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Open House in Tower Hamlets

Open House is the Capital’s largest annual architecture festival. The aim of the festival is to celebrate all types of buildings from different periods within the city by giving people non-limited access–for free. With a quarter of a million people taking this opportunity each year and hundreds of building being listed, we came up with a list to help you decide where to visit, specifically within Tower Hamlets.

Bow Church – St Mary’s and Holy Trinity: 1311

We start with the oldest building on our list; churches have always been recognised for their beautiful architecture, and there are not many buildings more beautiful than the St Mary’s and Holy Trinity Church in Bow. As a medieval village church it is enriched in history already, however it also got caught in the crossfire of WWII and had to be restored after suffering bomb damage, making it an even more historic building within the East End of London. As a grade II listed building it is one you do not want to miss.

Open 11-5am (16th) and 12-5pm (17th), with tours being given at 1pm, and 3pm each day.
Bow Road, E3 3AH

Crossrail Place Roof Garden: 2016

Roof Garden’s much like long weekends in that they are to everyone’s liking. Thus what better place to see on your tour of London, than Crossrail’s first new building to open? The garden showcases unusual plants from all across the globe that is encased in a lattice roof.

Saturday 16th September, tours every 60 mins (10am-4pm)
One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, E14 5AB

Wilton’s Music Hall: 1859

Wilton’s Music hall is the oldest grand music hall in the world, and it is right here in Tower Hamlets. Featuring papier-mache balconies and barley-sugar iron columns, the hall makes for a unique but beautiful atmosphere. Furthermore, the hall is a RIBA award winner and one that is perfect to show off in architecture festivals like Open House.

Saturday 16th September, 10am-1pm
Graces Alley, E1 8JB

Kingsley Hall: 1928

Kingsley hall was a pioneer community centre founded by peace campaigners Muriel and Doris Lester. With links to Gandhi and George Lansbury, as well as being the set of Richard Attenborough’s academy award winning film Ghandi (1982), it is another building which has been particularly influential within World History that is based in Tower Hamlets.

Saturday 16th September, tours every 60 mins (12-5pm)
Powis Road, off Bruce Road, E3 3HJ

Sandy’s Row Synagogue: 1763

This hidden gem is right in the heart of London. Although it was originally built as a chapel in the 1700’s it has been continuously used a synagogue since the 1800’s but it still manages to show off 18th century architecture beautifully.

Sunday 17th September, history of synagogue every 60 mins by author Rachel Lichtenstein (11am-4pm)
4a Sandys Row, E1 7HW

Oxford House:1892

Last but certainly not least is Oxford House. The first university settlement to open, Oxford House has been transformed into a community, arts and heritage space since then. The building boasts a beautiful secret Victorian chapel and pocket park right outside. The Victorian chapel is simply breath-taking and is one of many things that makes Oxford House a perfect place to visit on your tour, regardless of your age or background.

Saturday 16th September, (10am-4pm)
Derbyshire Street, E2 6HG

By Thufayel Ahmed
Volunteer blogger

Hard Hat Tours of Oxford House Oxford House as the Focal Point of Bethnal Green Eavesdropping On the Interview - with Juliet Fraser Open House in Tower Hamlets Vietnamese Londoners at Oh! Gallery Sagacity! – An Old Saga A Certain Kind of Interview with Juliet Fraser Bethnal Green’s own Charles Dickens Have a drink and even join in with the songs! Ode to nature exhibition Carpentry Club - What Wood you like to know? 50° North (300 miles North-East to Oxford House) Paintings of the East End in different decades Let no meadow escape our riot Art as an escape medium Artist Critique – Sheree Naqvi An interview with Jonathan Chater Feminism in London 100 years since Charles Booth. An interview with Keith Greenough EURO 2016 – diversity embodied Messages of welcome - Celebrating Refugee Week 2016 Chelsea Fringe Festival comes into bloom at Oxford House Now open Artists call out- Chelsea Fringe An interview with Martin Dvořák An Interaction of Opposites Tom is back! Part 3 Tom is back! Part 2 Tom is back! Part 1 Wild, loud and untamed Open Garden Squares Weekend Postcard Garden Competition Fourth and final Jazzing it Up EAST2 Launch A Month of Jazz ''All kinds of languages'' Some Time Alone in a Spacecraft... part 3 Some Time Alone in a Spacecraft... part 2 Some Time Alone in a Spacecraft... part 1 Oh! Presents Thinking about the ‘Rights of Passage’ VIA: Call-Out for all artists! 'Of People and Places' - Photography Exhibition Following in Egypt’s Footsteps 2014 in 5 minutes! 2014 Highlights: Reflecting on gender roles with Cristina Cuevas The Insiders' Guide to Bethnal Green 2015: a free community journalism course Be part of our programme 2015! Welcome back Somali Week Festival! 4th October - Fun, Art and Science! Oxford House is a Fun Palace! Don’t make plans for Friday! The Knowledge Arts Festival is also for kids! Hackney Empire Show – Anna Fiorentini Summer Schools The Pitch - Deadline extended Venue Hire Summer Offer The knowledge festival is here again! 130th Anniversay of Oxford House
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