The history of a lunatic asylum, churches, spas and a courthouse will be unlocked in this autumn’s Heritage Open Days.

More historic buildings than ever in the district are signed up to this year’s scheme, co-ordinated nationally by English Heritage.

Events take place between September 8 and 11.

The days offer the chance to explore historic, cultural and architectural gems free of charge - including some buildings not normally open to the general public.

Historic properties across Wharfedale and Aireborough are taking part in this year’s open days, and guided walks will give residents a chance to learn more about local heritage.

Opening its doors as part of the scheme this year will be High Royds Sports and Social Club, based in the former High Royds psychiatric hospital – opened in 1888 as West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

The club will be open to the public between 11am and 2pm on all four days.

A collection of nostalgic photographs will be on display, and a guide will lead visitors round talking about the history of the hospital.

Heritage churches and chapels will be another big focus of the event in the area.

Farfield Historic Quaker Meeting House, near Addingham, will be open on the afternoon of Sunday, September 11, while Bramhope’s Grade I Listed Puritan Chapel will be open the following afternoon.

Other churches participating this year are St Margaret’s Church in Horsforth, St Oswald’s Church, Guiseley, Otley Methodist Church and All Saints Parish Church in Otley. A guided two-hour walk, also on September 11, led by Ilkley Civic Society, will explore Ilkley Spa and Hydros.

Otley Conservation Task Force will lead a walk, Storeys of Stone, on the same day, exploring how Otley developed from a medieval market town, through industrial expansion, to the present day.

A historic village centre walk on Thursday, September 8, will illustrate the development of Guiseley from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day, starting from Guiseley Wells.

More Heritage Open Days events will be happening at Otley Chevin Forest Park and Otley Courthouse, while Otley Museum will give a series of selected screenings from the Museum’s large photographic archive.

Details of events are online at