The focus for Doors Open Days in Clackmannanshire this year is on glass, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the start of commercial glassmaking in Scotland.
Events take place across Clackmannanshire this weekend, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September.
The new exhibition 'Glass at The Glass Works' will be open at O-I Manufacturing UK Limited in Alloa, Britain's oldest glassworks still working on its original site, and there will be guided tours of the plant (numbers limited and advance booking essential).
The stained glass in many of the county's churches will be on view, as well as three grand houses built by the Paton family - Greenfield, Inglewood and Gean - of which Inglewood has fine Arts and Crafts stained glass designed by Oscar Paterson. A stained glass tour will be led by specialist Michael Donnelly, glass designer Elin Isaksson will be demonstrating glassblowing in her new Alloa studio, stained glass artist Jill Conlan will be working in her studio nearby and Retroglass will open their new showroom and studio, where visitors can see demonstrations by guest artists and the extensive range of glass, tools and equipment.
Some of the fine paintings in the Mar & Kellie collection, including portraits of Lady Frances Erskine, who was involved in the founding of the original Alloa glasshouse in the 18th century, will be on display at Hilton Farm.
New properties are included, such as Glenmore House, once home of William Bailey of Alloa Pottery, together with favourites like Alman Dramatic Club's Coach House Theatre, Alloa, and Alva historic kirkyards and Sauchie Tower, Dollar Museum and Tullibody Heritage Centre.
Depute Leader Councillor Bobby McGill said: "We have a much bigger programme this year, with no less than 27 events and properties taking part. We are concentrating on glass and, apart from the 'Glass at The Glass Works' exhibition and the tours of O-I, we have a great collection of stained glass of the later 19th and 20th century in the churches and other buildings of the county, many of which are included. There are also other new treats in the programme. We are very grateful indeed to all the owners of properties and the many volunteers who continue to support Doors Open Days every year by opening their buildings and welcoming visitors."
Please note that in some buildings only the ground floor is accessible to people with mobility difficulties. Please refer to the key next to each entry. Visitors enter the buildings at their own risk. Neither Clackmannanshire Council nor any participating building owners are responsible for any accidents or damage incurred.
Doors Open Days is celebrated in September throughout Scotland as part of the Council of Europe European Heritage Days. People can visit free of charge places of cultural and historic interest which are not normally open to the public or which usually charge an admission fee. The event aims to encourage everyone to appreciate and help to preserve their built heritage. Doors Open Days is promoted nationally by The Scottish Civic Trust with part sponsorship from Historic Scotland.
Copies of the full local programme are available in libraries and the main Council buildings in Clackmannanshire. The full programme is also available to download from www.clacksweb.org.uk/visiting/doorsopendaysgen/ or at www.doorsopendays.org.uk. For further details and to book tours of O-I please contact Museum and Heritage Officer and area co-ordinator Susan Mills at Clackmannanshire Council on 01259 216913 or email email@example.com.