to members of the public.

  • St Mary’s Church, Hinckley Tower Tours – Friday 9 to Saturday 10 September and Friday 16 to Saturday 17 September

St Mary’s Church is offering visitors aged 16 and over the chance to climb the church tower and see the clock and carillon.

You must be able to climb 50 steep steps. Places are strictly limited, and pre-booking is essential. To apply for a slot contact Geoff Fuller on 07890 327286 between the hours of 6.30pm and 9.30pm.

  • Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel, Hinckley – Saturday 10 September 10am to 12.30pm. Display of archive material and talk about the Atkins Family in conjunction with the Hinckley & District Museum and Atkins Building. No booking required.
  • St Catherine’s Church, Church Street, Burbage – Friday 9 and Saturday 10 September. Burbage Heritage Group has organised guided walks in the churchyard of St Catherine’s Church, recounting stories of the people and their families, associated with over 30 graves. St Catherine’s Church will be open on both days. There are two walks to choose from: World War One fallen and graves of local Interest and each walk takes around 75 minutes.

Friday 9 and Saturday 10 September – WWI Walks 10am, 11am & 2.30pm and general interest walks 1030am, 2pm & 3pm.

Pre booking is essential by going to

  • Desford, St Martin’s Church, Main Street, Desford – Saturday 10 September: 10am to 6pm

Grade II* listed 13th century church with many interesting and historic features. Small Local History Exhibition. There will be an opportunity to search for a grave on a database. Refreshments available. No booking required.

  • Thornton, St Peter’s Church, Church Lane, Thornton – Saturday 10 September: 10am to 4pm and Sunday 11 September: 1pm to 4pm

This 14th Century Grade I listed church will be open to visitors. Historical information will be available.

The church overlooks and can be accessed from Thornton Reservoir via the public footpath that runs through the churchyard.

A scarecrow festival is taking place in Thornton village during this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. No booking required.

To complete Hinckley’s ‘Heritage’ offer, on Sunday 18 September, hundreds of rare Classic vehicles have already entered Hinckley BID’s 11th Annual Motorshow – they will be displayed all across the town centre for town-goers to catch a glimpse at.

Open from 10.00am to 4.30pm, this show is FREE to attend and FREE to enter. Fun for all the family and to appeal to all age groups, there will also be some sought-after top-of-the range modern vehicles including both luxury and sports.

Many of Hinckley’s hostelries will be open and offer you a warm welcome, and parking is free in all the council owned town centre car parks on Sundays. If you would like more information, please contact

All events are free to attend, booking required only where stated. For more details of all participating venues visit:

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