• Event details

    Heritage Open Day

    Heritage Open Day - This event has already finished

    The BRE site will be open as part of Heritage Open Days 2018.


    As well as the once top secret model of the Mohne Dam used in the early stages of developing the Dambusters' famous Bouncing Bomb, some of our larger test labs and the homes of our Innovation Park will be open to view for free.

    There will be talks and presentations repeated through the day about the role of BRE in the Dambusters raids, and also about the B17 Bomber 'Choo-z-suzy' that crashed on this site in 1943.

    The largest structural test hall in Britain, our wind tunnel and (possibly) the quietest place in the UK will be open for tours and demonstrations. 'Bucknalls', the 19th century mansion at the centre of the site (and which gives the nearby roads Bucknalls Lane and Bucknalls Drive their names) will be open to let your enjoy the oak panelled splendour of this former country house. And the eco-friendly show homes of our innovation park will be open too. You might also recognise a few locations from recent TV drama and comedy shows, and a major feature film as well.

    On the day, younger visitors can collect timed tickets to visit the BRE wind tunnel and test their paper aeropplanes in the lab!. There will also be 'Discovering Engineering' workshops aimed at children between 8 and 16, run in conjunction with University College London, where children and their parents can explore 'making large structures out of newspaper' and 'Making Micro:Bits do more'.

    On site cafe, bouncy castle, acres of lawns for picnics, free onsite parking and more... a whole day out for all the family (although sorry, no dogs please).

    See photos from previous Open Days on Flickr

    Event programme

    The BRE site will be open from 10am to 5pm this year.

    Provisional timetable:

    Repeated at hourly intervals starting at 10.30, a 40 minute presentation on the Mohne Dam history. Archive drawings, photos and a clip of rare test footage will be shown. The scale model will be accessible by visitors for photo opportunities. Note this is an area of sometimes damp woodland.

    Also repeated hourly, a 30 minute talk about the B17 bomber that crashed here in 1943, including a display of parts of the plane found on the site. The actual crash site will not be open to visitors.

    The labs, innovation park and Bucknalls Mansion will be open throughout the day.

    Programme subject to change - pick up a copy on the day as you arrive for latest info. Note that we are based on a 50 acre site exposed to the weather.

    Last admission: 4.30pm. Gates close at 5pm.

    Heritage Open Days are coordinated nationally by The National Trust supported by funding from People's Postcode Lottery. Events in the Watford area are run in conjuction with Watford Museum.

    Intended audience

    This family-friendly event is open to the general public, as part of the national Heritage Open Days programme.

    You will need to register to attend (so that we can send you details of how to get here, and can gauge numbers for catering). This is a quick process and we will not send you any marketing or promotional emails (unless you ask us to).

    If booking for a family or group, please put your email address in alongside each person's name.

    Please watch for an email reply from 'events@bre.co.uk' confirming your booking, which is sent automatically when you press the final 'book' button. We have learned that this message has been marked as 'junk mail' for some people so do check your junk folder too if it doesnt arrive.

    Admission is free. Children must be accompanied please, and sorry but no dogs (except assistance dogs).

    For more information:

    Peter White
    0333 321 8811

    For more information

    Peter White
    0333 321 8811