See how Binns started out, explore coal-ming past and enjoy beer tasting with Heritage Open Days in Sunderland

Wearsiders can see where the famous Binns department store first started out, visit a Sikh temple and join a beer tasting in Sunderland as part of this year's Heritage Open Day programme of events.

Saturday, 1st September 2018, 9:00 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 2:05 am
'Hard Hat' tours of Hylton Castle to see the progress of on-going restoration work are among the opportunities in the this year's programme of Heritage Open Days.

People can also take a trip down memory lane with vintage cars, listen to a pianist playing hits from down the decades and enjoy food from bygone years at Easington Lane Community Action Point (ELCAPS) Heritage Event, or travel back through more than 1000 years of history at Holy Trinity Church in Washington.

This year for the first time in its history, Heritage Open Days – England’s largest free festival of culture and history – will take place over the two consecutive weekends of 6-9 and 13-16 September.

St Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.

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Sunderland City Council cabinet member for communities and culture Councillor John Kelly said: “Heritage Open Days offer a fantastic once-a-year opportunity to enjoy a behind the scenes glimpse of some of our hidden historical and architectural gems.

“This year we’ve got a mix of old favourites like the Queen Street Masonic Hall in the East End with new additions like 170 High Street West where Binns first started out, which is now being converted into a new home for Pop Recs independent record shop.

“There’s also the opportunity to visit the Sikh Temple in Ashbrooke, enjoy a hard hat tour of Hylton Castle and visit the Darwin Brewery in Southwick.”

Other events of interest include:

The new Pop Recs in High Street West, Sunderland.

*Washington F Pit Museum – step back in time to explore the region’s coal-mining heritage

*Houghton Heritage Walk – a guided walk led by historian Paul Lanagan exploring Houghton’s many places of interest

*Sunderland Maritime Heritage Centre – come and see traditional building skills and techniques in a busy and active boatyard

*St Peters Church, Monkwearmouth – visitors can explore over 1300 years of history in the Monastery founded by Benedict Biscop in 674AD

*Hylton Castle – ‘hard hat tours’ to see the construction work restoring the 14th Castle gatehouse and grounds to the centre of community life

Councillor Kelly added: “These are just some of the 35 tours, events and activities bringing local history and culture to life in Sunderland.

“There really is something for everyone, and I’d urge everyone to have a look at the website and see what’s on offer.”

To find out more about the events visit