HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 2017-THE REPORT
Following the decision of The Holy Sepulchre Parochial Church Council to reduce the number of days that the church would be open for 2017 from three to two (Saturday & Sunday) due to low numbers on previous Thursdays and Fridays, sadly it has to be recorded that visitor numbers have reduced yet again.
Returning to the year 2013 when 700 was the four day count, followed by 2014 with a count of 565 and 2015 with a count of 465, the year 2016 took another hit at 375. This year has seen yet another reduction to 289 across the two days ( 203 on Saturday and 86 on the reduced hours Sunday). However, those visitors who entered our doors kept our two guides very busy indeed and it is likely that the follow up information requests will be the highest ever.
Reporting on the visitor travel indicator, those from outside of Northamptonshire included from abroad, Poland, Germany, Istanbul, whilst UK visitor destinations included Hertford, Leeds, Stretton under Fosse, Southampton, Horsham, Rugby, Dunstable, Fenstanton, Birmingham, Bromsgrove and Redditch.
Although numbers continue to go down, the writer’s opinion is that insufficient media attention to the event leaves very much to be desired or does the marketing of tourism by the local council get called in to question. Compared to the early days of Heritage Open Days publicity that the writer has recorded, there is such a minimal media presentation we can expect a levelling out from here on in.
The Restoration Trust plans to continue with Saturday/Sunday opening in 2018 but a few more volunteers from the church would not go amiss, particularly on the full time recording process.
John Kightley MBE Director/Secretary to the
With military historian David Parish MBE on duty, “The Soldiers’ Chapel” was also a favourite venue where many a military question and answer was overcome with great detail and the extra display sections creating the fascination of looking back at the many who have made the ultimate sacrifice and are remembered in the Book of Remembrance.
Enquiries for photographs via the internet can be requested at
There can be few Northampton buildings that attract visitors in such impressive numbers during heritage open days as does the ancient and historical Church of the Holy Sepulchre1100AD in Sheep Street.
A favourite venue for photographers locally and nationally, just occasionally a professional photographer captures some splendid new images of both interior and exterior .
Shown here are the images caught during the 2014 H. O. D. by Keith J Smith.
All photographs that follow are ©copyright to Keith J Smith(www.kjs-images.com) to whom we are most grateful for reproduction.
Keith J Smith would be pleased to receive enquiries for all types of commissions including Weddings, Commercial, Wildlife, Travel and Pets.
World famous Holy Sepulchre Church 1100AD stands at the north end of Sheep Street close to the town centre. Endowed by the first Norman Earl of Northampton Simon de Senlis, the building escaped the Great Fire of 1675 whilst most of the town succumbed to the devastation.
A grade 1 listed building 'St Seps' as it is fondly known has recently completed a 28year, £1.2million restoration programme ensuring that the historic 'Crusader Round' and all the other vistas of the building are retained for worship,
concerts, theatre and tourists to enjoy.
There is so much for visitors to see and enjoy from architecture to military reminders as the Forces Church for Northamptonshire. Our tour guides will be waiting to welcome and guide you through the history and events of the centuries.
A new visitor experience is the recent conservation of the Victorian ceiling and wall paintings in the 'Soldiers' Chapel' carried out in July this year at a cost of approximately £38000. This includes new state of the art lighting to enhance the extraordinary work of the Tobit Curteis conservation team.
The tourist element of Holy Sepulchre is pleased to announce that David Parish MBE has joined the tour guide team.
David is Vice-chairman of Northamptonshire
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