Heritage Open Days celebrated its 18th year in considerable style in 2012, with hundreds of thousands of people turning out to a record number of 4,649 events, across every region of England.
The Royal Hop Pole, in Tewkesbury, was one of the venues taking part in the four-day Heritage Open Days weekend, opening its doors to visitors in the Gloucestershire town.
Linda Coxshall, who runs the pub with her husband Stuart, said: “There are numerous local historic events held in the town, including free museum admission. With our pub and hotel being of historical local importance, we decided to offer guided tours.
“There are several features which visitors would see only if they are staying at the hotel – and we wanted to provide access to everyone on this occasion.
“Bar associate Matt Janes took on the role of tour guide, researched the building, contacted the local historical society and provided a very informative tour for the many visitors who came.”
The hotel features an existing part of a late 15th-century medieval hall, on the first floor, which would have been the venue for food and drink, in the late Middle Ages of the prosperous town of Tewkesbury.
Matt is pictured addressing a tour group, by the pub’s fully working fireplace – a popular feature with customers on chilly winter’s evenings.
Another original feature highlighted on the tour is the hotel’s ‘drunken’ staircase – a wooden, twisting and uneven access to the bedrooms.
Heritage Open Days is run locally by a large range of organisations, including civic societies, heritage organisations, local councils, community champions and thousands of volunteers.
Loyd Grossman, Patron of Heritage Open Days, said: “The huge success of the Heritage Open Days weekend is proof that history is not something just to be learnt in classrooms or from books.
“Opening up so many historic buildings gives people a chance to see and experience their local history – something which makes Heritage Open Days unique.”