Lichfield Heritage Weekend - Ye Olde Games Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 September

Wed, 14/09/2011 - 12:57

The city of Lichfield is counting down the days to this year’s Lichfield ‘Ye Olde Games’ Heritage Weekend on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September 2011

Excitement is mounting as Lichfield City’s tourist attractions are getting ready to open their doors to visitors for free, as part of this September’s Olympic and Paralympic themed Heritage Weekend.

From Erasmus Darwin House and Lichfield Guildhall’s prison cells, to Dr Milley’s Hospital and Lichfield Record Office, there are plenty of interesting places to visit.

Many venues will be offering free activities over the weekend, including a fun quiz at Lichfield Cathedral, bowls on the master’s lawn at St John’s Hospital, children’s activities and 1940s themed fun at Lichfield Heritage Centre, a ‘brilliant balloons’ activity on Saturday at The Samuel Johnson Museum and much more.

The theme of this year’s Heritage Weekend is the Olympic and Paralympic Games, featuring games and sports from times gone by.

In keeping with the theme, there will be the chance for children to dress up like the ancient Greeks, follow a free family torch hunt, make a bow and arrow, hobby horse making and racing, and free tennis coaching. There will also be children’s games and static cycling on Stowe Fields on Saturday.

As part of the weekend’s festivities, there will also be cut-price guided tours offered, which are available at the bargain price of £1 and booking now. They include the City Guided Tour, which is a guided walking tour of the city to find out more about its fascinating history.

These tours are taking place on Saturday 17 September at 11.30am and 2.30pm, and also on Sunday 18 September at 11.30am and 12.30pm. Tickets must be booked in advance and are available from the Tourist Information Centre or by calling the team on 01543 412112.

The second tour on offer is the Erasmus Darwin House Cellar Tour. This is a chance to see a part of the house that is not normally open to the public, where Erasmus Darwin was thought to have carried out dissections and experiments. These tours are at 12 noon and at 2pm on Saturday 17 September. Tickets can be booked by calling Erasmus Darwin House on 01543 306260.

Call Lichfield Tourist Information Centre on 01543 41211 for more information. You can also pick up a programme from the Tourist Information Centre based in the Lichfield Garrick or from other local tourist venues.


Full programme details:


Lichfield Cathedral

Open Saturday 8am - 6.15pm

Sunday 7.30am - 5pm

Free entry

Pick up a quiz sheet from the welcome desk and enter a prize draw for a free cathedral tour for up to ten people.


Erasmus Darwin House

Open Saturday & Sunday 10am - 5pm

Free entry

The museum will be alive with activities and crafts throughout the weekend, celebrating Darwin’s life and interests. Make a hobby horse, running in the house throughout the day, with a race at Stowe Fields at 3.30pm (on Saturday only). Georgian costumes and games. Timed cellar tours at 12 noon and 2pm Saturday, £1 per person. Call 01543 306260 to book.


Dr Milley’s Hospital

Open Saturday only 10am - 4pm

Free entry

Free tours of this 17th Century building which is not usually open to the public. Tea and coffee available. Donations appreciated.


Lichfield Record Office

Open Saturday only 10am - 2pm

Free entry

View original documents in the search room on the first floor of Lichfield Library. The documents illustrate the range of items held, with some items deliberately chosen to reflect the sporting theme of the weekend. Free tours behind the scenes, at half-hourly intervals, starting at 10.15am until 1.15pm . To book in advance call 01543 510720, however if you turn up on the day you will be offered the next available tour.


Lichfield Heritage Centre

Open Saturday 9.30am - 5pm (last admission to exhibition area at 4pm) Sunday 10am - 4pm

(last admission to exhibition area at 3pm)

Free entry

The 1948 London Olympics provides the theme for heritage weekend. Children’s activities, entertainment, 1940s games and tea dance on Sunday. Plus, children can dress up like the ancient Greeks and you can also climb the 40 metre spire for panoramic views over the city (there will be a small charge for spire climbs and age restrictions apply).

The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum

Open Saturday and Sunday 10.30am - 4.30pm (last admission at 4pm) Free entry

Join Johnson’s birthday party with a free slice of birthday cake (while stocks last!) and ‘Brilliant Balloons’ activity (Saturday only).

The City Cells

Open Saturday only 2pm - 4pm

Free entry

Visit Lichfield Guildhall’s spooky cells.

St John’s Hospital

Open Saturday 10am - 12noon & 2pm - 4pm

Sunday 2pm - 4pm

Free entry

Enjoy guided tours and tea, as well as bowls on the master’s lawn in preparation for the Olympics! Donations appreciated.

Tennis at Beacon Park

Saturday only 2pm - 4pm Free taster tennis coaching with Zoe Edwards. Enjoy half - price tennis all day. To book call 01543 308867.

Stowe Fields

Saturday only 10am - 3.30pm

Free activities. Hobby horse racing (see Erasmus Darwin House for details). Static watt bikes. Games for children. Make the most of the open air gym.

Market Square activities and entertainment

Saturday 17 September

  • Samuel Johnson’s birthday celebrations
  • Go Ukulele Crazy perform
  • Lichfield young town crier competition
  • Intimate Theatre Company perform
  • Free face painting
  • Free bow and arrow making

City guided tours only £1

Saturday 17 September 11.30am & 2.30pm

Sunday 18 September 11.30am & 12.30pm

Get a glimpse of the history of Lichfield guided by the experts. To book in advance call Tourist Information Centre on 01543 412112.


Young Town Crier Competition Saturday 17 September, Market Square at 2pm

Learn a special heritage day cry and try out one of Lichfield’s most historic customs. Visit the information tent on the Market Square to register before 1.45pm.


Other heritage events taking place on Saturday 17 September

Huddlesford gathering of historic narrow boats and classic cars

Lichfield Cruising Club, Huddlesford Junction on the

Coventry Canal, WS13 8PY 10am - 5pm

Everyone welcome, come by boat, car or on foot. Admission £2 (includes programme) and children free


Open Garden with teas at the Old Rectory

Clifton Campville

The Old Rectory, Main Street, Clifton Campville B79 0AP

1.30pm - 4.30 pm

Clifton Campville with its Grade I listed church (also open) is a hidden treasure in Lichfield District, with historic links to the cathedral.