Royal Museums Greenwich to participate in the Heritage Open Days Festival 2020 with a series of events at the Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre

Royal Museums Greenwich to participate in the Heritage Open Days Festival 2020 with a series of events at the Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre


Following the success of last year’s participation in the Heritage Open Days Festival, Royal Museums Greenwich will be joining the 2020 festival between 14 and 19 September 2020 in a very different way.

The collection stores and conservation studios at the Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre (PPMCC) are throwing open their doors online, with virtual events, video tours and digital resources for everyone to enjoy.  

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 organisations, 5,500 events and 46,000 volunteers. Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history.

The theme for 2020 is Hidden Nature. This year, the focus turns to the extraordinary heritage of the natural world, from plants and wildlife celebrated explorers came across to ships pets, from Barnacles on the bottom of a ship to the trade of natural produce from one continent to the other, and everything in between.

This year, due to COVID-19, participation will be different. PPMCC, based in Kidbrooke, is not yet open to the public, so the specialists have created a special programme to allow the celebration to go ahead. Visitors will be able to curate their own online tour of the stores and conservation studios, exploring some of the secrets of the collection. From ships biscuits to a harpoon gun, from barnacles to Oscar the cat, Heritage Open Days at Royal Museums Greenwich will explore the hidden nature found aboard ships throughout history.

There will also be a panel discussion examining how the trading of natural resources such as cotton and sugar fuelled imperialism, slavery and colonialism – a story told through the remarkable collection at the National Maritime Museum.

Matthew Cahill, Collections Learning Manager at PPMCC, said ‘Heritage Open Days allows us to open up the true hidden gem within Royal Museums Greenwich. With this year’s festival of heritage being accessible online, the collection and our expert curators and conservators are more attainable than ever before.’

With one click of the link and a bit of imagination visitors will feel that they are with us in the stores and studios. No matter your age, ability or knowledge there is an event or activity for you during this five day festival of culture.


14 September

Launch of the festival and opening of the new community garden

Paddy Rodgers, Director of Royal Museums Greenwich, will open the festival with an address within PPMCC’s new community garden, developed by local groups and societies as a space to reflect and contemplate using the collection as a source of inspiration.

This short broadcast through our social media platforms will become a must watch with a unique performance by Global fusion celebrating the coming together of community, nature and heritage.

14 September

Blog: How To Prevent Pests From Attacking Your Possessions

Ever wondered what the difference between an insect and a pest is? Join our expert conservators as they show you how to identify, prevent and treat invasion from pests in your own home.

14-19 September

Curate Your Own Tour

With over two million objects in Royal Museum Greenwich’s collection, the festival offers the opportunity for visitors to navigate their own online tour of the unique stores. Visitors will be greeted by a member of our learning team sharing tales related to objects linked to this year’s theme: hidden nature.

15 September

7pm: Live Webinar: Cotton, Sugar, Empire

Using our vast collection on trade within the Royal Museums Greenwich’s collection, Dr. Robert Blyth will present the process of the cotton industry from plantations to Lancashire mills with child labour to India and the displacement of the local handloom industry through to the world of fast fashion.

Abi Aspen Glencross, scientist, farmer, cook, botanical explorer and co-founder of The Sustainable Food Story will ask us to ask ourselves if we know where our food is coming from. How is it being grown? In exchange, Abi will present positive examples sustainable and ethical production of commodities.

Mohammed Elnaiem, PhD student at the University of Cambridge and noted columnist on black history for Jstor Daily entitled Black Radicals, will use his current research to draw the relationship between capitalism, slavery and patriarchy.

19 September

6.30pm: Heritage Open Day Quiz

Want to see how your knowledge of nature and heritage stacks up against our seasoned quizmasters? Join our live online quiz and test yourself against the rest of the world in this fun interactive quiz for all.



Venue:            The Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre | Website

Dates:           14-19 September 2020

Enquiries:      To learn more about the festival and see the many other activities and blogs
                     part of this year’s celebrations, please contact

Twitter:        @RMGreenwich

Instagram:    @royalmuseumsgreenwich

Facebook:      @royalmuseumsgreenwich


Cristian Bortes 
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