Saturday, 12 June 2021

Heritage tours of gardens

ENGLAND’S largest annual festival of history and culture is coming to Caversham Court Gardens next month.

Heritage Open Days runs over two weekends — September 6 to 9 and 13 to 16 — with free entry to all 5,000 events taking place across the country.

To celebrate 100 years since British women first got the vote, this year’s theme is “Extraordinary Women” and many events will be uncovering and acknowledging local community heroines.

In keeping with this theme, Caversham Court Gardens’ listed 17th century summer house will be hosting an exhibition titled “Extraordinary Women of Caversham”.

As well as visiting the exhibition, members of the public are invited to enjoy a guided tour of the gardens.

A spokesman for the organisers said: “The tours will give a unique glimpse into the history of the house that once stood on the site, of the families who lived there, and of the history of Caversham and its links with Reading.”

Sensory tours for visually or hearing impaired people are available on request, run by experienced guides from the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens.

The tours run from 2pm to 5pm on both the Saturday and Sunday, with refreshments available from the charity-run tea kiosk on site.

Tours last for up to one hour with a maximum of 15 places available per session.

Disabled parking is available outside the front gates of Caversham Court, but other parking is limited.

For more information and to book a place, email or visit

Tours of the neighbouring St Peter’s Church in The Warren, Caversham, will also be available on Saturday, September 8, from 10am to 6pm.

A spokesman said: “Explore the parish church of Caversham and learn about its history. The earliest surviving part was built around 1162, with additions in the later medieval period.

“Much of the present building dates from the restoration and enlargement by Morris & Stallwood from 1878-80.

“The church was later extended by Ninian Comper in 1924-5 and there is a variety of stained glass by Warrington, Clayton & Bell, Powell and Comper.”

St Peter’s Church will be open for services as usual during the remainder of the festival, which has this year been extended across two weekends for the first time.

Closer to home, Nuffield Place Cottage in Huntercombe, the home of William Morris, Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motor Cars and at one time one of the richest men in the world, will be open to the public on the weekend of September 15 and 16 from 10am to 5pm.

For more information and to search for events by postcode and date, visit

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