THIS year’s Heritage Open Days (September 8-11) celebrate the work of Cheshire architect John Douglas on the centenary of his death.

Born in Sandiway, near Northwich, Douglas was part of the Victorian movement which gave Chester its black and white character and he designed the famous Eastgate clock.

Heritage Open Days, organised by Chester Civic Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council, celebrates architecture by allowing free access to interesting properties as well as free tours, events and activities.

This year’s programme focuses on Douglas’ work with a lecture a tour on Saturday, September 10, entitled Douglas ‘Half Dozen’, starting at Grosvenor Park Lodge from 2.15pm, with an introduction to the exterior of six Douglas buildings in the vicinity of Grosvenor Park.

Among the other highlights are public visiting, during shopping hours, to the in-situ Roman hypocaust in Miss Selfridge, 12 Northgate Street, which may have been part of the heating system for the Legionary Commander’s quarters.

From the Thursday to Saturday inclusive, during opening hours, people can also find out about the history of The Falcon pub in Grosvenor Street.

The building once had a Row but this was enclosed in 1643 to create extra space in the building. Clues to its existence are visible inside the first floor level. The Falcon was an inn from 1778 to 1878 but after repair became a temperance cocoa house. It was restored as a public house in the 1980s.

In the rural area, history buffs can enjoy guided tours of Stretton Watermill near Farndon, dating from 1351, on the Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm.

For more information, visit