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Explore Havering’s historic highlights and modern marvels at the 25th Open House London

PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:35 08 September 2017

Upminster Old Chapel. Picture: Ken Mears

Upminster Old Chapel. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Discover the architectural gems on your doorstep with the return of an event all about celebrating the capital’s innovation and heritage.

Upminster Old Chapel. Picture: Ken Mears Upminster Old Chapel. Picture: Ken Mears

Open House London is back on the weekend of September 16 and 17, showcasing hundreds of historic, and modern, sites which enrich their communities.

Havering has taken part in the 25-year-old festival since 1998, and this year 15 buildings are available for you to explore.

Take a look at the selection below.

Romford

Havering Museum. Picture: Ken Mears Havering Museum. Picture: Ken Mears

Havering Museum, High Street

Open Saturday, September 16, 10am-5pm.

The seven-year-old attraction is housed in part of the old Romford Brewery building, and close to the historic market.

Temporary and permanent exhibitions tell the story of Havering from the Bronze Age to the present day.

Havering Town Hall. Picture: Ken Mears Havering Town Hall. Picture: Ken Mears

Havering Town Hall, Main Road

Saturday, September 16, noon-3.30pm, tours every 30 minutes.

Grade II listed building from 1935 with unique fittings using Bath stone, red cedar wood and Tasmanian oak, features a full-height entrance hall and tall central staircase window and flagpoles.

Upminster

Upminster Old Chapel. Picture: Ken Mears Upminster Old Chapel. Picture: Ken Mears

Upminster Old Chapel, St Mary’s Lane

Sunday, September 17, 3-6pm.

The former Dissenters’ Meeting House dates from 1800, and is Grade II listed.

The timber-framed building has a pedimented facade and Doric entrance porch.

Upminster Tithe Barn displays a variety of historical items. Picture: Ellie Hoskins Upminster Tithe Barn displays a variety of historical items. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Upminster Tithe Barn Museum of Nostalgia, Hall Lane

Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 10.30am-4pm.

This aisled barn with a reed-thatched roof was built in 1450, and now houses many historic objects.

Upminster Windmill Visitor Centre, Mill Field, St Mary’s Lane

Upminster Windmill. Picture: Steve Poston Upminster Windmill. Picture: Steve Poston

Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 10am-5pm.

This modern visitor centre, built over the old mill house, contains an education room and workshop.

Thames Chase Forest Centre, Broadfields, Pike Lane

Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 10am-5pm, plus a Sunday craft market at 10.15am.

Thames Chase Forest Centre. Picture: Open House London Thames Chase Forest Centre. Picture: Open House London

This award-winning visitor centre of modern timber, completed in 2005, is attached to a 17th century barn which is one of the best preserved examples in the capital.

Elm Park

Elm Park Primary School, South End Road

Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 1-5pm.

The headteacher of Elm Park Primary School, Victoria Morris, celebrating with pupils after a 'good' rating from Ofsted. The school is taking part in 2017's Open House London. Picture: Ken Mears The headteacher of Elm Park Primary School, Victoria Morris, celebrating with pupils after a 'good' rating from Ofsted. The school is taking part in 2017's Open House London. Picture: Ken Mears

The bright and spacious school features a two-storey building with sedum glass roof, and classroom spaces opening onto a double-height shared ‘heart’ space.

The building dates from 2011.

Hornchurch

Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre, Hornchurch Country Park, Squadrons Approach

Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre: 
Michele Farrant, corporate manager, with Grant Maton, corporate communications. The centre is part of 2017's Open House London event. Picture: Paul Bennett Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre: Michele Farrant, corporate manager, with Grant Maton, corporate communications. The centre is part of 2017's Open House London event. Picture: Paul Bennett

Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 9am-5pm, coinciding with the Historical & Military Weekend.

The centre is a venture between Essex Wildlife Trust and Havering Council, built on the site of former airfield RAF Hornchurch, which played a significant role in both world wars.

Langtons House, Billet Lane

Sunday, September 17, 10am-5pm, featuring tours of the building and gardens.

Photograph from a previous Open House Weekend at Langtons House in Hornchurch. Picture: Ken Mears Photograph from a previous Open House Weekend at Langtons House in Hornchurch. Picture: Ken Mears

Grade II listed neo-Georgian house, boasting a landscaped garden with lake, orangery and gazebo.

Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane

Saturday, September 16, 1-5pm, hourly backstage tours between 2pm and 4pm, a children’s backstage treasure hunt (ages four to 10) at 2pm and 4pm.

Unveiled by Sir Peter Hall four decades ago, the current building of this popular theatre is a glowing example of 1970s civic architecture.

Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Paul Bennett Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Paul Bennett

Must pre-book: call 01708 443333.

Rainham

Rainham Hall, The Broadway

Saturday, September 16, 11am-4pm.

Rainham Hall. Picture: Ken Mears Rainham Hall. Picture: Ken Mears

The 18th-century merchant’s home and gardens was opened fully to the public in 2015, following a vast restoration project.

Grade II * listed, Rainham Hall features fine wrought-iron gates, a carved porch, interior panelling and a new cafe, as well as a programme of community exhibitions.

Gidea Park

64 Heath Drive

64 Heath Drive. Picture: Melissa Page 64 Heath Drive. Picture: Melissa Page

Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 2.30-5.30pm.

Refurbished modernist villa – first built in 1934 – with a modern garden, Grade II listed.

Unsuitable for children under seven.

Havering-atte-Bower

Bower House in Havering-atte-Bower. Picture: Ellie Hoskins Bower House in Havering-atte-Bower. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Bower House, Orange Tree Hill

Saturday, September 16, 10am-4pm, with tours every 15 minutes from 11am.

Grade I listed country house, of the year 1729, boasting stunning views of Essex.

Features grounds with a pond, and a staircase mural by Sir James Thornhill, famous for creating the Painted Hall at Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College.

The Round House, Havering-atte-Bower. Picture: Open House London The Round House, Havering-atte-Bower. Picture: Open House London

The Round House, Broxhill Road

Sunday, September 17, tours at 10.30am, noon, 2pm and 3.30pm.

Grade II* listed late-Georgian stuccoed villa, attributed to John Plaw, 1792.

Must pre-book: email michaelheap26@googlemail.com.

Noak Hill Sports Complex. Picture: Havering Council Noak Hill Sports Complex. Picture: Havering Council

Noak Hill

Noak Hill Sports Complex, Noak Hill Road

Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 10am-5pm.

Unveiled in January 2017 on the old Broxhill school site, the complex was built by Havering Council and is managed by Everyone Active.

Visit openhouselondon.org.uk for the full list of buildings taking part this year.

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