Historic estate welcomes visitors for Heritage Open Days

Historic estate welcomes visitors for Heritage Open Days

7th August 2019

MORE than 20 local historic sites are to become accessible to the public for an annual celebration of local culture and architecture.

Heritage Open Days returns to Tunbridge Wells this September for its 25th year of offering guided walks and tours.

Venues will be open to the public between Friday September 13 and Sunday September 22, with no entrance fee required.

Buildings opening their doors include The Assembly Hall Theatre, The Opera House, The Forum, and Rose Hill School, and there will be cultural tours and walks, including an Influential Women of Tunbridge Wells tour by local author, Anne Carwardine.

Also participating is one of Tunbridge Wells’ oldest historic buildings, which is about to celebrate its 190th birthday.

The Salomons Country Estate in Broomhill Road, which is now owned and run by Markerstudy Leisure, was once the stately home of Sir David Salomon, the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London.

To celebrate its 190 years of history, the ‘Mansion of Marvels’ is hosting free guided tours during the annual Heritage Open Days on Sunday, September 15.

Nick Moore, Operations Director at the country estate, said: “The history of this place is incredible yet largely unknown to many people. Over the years it has played a significant role in the life of the local community and we look forward to introducing visitors to the delights of the estate.”

The former home of Sir David Salomons, founder of the London and Westminster Bank [NatWest], and the first Jewish person to speak in Parliament, was one of the first buildings in Britain to be lit with electricity.

It was designed by acclaimed British architect Decimus Burton, who also built the Holy Trinity Church, which is now the Trinity Theatre.

Among the key features of the Grade II listed property and estate, which sits in 36 acres of grounds, include a 100ft water tower, an historic motor stable and a science theatre, which is home to a unique Welte organ – the only one of its kind in the world.

It also houses its own Salomons Estate Museum.

Mr Moore said over the past 12 months, the estate has undergone its largest restoration and refurbishment programme in recent years, bringing the Victorian country house back to its former glory.

He said: “The team at Salomons have worked hard to bring the period property back to life and I am proud to say that it is looking absolutely fantastic, just in time for the 190th anniversary.”

He added that in November 2018 the estate opened its Pub and Dining Rooms, overlooking the country estate’s gardens, which serves traditional British and locally sourced dishes.

Salomons Estate is already a popular venue for special events such as weddings, christenings and birthdays as well as corporate functions including, conferences and Christmas parties.

Guests visiting the grounds during the 190th celebrations will receive 25 per cent off Sunday lunch.

If you would like to book a tour with the curator at Salomons museum, please call 01892 515152 or to book a table, visit www.salomons-estate.com/pub-dining-rooms

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