FORMER places of worship, historic buildings and even a former army barracks will all be throwing open their doors, some for the first time, to mark the 25th anniversary of Heritage Open Days.

Running from Friday until Sunday, September 22, a host of establishments in and around Bolton will be taking part offering tours, activities and exhibitions.

At St Mark’s Church, Worsley, the Grade I church will have volunteers on hand to explain the history of the church. Qualified tour guides will be on hand to provide a short tour of the church and its interior with tours available from Friday to Sunday for the next two weeks.

On Saturday, Rivington Chapel which dates back to 1703, will be holding an open day and late summer fair.

St Katharine’s Church at Blackrod, a local landmark for more than eight centuries, will be opening the bell tower on Saturday and the church will host a display of photographs of the area in days gone by.

One of the more unusual open day events will be at Salford Road Solar Farm in Bolton, the largest public sector owned solar farm in the North West. On Monday, visitors will get the chance to see how electricity is generated.

On Saturday, Derby Barracks, the former home of the Lancashire Loyal Regiment on fletcher Street, Bolton will be hosting an open day. Emmaus bought Derby Barracks 15 years ago and has restored the site for use as an Emmaus Community that provides both home and work for 22 formerly homeless people.

Next Saturday, Hall i’th’wall Museum will be giving visitors the rare opportunity to see the attic space where Samuel Crompton allegedly hid the spinning mule during an outbreak of machine-breaking in the late 1700s as part of a tour.

Next Sunday Smithills Hall will also be offering tours giving you the chance to see where Bolton Protestant Preacher, George Marsh, was burned at the stake for his beliefs.

Next Thursday there will be a mega-heritage walk setting off from St Paul’s Church on Holland Street giving you a chance to climb the bell tower as part of the day.

All Heritage Open Days events are free although some may need to be pre-booked due to limited numbers. For a full list of all the open days in the area visit