David Crosby a resident of Friary Fields handing over the silver penny to Mayor Pamela Davidson.

A wonderful weekend celebrating Appleby’s rich heritage

19th September 2023

Appleby look part in this year’s Heritage Open Day Festival, with eight unique and fabulous venues open to the public over the weekend … and what a weekend it was … with both visitors and local residents flocking into town to explore some of our wonderful historical buildings, including three private residences that would not normally be open to the public. The visitor records for the eight venues recorded over 1,600 people through the doors, some from as far a field as Boston, Canada and Mumbai.

Appleby Mayor, Pamela Davidson said “What a fabulous weekend and a huge thank you to the people who opened up their beautiful and fascinating homes to the general public and to the many volunteers who gave up their time to show visitors around and patiently answer all their questions.”

This free nationwide festival is the country’s largest celebration of local history, architecture and culture, with over 5,000 venues and involving thousands of local volunteers and organisations.

A rare silver penny of King John (1199-1216) was also handed over by the residents of Friary Fields to Appleby’s Mayor into the stewardship of Appleby Town Council. The penny will now be on display in the Tourist Information Centre’s exhibition room.

On behalf of the residents of Friary Fields, Tim Parkin said “The residents of Friary Fields are delighted that the silver King John penny found at Friary Fields during a recent archaeological dig will be on display at Appleby Tourist Information Centre . We wanted it to remain in Appleby as it is part of Appleby’s heritage and we are grateful that the Town Council have agreed to look after it for us.”

Pamela Davidson said “On behalf of Appleby Town Council, I would like to say how honoured we are to be asked to look after this unique coin, which will now be on display for everyone to enjoy.”

The family activities in St Lawrence’s Church, including an ‘I Spy’ dragons and other beasties trail meant that there was something for all ages to do.

Appleby Council also piloted 4 locations for their new heritage QR trail over the weekend. It is hoped the trail will eventually feature all the key heritage landmarks of Appleby, to include short audio clips and photographs for each location.

The event was organised by Appleby Town Council and jointly funded by Appleby Community Enterprises.