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September’s historic trips... Ten things to do

Get out and about with our guide to the very best historical attractions this September.

Published: September 1, 2010 at 9:00 am
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Explore a display of ancient Egyptian decorative art collected by Major William Joseph Myers during the second half of the 19th century. Among other objects, the exhibition features mummy masks, jewellery and pottery of the time, as well as statuettes of mortals and gods. Visitors can also view a web-based virtual gallery displaying around 140 scanned artefacts just waiting to be downloaded, magnified and explored from all angles.


Exhibition: Sacred and Profane: Treasures of Ancient Egypt
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham

Until 18 January 2012
0121 414 7333

Indulge in a literary feast

Over 100 events will take place at a number of venues during this, Henley’s fourth literary festival. Appearances from big names such as Melvyn Bragg and Antonia Fraser are on the menu, together with the likes of Tariq Ali, Alexei Sayle and Lesley Garner. You can listen to poetry or fine-tune your literary skills in a writers’ workshop. The festival is sponsored by BBC Magazines – turn to page 65 of September's issue for more details.

Event: Henley Literary Festival
Various locations, Henley

29 September–3 October
0118 972 4700

Experience some heavy metal

Tickford Iron Bridge, the venerable cast iron bridge that still carries traffic on a main road, is celebrating its 200th birthday with a host of celebrations. A parade of vehicles, some dating back to 1810, will drive over the bridge, led by an original horse-drawn stagecoach.

Event: Bicentenary of Tickford Iron Bridge
Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire

18 September
01908 618756

Relive the Blitz

Marking the 70th anniversary of the Blitz and the 65th anniversary of the Dresden bombing, this exhibition explores how public transport kept people moving during the bombing campaigns of the Second World War. It will also examine how the inhabitants of London, Coventry and Dresden reacted to devastating assaults from the air.

Exhibition: Under Attack – London, Coventry, Dresden
London Transport Museum, London

7 September 2010–31 March 2011
020 7379 6344

Explore hidden gems

Over 4,000 properties not normally accessible to the public in England will throw open their doors over one special weekend in September as part of a celebration of Europe’s cultural heritage. The list of places to see is extensive and includes the Elizabethan North Lees Hall in the Peak District National Park – said to be the inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Scotland is running Doors Open Days throughout September (www.doorsopendays.org.uk) and Wales, too, will be hosting open doors events (www.civictrustwales.org). Meanwhile, London’s Open House weekend will take place on 18-19 September (www.londonopenhouse.org) and Northern Ireland’s Heritage Open Days run between 11-12 September.

Event: Heritage Open Days

9-12 September
0844 335 1884

Get a taste of fish and ships

Find out more about the role that the river Severn played in the fishing industry and as
a trade route into south Wales. Plus, help celebrate 20 years of archaeological investigations along the Severn Estuary Levels.

Exhibition: Fish and Ships
National Museum Cardiff, Wales

7 September–30 April 2011 
029 2039 7951

Fall under the spell of Rosa

Hailed as the creator of allegorical painting, Salvator Rosa’s 17th-century art depicts a variety of subjects ranging from romantic, enigmatic figures to some of the major philosophical and scientific concerns of his age. Rosa was seen by many as a true rebel and libertine thinker, and was often in real danger from the Inquisition. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a display of large figure paintings depicting some of Rosa’s main interests.

Exhibition: Salvator Rosa: Bandits, Wilderness and Magic
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

15 September–28 November
020 8693 5254

Take to the sea in Aberdeen

Museums from ten countries have contributed to this exhibition, which tells the story of 150 years of North Sea passenger lines. Among the exhibits are the remains of a sunken passenger ship discovered by wreck divers in 2009, 92 years after the ship was lost. Also on display are the ship’s bell, plate, saucer and fork from the wreck of the Aberdeen steamship, Hogarth, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Northumberland, killing 26 people.

Exhibition: North Sea Passenger Lines
Aberdeen Maritime Museum,

Until 26 September
01224 337700

Explore Britain’s love affair with tea

From Earl Grey to PG Tips, the British have had a soft spot for a good cup of tea for centuries, and now you can trace the origins and history of this most beloved beverage, from its roots in the Far East to the shores of Britain. The exhibition features a host of historic and contemporary tea ware, including a 19th-century Russian Samovar and ceramics from Yorkshire potteries.

Exhibition: Teatopia
Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Until 24 October
0114 278 2600

Take an epic journey

Feast your eyes on paintings from some of the world’s most exquisite manuscripts, inspired by the Iranian literary epic Shahnameh (Book of Kings). Almost twice as long as the Iliad and the Odyssey put together, the text has inspired artists and illustrators for centuries. There are 100 illustrated manuscripts and Persian miniature paintings on display, designed to bring the mythical and supernatural to life.

Exhibition: Epic of the Persian Kings: The Art of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge


11 September–9 January 2011
01223 332900


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