Brierley Hill buildings open for Heritage Open Days

BRIRLEY Hill will host activities, events and tours as part of the National Heritage Open Days programme.

Tim Sunter, chairman of the Brierley Hill Community Forum, said events planned as part of the annual Open Days program are expected to continue despite the sad news that Queen Elizabeth II passed away yesterday, but he said: ‘It will be in a respectful manner.”

The Brierley Community Forum has worked with Dudley Council and other partners to open interesting and historic buildings that are not usually open to the public, with this year’s theme of ‘Amazing Inventions’ being widely promoted.

In-person tours will be available at several buildings across the city as well as virtual and online tours with people who can learn more at If any events are canceled following the monarch’s death, details will be posted here.

At the Brierley Hill Library there will be an exhibition of the Brierley Hill Museum and Memory Bank, with artifacts, maps and photos of the historic town of the library on display from Saturday September 10th to Saturday September 17th.

People can take their own artifacts to search and display them safely and record their own memories of the city for future generations to hear in the memory bank and there will be the opportunity to make badges.

The Black Country Living Museum will also have a booth at the library, displaying artifacts from its own historical collection and collecting memorabilia to inform its Forging Ahead project to recreate a Marsh & Baxter shop.

Brierley Hill Market will host a 1940s day on Saturday 10 September.

And on Saturday, September 17, the market will host tribute numbers to Laurel & Hardy and Frank Sinatra and performances by the Brierley Hill Musical Theater Company.

The Saint-Michel church will host many events. On the evening of the 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th there will be the ‘Graves by Night’ walk, which takes people through the cemetery to discover the history of the town.

On the day of Saturday September 10 and 17, there will be the annual art exhibition of the Dudley Society of Artists.

Additionally, there will be the opportunity to see Dudley Council’s emerging proposals for improving the public realm in the town, as well as the chance to get involved in stained glass painting and try your hand at ringing bells and “Urban Sketching” in the cemetery.

Across the road at St Mary’s Church people can listen to singers from St Mary’s Primary School, Richard James play the organ and Helen Barley give a harp recital on Saturday 17 September between 10:15 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Both churches will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 17. St Johns Church in Brockmoor will also be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday 10 September.

Albion Street Church will also be open on Saturday September 17 from 9am to 2pm with an exhibition and tour of the historic church and family and craft activities on offer. The Store House, also in Albion Street, will host family activities including a bouncy castle.

Tim Sunter, Brierley Hill Community Forum Chair, said, “Heritage Open Days is a special event organized and run by volunteer community members and stakeholders who have a passion for our town.

“I hope people with the same passion will take the opportunity to visit some of our finest historic buildings.”

An online architectural heritage trail is being launched by Dudley Council as part of the Brierley Hill High Street Heritage Action Zone.

This will take people on a self-guided trail around the city to help people navigate the various heritage sites on offer.

Virtual tours of Brierley Hill’s heritage buildings are also being offered by Dudley Council as part of the event.

These can be viewed at from 16 September.

Several other activities and events take place in Dudley, Stourbridge and Halesowen.

People can find full details at where all attendees register the building/event.

Councilor Simon Phipps, Dudley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Enterprise, said: “Brierley Hill is the historic home of brick, iron and steel making in the Black Country and the incredible buildings here tell the story of the remarkable story of how our people lived and worked.

“I want to give a big thank you to the Brierley Hill Community Forum for their work in bringing together these wonderful events and tours, which will help people connect with their local history and some of our most notable buildings.

“This year we will be celebrating some of the history of our beloved local businesses through social media and their connection with the theme of Amazing Inventions and I am delighted that the Brierley Hill High Street Heritage Action Zone could have supported this event.”

The Heritage Open Days encourage owners of historic buildings to open them to the public free of charge each year.

Marjorie N. McClure