Between Thursday 7th and Sunday 11th September, the public can step back into Shrewsbury’s past and explore amazing places free of charge during national Heritage Open Days.

It is a chance to go behind the scenes, scale heights and experience history in the annual initiative which celebrates the country’s architecture and culture by giving free access to places that are usually closed to the public or which charge for admission.

Seb Slater, Executive Director of Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID), said: “Shrewsbury is known for being original and different, and it is great to see that we will be show-casing even more about the town’s past over the Heritage Open Days. It will be a great opportunity to discover and celebrate Shrewsbury’s colourful history.”

 Lord Hill’s Column, St John’s Hill, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JJ

Strong legs and a head for heights are required to ascend all 172 cantilevered spiral stairs of the 133ft tallest Doric column in England. It is worth it for the views of Shrewsbury and the county’s countryside from the platform at the top. An introduction to the life of General Rowland, Lord Hill, is given before parties of up to 14 people ascend each half hour.

Opening times: Sunday 10th September, noon to 4pm, every half hour. Pre-booking required through Richard Hayes, email l.r.hayes@btinternet.com or write to 26 St John’s Hill, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JJ

Shropshire Theatre Organ Trust Wurlitzer at The Buttermarket, Howard Street, Shrewsbury SY1 2LF

Organists will play the Trust’s 1936 Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ, the only one people can hear in a public venue in Shropshire. Visitors can sit at the organ console, take photographs and try it out for themselves.

There is also an opportunity to look around the organ chambers which house all the organ pipes and workings and to learn about the Trust, Wurlitzer and the grade 2 listed Buttermarket building.

Opening times: Friday 8th September, 11am to 4pm

Shropshire Archives, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, SY1 2AQ

Visitors can go behind the scenes at Shropshire Archives including the stores where over five miles of records are housed in environmentally controlled conditions, and the conservation and reprographics sections. Collections on show include the recently conserved minute books of Much Wenlock Borough from 1495-1810.

Opening times: Thursday 7th September and Friday 8th September, tours at 2pm. Pre-booking required, call 0345 678 9096 or email archives@shropshire.gov.uk

Bear Steps Exhibition, Bear Steps Medieval Hall, St Alkmond Square, Shrewsbury, SY1 1UK

The exhibition celebrates 50 years of conservation work in Shrewsbury. It tells the story of how the Bear Steps cottages were due for demolition but saved by Shrewsbury Civic Society when it intervened in the 1970s. Walking tours will be led by local guides John Brown and Bibbs Cameron.

Opening times: Thursday 7th September, Friday 8th September, Saturday 9th September and Sunday 10th September 10am to 4pm, tours at 1pm and 3pm.

Open Day Shropshire Regimental Museum, Shrewsbury Castle, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, SY1 2AT

A spectacular collection of uniforms, regimental silverware, medals, weapons, military items and personal items from the major military units associated with the county from the 18th century onwards can be seen free of charge on Sunday 10th September.

Laura’s Tower on the castle mound will be open for the first and only time this year giving visitors the opportunity to look inside the tower and see its splendid domed ceiling.

Open day Sunday 10th September, Museum open 10.30am to 4pm, Laura’s Tower open 11am to 3.30pm.

Drapers Hall, St Mary’s Place, Shrewsbury, SY1 1DZ

Tours and talks will tell the story of how The Drapers Hall was built in 1575 for the Worshipful Company of Drapers of Shrewsbury. It is decorated with features of the Shrewsbury school of carpentry and has a collection of 17th century furniture also made specifically for the Company.

Opening times: Thursday 7th September, Friday 8th September and Saturday 9th September 11am to 4pm. Booking at Drapers Hall on 01743 344 679.

Other heritage events include guided tours of the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, Spring Gardens, Ditherington, Shrewsbury, SY1 2SZ on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September from 10am to 4pm. The Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Fathers of Nicea, off Oteley Road, Sutton, Shrewsbury, SY2 6QY will have open days on Saturday 9th September, 10am to 3pm and on Sunday 10th September, 1pm to 4pm.

For more information visit https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/printable-area-lists/town/Shrewsbury