Doors Open Day: Take a closer look at South Ayrshire’s hidden treasures

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From castles and churches steeped in history, to theatres and town halls, there’s plenty to explore in Ayrshire at Doors Open Days 2019.

On September, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8, venues all over the county will throw open their doors and invite people to delve deeper into their history.

Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment, old and new.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Doors Open Day nationally, with more than 1000 buildings set to open across the country.

Doors Open Day throughout Ayrshire is co-ordinated by volunteers from Kyle and Carrick Civic Society, which were pioneers with Glasgow in 1990.

Funding has been provided by North Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council and Energy Agency.

Some of the venues taking part include St Oswald’s Episcopal Church in Maybole. The congregation was established in 1847 to serve English and Irish weavers who worked in the main industry of the town at that time.

The small Gothic Revival sandstone church was built 1883 on land gifted by the Cassillis Estate.

This is an outward-looking church committed to serving the local community and the widerworld.

Enjoy the eco-friendly garden, take a peek in our registers, learn more about prayer through an art installation you can take part in, and try your hand at playing the Victorian pipe organ.

Find out more about Galston and Freemasonry at Barr Castle.

Built by the Lockhart Family, who held the Barony of Galston, the Barr Castle (formerly known as Lockhart’s Tower) is an old Norman Keep in the centre of the town.

There is also the chance to chance to see firsthand how the money you’ve raised over the last 30 years and more has been put to good use by the Ayrshire Hospice.

Fundraising began for the hospice in 1983 before its doors were opened in 1989 and the people of Ayrshire have been instrumental in supporting the growth of the organisation from day one.

Margaret Wilkie, Patient Services Director, added: “Doors Open Day is an opportunity for the hospice to try and break down barriers and dispel the many myths that often surround hospice care.

“Why not pop in on the 8th September, I’m sure you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.”

A full list of participating buildings is available by visiting by popping in to your local library or council public offices.