University opens doors to the past
The weekend festivities started on the Friday evening with ghost tours around The Grange led by learning support officer and resident ghost hunter, Ian Crossland. Visitors also had the opportunity to glimpse rarely seen university artefacts in an exhibition of the university’s past, present and future, take a self-guided walk through the campus’ long history, try their hand at various games taking place on the acre or enjoy refreshments at the pop-up café in Queenswood Lodge, formerly home to the university’s principal.
Though Leeds Beckett’s association with Headingley Campus stretches back over a century, the estate has been a Leeds landmark for even longer.
With a 400 year, The Grange in particular was a source of excitement over the weekend. BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture (1973) alumnus Andrew Pomeroy explains, “I have long had an interest in landscape history. As secretary of Friends of Beckett Park I have been researching published sources and archive material; puzzling over various unexplained physical features in the park and university campus, the 2018 Heritage Open Days offered a great opportunity to introduce the public to the history of the Kirkstall Grange estate, the public park and the university campus, from Roman times onward. The walks were attended by over 100 people who, judging by the comments we received, found the history fascinating.”
The event was one of over 5,000 taking place across the country over two weekends as part of England’s largest grassroots heritage festival, which is now in its 24th year.
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