Rediscover Stockport’s Historic Underbanks at this Free Art, Music & Food Festival

Stockport’s Heritage Open Day is a full day of family friendly events and workshops, all centred around the Underbank.

By Emma Davidson | 24 August 2022

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Image: Paul Holland

Stockport’s Underbanks are one of the most exciting parts of the North West at the moment, as the historic streets usher in a new wave of independent retail and hospitality businesses into the once unknown community. 

On Saturday 17th September, Stockport Council is hosting a free all-day festival with the aim of inviting past and present visitors to explore the rich history of the underbanks by bringing buildings back to life and reconnecting the locals.

The Heritage Open Day will be hosted by a number of Stockport’s new businesses, including Bistro Marc at Winter’s, a French restaurant that will deliver two talks about the restoration process of the historic Winter’s Clock, as well as a photography exhibition revealing fascinating scenes of times gone by. 

Live music will sprawl out onto the street throughout the day courtesy of Jazz duo, Josh and Tom Phillips, with SK1 Records providing the after dark party vibes into the evening. A pop-up art stall led by Underbank Studio’s Heather Chambers will also offer visitors a chance to get creative, painting a collective art piece to commemorate the day. 

If you’ve ever wanted to explore Stockport’s dungeons, the Heritage Open Day will give you a chance to do just that, as visitors are led through the historic site at the top of Mealhouse Brow, which was used between the 15th and 18th centuries. 

Prisoners were held in the Dungeon whilst waiting for trial at Court Leet, or to be transferred to Chester or Lancaster Assizes, only if their crime was too serious to be tried in the Court Leet, so there’s lots to learn if you’re brave enough to enter!

The day will end with a special screening of ‘A Taste Of Honey’ hosted by Underbank Studios and GULP inside St Mary’s Church, another astonishing piece of Stockport architecture that overlooks the town’s picturesque marketplace.   

The Heritage Open Day is free to attend and runs all-day on Saturday 17th September. With the recent additions of some Stockport newcomers, including The Spinn Off and Emiko Studios, there’s plenty to fill your day with while supporting the local businesses bringing the area back to life. 


Stockport’s Heritage Open Day

Date: Saturday 17th September
Venue: Various across Stockport’s Underbanks
Price: FREE

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