Midlothian Doors Open programme

Dalkeith Fire Station is taking part in this year's Doors Open Day in Midlothian.
Dalkeith Fire Station is taking part in this year's Doors Open Day in Midlothian.

Are you interested in finding out more about local history or architecture or learning about the industrial and rural heritage of Midlothian? Or are you simply looking for a great family day out?

Either way, the 2019 Midlothian Doors Open Day programme is sure to have something for you.

Cousland Smiddy

Cousland Smiddy

On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September, Midlothian Doors Open Day will see more than 30 venues open up to the public, free of charge.

Attractions include historic properties such as Old Penicuik House, Arniston House and Mavisbank House. New for this year is Preston Hall House, Pathhead, an A-listed house built in the Palladian style by Robert Mitchell between 1789 and 1801.

Historic churches also feature, with St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dalkeith, Glencorse Kirk and Newbattle, Crichton Collegiate, St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith and Lasswade and Rosewell Parish Churches all taking part. The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints in Dalkeith will also open, with visitors able to access the church’s large database to start tracing their family tree.

Midlothian’s rural and industrial heritage is celebrated at the National Mining Museum Scotland, and at Cousland Smiddy and Heritage Hub, which offers blacksmithing demonstrations and a range of activities from yesteryear.

Penicuik Town Hall. Photo by Scott Louden.

Penicuik Town Hall. Photo by Scott Louden.

Dalkeith Museum gives you a fascinating glimpse into the town’s past, from Roman times to the present day, or you can visit the burial vault at Soutra Aisle, dating from 1686. The living museum that is Penicuik Papermaking Heritage Centre will also be open, and there’s a chance to see inside one of the oldest masonic lodges in existence at Dalkeith, as well as the Lodge at Loanhead, which has been active since 1876.

Penicuik Town Hall, built by the papermaking Cowan family as the Cowan Institute in 1894, will also host an exhibition of old photos and documents, and there will be a display from the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project, with the chance to take part in a Digitising Family History workshop.

You can also see the progress being made to return The Lost Garden of Penicuik to its former glory or why not visit Penicuik Storehouse, an ambitious community project to re-open the premises on two floors between High Street and Bank Street. Valleyfield House and Penicuik Pottery will also be welcoming visitors, with an exhibition and display of pottery.

Thistle Modelmakers in Mayfield will be displaying their model railway layouts from around the world, or you can call in on Midlothian Camera Club in Lasswade to see their fascinating photography exhibition. Dalkeith Community Fire Station will also be open with equipment demonstrations and the chance for the kids to climb on board a real fire engine!

Dalkeith Museum, photo by Scott Louden.

Dalkeith Museum, photo by Scott Louden.

There are tours of Vogrie House to look forward to, or why not visit the Wildlife Information Centre at Vogrie to learn about their wildlife surveys and how you can take part.

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Russell Imrie, said: “Midlothian Doors Open Day once again offers a superb two-day programme with something for every age and interest. It’s a great opportunity for locals and visitors alike to learn more about the area’s proud heritage, stunning landscape and numerous attractions.”

For more on the Doors Open Day programme visit www.doorsopendays.org.uk or facebook.com/MidlothianDoorsOpenDays.

Vogrie House, Vogrie Country Park. Photo by Scott Louden.

Vogrie House, Vogrie Country Park. Photo by Scott Louden.