Free tours of Ely's Landmarks to celebrate its history and heritage


A host of Ely's historic landmarks will open their doors to the public free of charge as part of the National Heritage Weekend (9-11 September).

Ten venues in the city are involved in the programme and some guided walking tours have also been arranged to take in period buildings and significant architecture.

Among highlights are a visit to The Stained Glass Museum to see windows dating back to 1200 and the fossil and Roman remains exhibitions at Ely Museum.

A stroll around Oliver Cromwell's House at dusk will allow visitors to experience life in the 17th century, play with old-fashioned toys and venture into the haunted bedroom.

And those with a head for heights can scale the Ely Cathedral West Tower to take in the spectacular views of the Cambridgeshire countryside.

Tracey Harding, Tourism and Town Centres Manager, East Cambridgeshire District Council said: "We are delighted once again to co-ordinate Ely's Heritage Open Weekend.  The weekend programme offers an excellent opportunity for locals and tourists to view our historical attractions free of charge including some venues that are not usually open to the public, so this is very special indeed."

The Sessions House in Ely Courthouse is one of these. Recently taken over by Ely City Council following the closure of the Magistrates' Court in 2012 it is the court famously featured in the 1947 Toad of Toad Hall film.

Prior Crauden's Chapel is also rarely open to the public and this weekend provides an excellent opportunity to visit the impressive 14th Century chapel with medieval tiled floor.

Other venues to visit include Kings' Schools' Ely Porta, once the main entrance to Ely Monastery, and it's The Monastic Barn, built in 1375 during the reign of Edward III.

The Silver Street Cottages and the Old Palace, the splendid Bishops' Palace dating back to the 15th century, are included in the guided tours.

The Heritage Weekend Programme takes place from September 9th until September 11th.

The National Heritage Weekend runs every September and involves some 40,000 volunteers across England organising 5,000 events to celebrate our country's fantastic history, architecture and culture.

It's your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences - all of which are free to explore.

For information on the Ely programme visit