CULTURE minister Margaret Hodge is visiting Chester to celebrate 40 years of conservation work.
Mrs Hodge, Minister of State for Culture, Media and Sport, will also be launching the national Heritage Open Days which sees old buildings opened to the public.
The minister will be welcomed at Chester Racecourse next Tuesday by the Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Brian Bailey and will meet Maria Adebowale, commissioner English Heritage and Philip Kolvin, chairman of the Civic Trust.
Special guest is local conservation architect Donald Insall whose report ‘Chester a Study in Conservation’ was produced 40 years ago and led to many ‘at risk’ Chester buildings being saved.
The event will also mark the national launch of Heritage Open Days, (September 11-14) when the public has free access to a number of interesting and historically important buildings.
In Chester district, visitors will be welcome to visit the Cathedral Cloisters and St Anselm’s chapel with an opportunity to visit the Exhibition Library housed in the former King’s School.
For those wanting to learn more about Donald Insall, there is a guided tour and small exhibition of Bridgegate House, a fine Georgian house and key historic building, now the local office of Donald Insall Associates.
The History and Heritage centre in St Michael’s Church is showing a special exhibition that illustrates some of the changes that have taken place in the built-environment over the past 40 years.
Opening their doors in Watergate Street are St Peter’s Church, Leche House/ Sofa Workshop, Bishop Lloyd’s Palace, Stanley Palace and Watergate House.
Visitors are welcome to drop in to Spud-U-Like, Castle Galleries, Miss Selfridge and Blacks, each of which contain Roman features including fragments of mosaic flooring and a hypocaust construction.
City guides and experts are offering a variety of free guided walks over the weekend.
A leaflet giving full details of a range of events is available from the Town Hall Tourist Information Centre, the Grosvenor Museum, the History and Heritage Centre, The Mall, and local branch libraries or at www.chester.gov.uk/heritage.