The recently opened Courthouse played the perfect focal point for one of this year’s Heritage Open Days unsung stories, celebrating the life and legacy of Sir Alan Turing.
The festival was a huge success, exploring the history and heritage of LGBTQ in the wider community and exploring the life of Manchester’s war-time code breaker. On Friday and Saturday, The Courthouse hosted an impressive, sold out live theatre re-enactment of Turing’s trial from 1952 in the original court room at The Courthouse.
Earlier that day, the Court Room was full as Sir Dermot Turing gave a talk on his uncle’s legacy; including his extraordinary work, private life and arrest for gross indecency.
A fascinating virtual reality experience of the trial was also produced and free to experience at The Courthouse over the weekend. Produced by RE-DOCK and LGBTQ artists across Greater Manchester, the VR performance allowed visitors the opportunity to explore different viewpoints of the trial and Turing’s work.
Celebrity judge and lawyer Rob Rinder also took to the stage to read the Court Sessions Records while an Enigma expert provided visitors with demonstrations of the remarkable machine on a replica Enigma machine.
Oliver Heywood, co-founder of Flat Cap Hotels, commented: “It has been an amazing weekend here at The Courthouse. We are extremely proud of the restoration and refurbishments of the former Crown Courts and it was great to open our doors to allow the public in once again to see the stunning property.”
“The event was a great community wide celebration and we were delighted to be part of the engaging programme.”
The Courthouse reopened its doors in July following an ambitious and complete renovation by the team at Flat Cap Hotels. The Barristers Restaurant and Bar serves locally sourced, seasonal dishes headed up by Executive Chef, Steven Tuke. The Court Room has been converted into one of the largest ballrooms in South Cheshire ideal for large events, exhibitions, weddings and conferences with a banqueting capacity for 250 guests.