Windmills and watermills, schools, castles, medieval barns, a light-ship, gardens, private homes, and even a vintage yacht...they all feature among the treasure horde of Essex sites that will open their doors over the weekend as part of Heritage Open Days.

The popular annual nationwide event gives access to dozens of places that are normally closed to the public.

Other attractions that do open regularly will be holding special events to coincide with the weekend.

High House, the Royal Opera House’s production facility in Purfleet, will hold talks about the history of the building, and the Essex Records Office will be showing some of its greatest treasures, including King Charles I’s personal Bible.

Among the numerous attractions with special displays is Rayleigh Windmill. Councillor June Lumley, Rochford district council’s community portfolio holder, said: “The volunteers will be in period costume, allowing visitors the chance to experience what it was really like in the days when it was a fully working windmill.”

  • Full details of events, dates and times are available at