Portsmouth Guildhall 'Opens Up' for Heritage Open Days
Portsmouth Guildhall 'Opens Up' for Heritage Open Days

Portsmouth Guildhall 'Opens Up' for Heritage Open Days

As part of this year’s Heritage Open Days, Portsmouth Guildhall will be opening its doors with a number of unique opportunities for people to go behind the scenes, see areas that are not normally accessible and learn more about out the city’s iconic building and music scene.

See the city’s silverware, enjoy a whistle-stop behind the scenes tour and meet the Curator and explore two of the Guildhall’s fascinating exhibitions, ‘The Portsmouth Music Experience’ and ‘The Isle of Wight Festival Exhibition, 1968-1970’.

Running since 1994, Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture with 2,500 organisations taking part nationwide in over 5,000 events and involves over 40,000 volunteers.

All events are FREE on a first-come, first-served basis – no booking is required. For more information see www.portsmouthguildhall.org.uk or call the Box Office on 023 9387 0200.


Friday 8th September, 11am-12pm & 2-3pm
See the City’s Silverware

See the City of Portsmouth's Civic Plate, one of the finest collections in the country. Many of the pieces are of rare beauty and bring to life moments from the past, having survived the bombing of the Guildhall during the Blitz of 1941.

This remarkable collection of predominantly silver includes pieces such as the The Bodkin Cup, made in 1525 and presented to the city by the widow of Francis Bodkin who was three times Mayor, The Great Mace most likely presented to the city in 1658 and The Herman Salver and Ewer bearing the hallmarks of 1637.

See also many of the Charters granted to the city dating from the 14th Century and a stunning copper and silver plated model of HMS Victory presented by the Royal Navy in 1965.

A unique opportunity to see Portsmouth’s proud possessions.


Saturday 9th September, 10am – 4pm
Portsmouth Music Experience and Isle of Wight Festival Exhibition, 1968 - 1970
Come and explore and meet the Curator of two fascinating exhibitions located within Portsmouth’s Guildhall.

‘The Portsmouth Music Experience’ reflects on the history of the Guildhall and Portsmouth’s wider music scene from the 1950s to today, through a fascinating collection of photographs, video and audio content and memorabilia.

‘The Isle of Wight Festival Exhibition, 1968-1970’, with free admission on 9th September only, is the most comprehensive exhibition that has ever been produced about the ‘Last Great Event’ and its two precedents, and reflects on those early festivals through a fascinating range of photographs, posters, artefacts, ephemera and memorabilia. This temporary exhibition is set to close later in the Autumn so don’t miss this chance to see it!

The Curator of both of these great exhibitions, Nigel Grundy, will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and ready to reminisce on your memories of Portsmouth’s music!


Saturday 9th September, 11am & 2pm
Behind the Scenes Tour of Portsmouth Guildhall

Join us for a ‘Taster Tour’ behind the scenes at Portsmouth Guildhall. Enjoy a whistle-stop 30 minute tour of the building and discover some of the interesting stories it holds!

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