European Heritage event this weekend

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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has invited everyone in the Derry area to enjoy the European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) Weekend on September 12 and 13.

History and culture will be brought to life with 36 historic properties and events opening across the Derry area. With all events free of charge and many which are family friendly, everyone can take the opportunity to step back in time.

Mark H Durkan said: “EHOD, now in its milestone 18th year, offers a unique “peek” through many of our historic buildings. After a record 75, 000 people enjoying all that was on offer last year, this year’s offering is more varied than ever. There are over 400 properties and events across the North reflecting the depth and diversity of our built heritage.”

Speaking on the decision to participate in the EHOD weekend, Catherine Crawley, Visitor Services Officer with Visit Derry which will be operating free walking tours of the Historic City Walls said: “European Heritage Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for everyone, not only for the visitors participating in the weekend but for the owners and managers of buildings across Northern Ireland, to showcase their own slice of our heritage.

“I would welcome all visitors to Derry~Londonderry this weekend to sample some of the city’s hidden gems and take advantage of the opportunity to see some of these spectacular buildings which would otherwise be closed to the public. We welcome everyone, no matter what age or interest to join in and celebrate our wonderful culture.”

Amongst the new offerings this year and to tie in with the Industrial heritage theme is a walking tour of the former shirt factories of Derry. For railway enthusiasts, Magilligan Halt, opened in 1853 and designed by John Lanyon, will open its doors. The 18th century Gortreade Cottage, home to Charles Thomson, one of the American founding fathers and located in Upperlands, the world’s oldest linen village, will be featuring a photo exhibition on linen and flax as well as tours of the house during the EHOD weekend.