Take a peek behind closed doors . . .
PUBLISHED: 15:56 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 10:40 12 August 2010
SOME of the capital s most interesting, inspiring and unusual properties will open their doors this weekend to the public. Open House London gets under way this Saturday with more than 700 buildings opening to the public for free in every London borough
SOME of the capital's most interesting, inspiring and unusual properties will open their doors this weekend to the public.
Open House London gets under way this Saturday with more than 700 buildings opening to the public for free in every London borough taking part.
Visitors can meet architects and designers behind some of London's most spectacular buildings and gain access to buildings normally closed to the public, as well as take part in walks and events.
In Bromley The Berresford House, set in woodland on a sloping site in Lodge Road, will be one of the properties open. Resisting radical change through the years, the cedar-clad timber-framed house is often used for photo shoots and was listed as a 'Perfect house' on television programme Grand Designs in April this year. There are tours of the house every half hour this Sunday from 10am until 4.30pm. Booking is essential as tours are for a maximum of six people at a time.
The Keston Windmill, Heathfield Road, Kent's oldest surviving mill dated 1716 post mill opens this Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am to 4pm for tours with a maximum of 10 people.
Meanwhile, Grade I listed early Tudor mansion Hall Place in Bourne Road, Bexley, which was built for a Lord Mayor of London in 1540, will open this Sunday from 11am to 4pm giving visitors the first chance to see the newly restored Great Hall and Tudor kitchen.
There will be regular talks about the restoration of the house in formal gardens on the banks of the River Cray, by the splendid 18th century gates.
Drama buffs can look behind the scenes at Erith Playhouse this Saturday and Sunday. Originally the Oxford Cinema, the Playhouse was rebuilt in 1973 around the cinema's original auditorium.
Backstage tours will take place between 1and 5pm. There is no need to book and refreshments will be available.
Other Erith venues open to the public are Christ Church, St John the Baptist Church and the Hospital Bunker. There is also an Erith Town Walk.
The Geoffrey Whitworth Theatre in Beech Walk, Crayford, will be open on Sunday between 10am and 5pm allowing visitors to explore the fascinating history going back over 60 years. Particularly impressive is the newly refurbished foyer and studio area. Guided tours about the 'theatre at work' will be conducted around the theatre at half-hourly intervals, including visits to wardrobe and backstage. Visitors in the morning will also be able to sit in on a rehearsal of John Mortimer's A Voyage Round my Father, under the direction of Lesley Robins.
Greenwich Peninsula is being transformed in to a new urban district for London with sustainable design and landmark architecture and includes a permanent and temporary public art, including 'Slice of Reality' and Antony Gormley's 'Quantum Cloud'. Tours will be led by directors of Art in the Public Realm on a first come first served basis and will last an hour-and-a-half. Meet on Saturday at 10am, noon, 2pm or4pm at Greenwich North tube station.
The Grade II listed Greenwich Magistrates' Court is an example of Edwardian civic architecture, designed by J Dixon Butler in 1909. Visitors can get a glimpse of life in the cells, a court room and the public waiting areas this Saturday from 10am to 1pm.
l For more information on the hundreds of buildings open during Open House, visit www.openhouse.org.uk or phone 020 3006 7008.