Etruria Industrial Museum

Heritage open days go virtual at Etruria Industrial Museum

Etruria Industrial Museum will hold a virtual programme for its 2020 celebration of heritage - and you can visit for free in September

Every year in September places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate heritage, community and history. And Etruria Industrial Museum is no exception. 

Now in its 26th year – Heritage Open days is back – a programme of events where people get the chance to see hidden spaces and try out new experiences – and it’s all free!

Only this year things will be a little different…

Due to Covid-19 some venues cannot open and others have restricted access and have to limit visitor numbers, so events have moved into the virtual world for 2020.

Although organised locally by volunteers from The Heritage Network for Stoke-on-Trent, the programme is co-ordinated nationally by the National Trust with support from players of the People’s Postcard Lottery.

The aim is to encourage people to visit heritage sites and properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission by giving free access. Or, customers can choose one of the many events that take place especially for the festival. 

Explore and discover for free the inspiring places, spaces, history and culture that makes our city and country so special!

Etruria Industrial Museum

A spokesperson for Etruria Industrial Museum said: “Unfortunately we won’t be able to match the 33 local events that took place across the city during last year’s festival, but, by a combination of a limited number of sites opening, self guided walks, and virtual tours, there are more than a dozen events available at Etruria Industrial Museum that can tickle the heritage taste buds of our residents.”

This year the national theme is ‘Hidden Nature’ which we have a considerable amount of in North Staffordshire. But Etruria Industrial Museum has retained its own local theme of ‘Bottle Ovens.’

So, if you want to get out of your armchair, its Walking to Bottle Ovens in Longton is the one for you. A 1 ½-mile walk visiting a total of 20 ovens located in the town. Discover a wealth of different bottle oven types using a special guide published for Heritage Open Days. Each bottle oven site will feature a QR code link to find out more Bottle Oven Facts. 

As always the world famous North Staffordshire pottery industry features heavily in the programme – but there are also some gems dating from before the industrial revolution too. 

On 15th September, to mark Battle of Britain day, there will be a chance to watch a film recreation of that fateful day, which was a significant turning point of WWII.

The 10-day festival is taking place from Friday 11 to Sunday 20 September. To search the online directory of events go to or for information on local events go to

If you would like to find out more about the Heritage Network or get involved with local heritage events, contact the the network on at