5 things to do at Gosport Heritage Open Days!

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, taking place every year in September. It sees thousands of local people and organisations coming together to celebrate the history woven into their community. It’s a chance to try new experiences and visit locations that ordinarily wouldn’t be available to the public.

The theme for 2022 is Astounding Inventions and across the country visitors will be invited to learn about the legacy of local inventors and their cutting-edge innovations that power our daily lives. 2022 is the 30th anniversary for Gosport Heritage Open Days and this year will see over 60 FREE events held between 9 -18 September.

Astounding Inventions © Heritage Open Days

Here, Visitor Experience Assistant, Louise, has picked out five things you will not want to miss during this year’s festival in Gosport.

Brouhaha, Walpole Park


This year on Saturday 17 September, a new carnival called Brouhaha, is coming to Walpole Park. The festivities will include performances, children’s workshops, local food stands and entertainment throughout the day. With opportunities to watch live music and dance as well as ‘have a go’ at a range of arts and crafts there will be something to pique the interest of everyone in the family.

From 12.30pm the town will become a colourful display of extravagance as a parade of 100 performers work their way through the High Street and up Stoke Road, wearing wacky and wonderful creations from international carnival artists Shademakers who are known for dramatic dancing sculptures!

Diving Museum, Stokes Bay

Diving helmet: Deane Diving Helmet at the Diving Museum Stokes Bay, photo by © Mark Hall

Did you know that diving helmets as we know them today owe much of their design to two pioneering brothers John and Charles Deane who first patented the design for a “smoke helmet” in 1823. Though it was originally used to help fight fires, the pair soon realised it could be used for deep sea diving and trialled their equipment in the Solent so successfully that in 1836, they were able to recover several guns from the wreck of the Mary Rose.

Volunteers will be on hand at the Diving Museum in Stokes Bay on Friday 9 and Sunday 18 September to give you a personal tour of the building and the exhibits where you will be able to find out much more about the history of diving. There may even be a chance to get ‘dressed’ in some diving gear...

Give it a Go, Walpole Park and Stoke Road


This will be an opportunity to get a taster of lots of new activities and even try them out for yourself. You’ll be able to watch demonstrations of creative work by makers in shops all along Stoke Road and then 'Give it a Go' yourself within the creative space of the Marquee in Walpole Park.

This event will be going on Saturday 17 10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm.

John Holland’s Incredible Invention, Royal Navy Submarine Museum

In 1901, Holland 1 became the first submarine in the Royal Navy and changed the course of underwater warfare. This is a fun-filled tour aimed at children and families and will tell the story of John Holland the incredible inventor of Holland 1. You will be taken on a sensory and interactive tour following his amazing life by an actor playing the role of Mr. Holland.

This tour will bring together STEM concepts and sensory exploration to inspire the next generation of engineers and submariners alike! This event is free but needs to be booked beforehand on the NMRN website.

The Bob Anderson Story, Digital

Did you know that Gosport was once home to a Hollywood stuntman responsible for some of the most iconic sword fights in film history? From 1953’s The Master of Ballantrae starring Errol Flynn to more modern epics like The Lord of the Rings and The Legend of Zorro, Gosport born and bred Bob Anderson played a key role in many blockbuster films offering his expertise as a sword master and fight arranger.

This online presentation will tell the story of Bob’s life and achievements through documentary clips as well as hearing from his daughter. It will also look at the impact Bob had on the sport of fencing and highlight some of his most notable movie and TV connections from over 50 years. Details of how to access the online link can be found on the Gosport Heritage Open Days website.

Gosport Heritage Open Days is on from 9-18 September so pop the date in your diary and check out their website to find out more!

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