Museums at Night 2011: Historic Buildings after dark

| 28 April 2011
a photo of a woman appearing at a door embedded in a bookcase
Museums at Night at Harewood House in Yorkshire © Jonny Harris
You might need a torch or even a tallow candle to do it, but for one weekend in May you can be a night-time nosey-parker at some of the country’s most inspiring historic properties.

Historic buildings take on a new and entrancing sense of drama after dark. The Gothic cliff top ruins of and the medieval sacred space of are just two of the attractions inviting you in.

Soak up the atmosphere of , the spectacular ruins of a palatial 19th-century mansion in Worcestershire or step into a candle lit, atmospheric historic house and take a self led journey into the shadows at .

In Derbyshire the former home of Edith Sitwell at is offering the chance to watch the sunset and see the grounds at dusk or you can explore the modest surrounds of a 1920s grocer’s house at in neighbouring Nottinghamshire.

A similarly humble abode, in Lincolnshire will also be the setting for candlelit tales and plum bread, pork pie and old-fashioned sweets.

a photo of a dress suspended from the ceiling of an atmospherically lit room festooned with feathers
An Enchanted Palace awaits nighttime visitors to Kensington Palace© Historic Royal Palaces
A magical experience at weaves fashion, performance and installations with tales of the princesses who lived there while down in Brighton, will be offering kids’ ghost tours.

An evening of sparkling chandeliers, twinkling lights and special interest tours and talks awaits visitors at in Yorkshire and near Banbury is promising candlelight, shadows, creaky staircases and darkened corners.

There will be monastic plainsong at or at the in Norwich a twilight tour of its Gothic tower will offer views across a city whose famous will be hosting a ribald medieval feast.  

A warm welcome awaits you at where treats of jumbles, spiced biscuits and juice from its Tudor kitchen will be served. CSI Friday at in Cornwall is a torchlight investigation of conservation techniques and housekeeping secrets.

Elsewhere you can glean secrets and inside knowledge from experts leading tours at a variety of heritage sites, including in Canterbury or in Norfolk’s where you can explore the 16th century priest hole and journey through five secret doors.

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