The ‘Monumental’ Connections of Bradford Cathedral and its Miniature Model will take place on Saturday 14th September 2024 from 12noon – 3pm, and entry is free

Bradford Cathedral will be once more opening its doors to take part in the free annual nationwide ‘Heritage Open Days’ festival, which runs this year from the 6th to the 15th September.

The event at Bradford Cathedral will take place on Saturday 14th September from 12noon to 3pm – which is also the third annual ‘Yorkshire Churches Day’.

The ‘Monumental’ Connections of Bradford Cathedral and its Miniature Model will include many attractions, including two tours; a talk; stalls and representatives from local groups; and much more, all connected within the Cathedral’s monuments and memorials, and place in the city.

Monuments that can be explored include those of the Market Charter, Joseph Priestley and the Canal, Abraham Balme and the turnpike, explorer William Scoresby, and the famous local Jowett family, as well as other connections such as to the Broad Ford, which gave the city its name.

The day will also form part of a longer year-long project to include a model of the Cathedral adjacent to the model town of Chandwell, created by Michael Scott, who will also be presenting at this year’s event.

General Activities

Running throughout the Open Day there will be the chance to take part in the following:

  • The opportunity to explore the monuments of Bradford Cathedral associated with routes, networks and connections
  • Family craft and colouring activities
  • The Friends of Bradford’s Becks will showcase their trail which marks the route of Bradford Beck under the city centre, with guides and a game to raise awareness of the becks in Bradford, reduce pollution and get improvements to the physical environment in and around them.
  • The Northern Section of the Jowett Car Club will display items of memorabilia and literature relating to the Jowett family and to the production of Jowett cars at their factory in Idle, with members on hand to talk about the history of Jowett car production in Bradford, alongside a video and some classic cars in the Cathedral Close.
  • The Canal and River Trust will be offering a delve into the past as they bring to life the Bradford Canal that served the city for over 150 years. Now defunct, the canal will be brought to life by Colin Sidway, author of “The Bradford Canal” and by The Yorkshire Weaver who brings the cityscapes of old to life through his woven tapestries. There will also be photos and documents from the Canal and River Trust’s archive.
  • Discover more about the pilgrimages and walks around the Cathedral including the Yorkshire Heritage Way, Tranquillity Trail, and the Bradford Faith Trail


We will be running two tours during the day (each running twice): a general tour of the Cathedral, and a themed tour looking at the monuments related to this year’s theme. These tours will take place at 12:15pm and again at 2:15pm. Booking is essential for these tours, which can be done online.

Talk by Michael Scott: ‘Smaller Scale, Wider Perspective: from miniature to marvel on a route less travelled’

There will be a talk from Michael Scott, creator of Chandwell, at 1:30pm.

“When model maker Michael Scott started looking for inspiration to breathe life into his fictional model town of Chandwell, he had no idea where the journey would take him, or the connections that he would make. Through paper, card, bricks, and stone, Michael shares his adventure — from invented tales to real-life discoveries — that ultimately inspired his latest endeavour: crafting a model of Bradford Cathedral. Join us as we explore the magic of creation and the wider perspective it brings.”

Bradford Cathedral joins Chandwell

As well as presenting the talk on the day, Michael Scott will also be constructing a version of the Cathedral as a stand-alone model in the style of Chandwell. The construction will take place over the next twelve months and will be documented through a series of videos released on the first Friday of every month on his YouTube channel, with the final unveiling taking place in 2025, when Bradford is the City of Culture.  These videos will mix details of the creative process with historical information.

Maggie Myers, Director of Education and Visitors at Bradford Cathedral, says:
“Following on from the success of our William Morris Heritage Open Day last year, we are delighted that we have another exciting day of talks, tours and information- but on a very different topic. We have embraced this year’s theme of “Routes-Networks-Connections” by taking inspiration from the memorials in the Cathedral – to celebrate local names connected with transport, particularly the turnpikes, the canal and cars.

“We will also be highlighting the story of the Bradford Beck, which runs below the Cathedral and is connected with our history. To top it all off, there will be a fascinating talk all about model-making and the exciting prospect of a model Bradford Cathedral!

“It will all add up to a really eclectic mix of information and experiences, so do join us for what promises to be a very interesting afternoon at Bradford Cathedral!”  

Free tickets for the tours and talk can be booked now, otherwise you are encouraged to turn up on the day to find out more. There will also be refreshments running throughout the day

Heritage Open Day Anniversary Gallery Vote

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Heritage Open Days, in which Bradford Cathedral have participated since 2018, a new online gallery has been created, to remain on the Heritage Open Days site for the foreseeable future as an important record of their history.

Bradford Cathedral made the shortlist and, after over 3,000 votes were cast, the final stories have been added to the gallery and include Bradford Cathedral.

You can find out more at

Booking for the tours is essential and can be booked at Booking is recommended for the talk, but all are welcome to turn up for the general activities – and the talk – on the day.

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