September may signal the end of the sunny summer months and the start of the new school year, but there’s still plenty to feel cheery about. We’ve got lots planned to ease you into autumn including a fabulous exhibition of costumes used in the new film ‘Victoria and Abdul’, the annual apple festival at Audley End, and the start of our programme of events for Yorkshire Abbey season.
Plus, you can embrace the cooler, crisper weather by exploring the riot of breathtaking colour across many of our historic gardens.
Did you know?
- On the 21 September 1915, Stonehenge was bought at auction for £6,600 by local landowner Mr Cecil Chubb who three years later gave it to the nation. He reportedly only came to the auction to buy some dining chairs! There has been a series of major restorations and excavations over the years to restore the landscape, giving it a sense of its original setting.
- The founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud died on the 23rd September 1939. He lived at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead – one of the select few properties in London adorned by two of the famous roundels. Sigmund’s daughter Anna Freud, also a psychoanalyist, lived in the house right up to her own demise in 1982.
- Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first woman in Britain to qualify as a doctor on the 28th September 1865. She set up her ground breaking medical practice at 20 Upper Berkeley Street in Marylebone. Her work paved the way for the acceptance of women in the practice of medicine – for 19 years though, she was the only female member of the British Medical Association, to which she was elected in 1873.
Be the first to see Victoria & Abdul
The new film (in cinemas from 15 September) centres on the story of young Indian Muslim Abdul Karim and the central role he came to play in the life of Queen Victoria – a relationship which survived the best attempts to destroy it.
Many of the scenes are filmed at Osborne House (Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight). One of the rooms featured is the Indian inspired Durbar Room.
An exhibition of costumes used in the upcoming film and designed by Oscar nominated Consolata Boyle, is on display at Osborne until the 30 September. The costumes pay meticulous attention to historical detail even down to the Queen’s V&A monogrammed shoes.
Take a walk in one of our spectacular gardens
We may be saying goodbye to the long summer days, but there’s a very good reason to embrace the cooler weather. As the first frost approaches, the landscape across our gardens ignite with the amber hues and golden tones of autumn. Take a look at our historic gardens page for inspiration on places to visit – just make sure you wrap up warm!
Our kitchen garden at Audley End is a real hive of activity during September’s apple harvest. One hundred and fifty varieties of weird and wonderful heritage apples are grown here every year, cultivated using traditional Victorian gardening techniques. Don’t miss the annual apple festival at Audley between 23-24 September.
Enjoy a warming cuppa at Stokesay
Our new tea room at Stokesay Castle opened to the public in August. As part of a significant investment in the castle, neighbouring Stokesay Cottage – which stands beside the public entrance to the castle grounds – has been converted into a welcoming space, offering visitors and passers-by a range of locally sourced, fresh and seasonal food with an emphasis on traditional Shropshire fare.
Follow in Darwin’s footsteps
Down House belonged to the ingenious English naturalist Charles Darwin, who lived here for 40 years until his death in 1882. After moving to the house in 1842, Darwin and his wife, Emma, remodelled the house and its extensive gardens, which Darwin used as an open-air laboratory. It was here that Darwin developed his theory of evolution by natural selection and wrote his groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Learn more about the ingenious people, places and objects that shaped the story of England.
Events not to be missed in September
Harvest Weekends, throughout September, Down House
Join our expert gardeners as they guide you around Charles Darwin’s former home and his ‘outdoor laboratory’. Explore the expertly managed orchard and sample produce from the Victorian walled garden. Hands-on activities are available for our younger visitors.
Yorkshire Abbey Season, weekends throughout September, various locations
Enjoy a programme of events at some of Yorkshire’s greatest abbeys and priories. Join monks at Mount Grace Priory as they share stories about life in isolation at the Carthusian monastery.
The Magical Travelling Story-Circus, 31 August – 3 September, Walmer Castle and Gardens
Roll up! Roll up! Fairytale acrobatic theatre company, Nicole & Martin, are in town with four award-winning shows combining theatre, music, song, dance, juggling, acrobatics and laughter. Perfect fun for the whole family – and they’ll serve you French crêpes, brownies, and Italian coffee too.
Military weekend, 2-3 September, Carlisle Castle
Experience military through the ages at this two day spectacular, suitable for the whole family. Meet our armies past and present, get up close to military vehicles and hear stories from times gone by.
Classic cars, 10 September, Audley End House and Gardens
Rev your engines and enjoy a charming collection of classic cars on display at Audley End. Put your pedal to the metal and discover what it takes to take care of your dream motor. Suitable for 0 – 60 and beyond!
BBC Antiques Roadshow, 14 September, Osborne
The BBC’s much-loved show, celebrating 40 years of touring the country, valuing family treasures and car-boot sale and charity shop finds, stops at Osborne on the 14 September. Entry is free and no pre-registration, tickets or appointments are required, just turn up on the day.
Somewhere to visit this month
Today we are exploring the beautiful Kenilworth Castle & Gardens ahead of the Grand Medieval Joust this weekend. You can see more of our discoveries of this beautiful place on our Instagram stories if you are quick! #englishheritage #kenilworth #kenilworthcastle #history #garden #castle #englishheritagesites #conservation #museum #conservation #history #heritage
On this day in history
1 September 1985 – The wreck of RMS Titanic is found by a French-US search team.
2 September 1666 – The Fire of London begins at a baker’s shop in Pudding Lane and rages for several days.
6 September 1915 – The first tank, nicknamed ‘Little Willie’, rolls off the assembly line in England – transforming military battlefields around the world.
17 September 1607 – Mathematician Thomas Harriot observed a comet from Devon – which would later be identified as Halley’s comet.
27 September 1825 – The world’s first steam locomotive passenger service begins between Stockton and Darlington.