TOP tourist attractions across the Braintree district are throwing open their doors to celebrate Heritage Open Days over the next ten days.

To mark the event, Braintree Museum will be offering free entry on the next two Saturdays (September 9 and 16).

The museum houses a wealth of exhibits from archeology, geology and fossils to Courtaulds and Crittall Windows, father of natural history John Ray and the Braintree district during the world wars.

The Warner Textile Archive will also be offering free mini tours on September 15 and 16 that can be booked at

Bocking Windmill will be hosting an open day on Sunday, September 10, between 11am and 3pm.

The historic landmark is a listed ancient monument with a fascinating history and much of the original machinery still in place, although it is no longer a working mill.

Braintree and Witham Times: Bocking WindmillBocking Windmill (Image: Braintree Council)

The post mill has been in Church Street, Bocking, since 1721 and was moved 200 yards up the hill to its present site in 1829.

The windmill was worked until 1929 when it was presented to Bocking Parish Council.

It gradually fell into disrepair until 1962-3 when it was restored by public subscription and Braintree and Bocking Urban District Council.

Other locations in the district holding events include Panfield Church, St Mary’s Church in Bocking, Silver End Garden Village and Heritage Centre, Dick Nunn’s Smithy in Coggeshall, Colne Valley Postal History Museum in Head Street, Halstead, and Earls Colne Quaker Meeting House.

Braintree Council communities boss Mary Cunningham said: “Heritage Open Days are a chance to celebrate our fantastic history and culture and explore historic and interesting locations in the district for free.

"Whether you’re a local or visiting the district, it’s an excellent opportunity to be a tourist and learn more about the Braintree district.”

For more about Heritage Open Days visit