Heritage Open Days - All the places in East Sussex taking part

Heritage Open Days take place every September and is England’s largest festival of history and culture.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 1:38 pm

Here is a list of the places taking part in West Sussex...

Churchdale Road Allotments, Eastbourne - ‘Delights of the Garden’ is a collaboration between Tempo Arts & Compass Community Arts, partners & participants to create art in seven allotment plots. Friday , September 10, Saturday, September 11, Sunday, September 12, Friday, September 17, Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19 11am until 4pm.

Manor Gardens Guided Tour, Eastbourne. Join Kevin Gordon for a walk and tour of this historical garden.

Baxters Field.

Wednesday, September 15 11am. Booking required.

Motcombe Gardens Dovecote, Eastbourne. Explore the inside of this historic Dovecote and learn about the history of one Eastbourne’s most important Medieval farms. Friday, September 10 11am until 3pm. Sunday, September 12, 11am until 2pm. Monday, September 12, 10am until 1pm. Wednesday, September 15, 1pm until 4pm. Thursday, September 16, 10am until 4pm and Friday, September 17, 10am until 1pm.

Ocklynge Cemetery Tour, Eastbourne. Join Kevin Gordon to uncover Eastbourne’s history through people of the past in this guided tour of the cemetery. Sunday, September 12, 2pm. Booking required.

Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne. The Hippodrome Theatre opened in 1883 as the New Theatre Royal and Opera House. Saturday, September 11, 10am until 12 and Wednesday, September 15, 10am until 2pm. Tours every 30 minutes.

Sir Charles Lucas and his heritage, Lockwood, Compton Place Road, Eastbourne. View portraits by Dobson, Lely, Lawrence, Reynolds and other paintings and objects entrained in the history of Sir Charles Lucas (1613-1648) and the subsequent descent of his posthumous title. Friday, September 10, Saturday, September 11. 10am until 4pm tours on the hour every hour. Booking preferred.

The Italian Gardens, Eastbourne. Join the Friends of Meads Parks and Gardens to discover the history of these Italianate style gardens. Saturday, September 11, Sunday, September 12, Saturday, September 18, Sunday, September 19. 11am until 4pm. Workshops begin at 12.30 and 2.30pm

Wilmington Priory, Eastbourne. Wilmington Priory dates back to 1215, but alterations have taken place in almost every century since and the result is a complex puzzle of structures. It was once the priory of a Benedictine Abbey and is just below the Long Man of Wilmington.

Saturday, September 18, Sunday, September 19, 10am until 4pm. Booking required.

Emmanuel Church open day, Hastings. An opportunity to visit Emmanuel Church at the north end of Hastings’ West Hill, and to hear the history of the building from a local expert. Saturday, September 11, 10am until 2pm.

Guided Walk of the Stade and Fishing Quarter, The Fishermen’s Museum, Hastings.

Join knowledgeable guides for a potted history of the Stade (Anglo Saxon for landing Place) area of the Hastings Old Town Fishing Quarter. Follow the trail from the 9th century to present day fishing. Monday, September 13, Wednesday, September 15 and Thursday, September 16, 11am. Booking required.

Hastings Cemetery Guided Walky, The Ridge.

Exploring History in Hastings Cemetery - interesting memorials leading to stories of interesting people. The sea air of Hastings was recommended by doctors for health benefits and many Victorians and Edwardians came to visit and some stayed with us.

Hastings Old Town Walk

West Hill Cafe, Castle Hill Road. Hastings Old Town, the premier ancient Cinque Port has a wealth of historic buildings, twittens and cat-creeps.

Saturday, September 11 and Saturday, September 18, 2.30pm. Booking required.

Hastings Town Centre guided walk, Baptist Church, Wellington Square. Guided walk around Hastings Town Centre with a leader from the Hastings & St. Leonards Society. Hear the history of the area and learn about the notable architecture. Thursday, September 16, 2.30pm. Booking required.

Hastings Town Hall tour. This is a rare opportunity to see the interior of Hastings Town Hall, including the beautiful Mayor’s Parlour, The Rossetti Room and the Council Chamber. Saturday, September 11: Tour starts 10am (meeting point: rear entrance to Town Hall, opposite The Clarence public house

on Station Road). Booking required.

Observer Building open day, 53 Cambridge Road, Hastings. The ‘Observer Building’ is currently undergoing major refurbishment. The tour gives the public the opportunity to see how this iconic building is being transformed to bring it back into use after many years of neglect. Friday,September: Two tours: 0930 and 1030

Booking Details: Pre-booking: Required

4 Park Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1BN

A striking modernist house of 1961 now with a first-storey addition designed by the current owner. Friday, September 10, and Saturday, September 11, 11am until 3pm

Baxter’s Field, Lewes

Baxter’s Field is an area of open space bought in 2003 to ensure its continued public use. It is run by volunteers and includes an expansive area of grass set in a valley together with a copse of trees. Spectacular views of The Castle. Sunday, September 12, 10.30am until 4pm, tours 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Pre-booking: Required

Chailey Windmill and Rural Life Museum, North Chailey, Lewes.

Chailey Windmill is a Grade II listed Smock Mill and stands on an historic site beside the yew tree, said to mark the centre of Sussex. Visitors will get to take a look inside the mill and explore Chailey’s history in the on-site rural life museum. Sunday, September 12, 3pm until 5pm.

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Heritage Open Days - Discover history right on your doorstep in East Sussex

In the 18th century, Chinese lacquer screens were used as a type of decorated ‘wallpaper’ in English Houses. The wall panels in Lamb House may be a unique example of a lost decorative tradition. Restored by English heritage to their original glory. Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 2pm until 5pm.

Fitzroy House, 10 High Street, Lewes

Discover this landmark Victorian Gothic building by Sir George Gilbert Scott, formerly the town library. Friday, September 10, Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 10am until 4pm

Freemasons Hall, 149 High Street, Lewes. This Grade II listed 1868 building is still owned by the South Saxon Lodge, one of the oldest in Sussex. Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 10am until 4pm.

Glynde Place, The Street, Glynde, Lewes. Explore this historic house and view an art exhibition. Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19, 11am until 5pm. Booking preferred.

Jireh Chapel, Malling Street, Lewes. A fine example of an early 19th century non-conformist chapel, listed Grade 1. Saturday, September 11, 10am until 3pm

Lewes Churches Walk, Lewes House, 32, High Street, School Hill, Lewes. Led by Sue Berry this walk will visit St Michael’s in the High Street, St Johns in Southover (once part of the Priory), All Saints (now an arts centre) and St Thomas’s in Cliffe. Saturday, September 11. Pre-booking preferred.

Event Times

Lewes High Street Walk, Lewes House, 32, High Street, School Hill. Led by Michael Chartier, a knowledgeable former mayor of the town, the High Street walk will look at the different architectural styles of important historic buildings in the upper High Street, including the materials used in their construction. Saturday, September 11, 11am. Pre-booking required.

Lewes House, High Street Lewes. Lewes House is a substantial 18th century detached house set in a large walled garden. Former home of American art collector, Edward Perry Warren, it is the venue for Lewes History Group’s ‘Street Stories’ Exhibition and Friends of Lewes’ display. Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 10am until 5pm.

Lewes Town Hall, High Street. The Town Hall, formerly the Star Inn and then rebuilt in the 1890s, includes medieval cellars, a Jacobean staircase, the Council Chamber and Mayor’s Parlour. The complex also includes the main function room with stage, and the Corn Exchange. Sunday, September 12, 10am until 4pm.

Lewes Town Walk, The Castle Barbican, 169 High Street, Lewes. Led by Dr Graham Mayhew this walk will explore Lewes’s historic core around the Castle, St John’s Sub Castro church and the Market Tower, revealing the town’s Saxon ground-plan and a wide range of architectural styles. Friday, September 10, 2.30pm. Pre-booking required.

Priory School Chapel, Priory School, Mountfield Road, Lewes. Lewes Priory School Memorial Chapel, (Mountfield Road, between Priory School and East Sussex College). The Chapel (1960) was designed by Sir Edward Maufe, architect of Guildford Cathedral. Open Saturday, 1.30pm-5pm, talks and displays. Saturday, September 11, 1.30pm until 5pm.

Quirky Lewes walk, Lewes House, School Hill, 32 High Street, Lewes. Emma Chaplin leads a walk around some of the town’s more unusual features with tales of some of the fascinating characters from its long history. Sunday, September 12, 11am. Pre-booking required.

Southover Grange, Southover High Street, Lewes. An opportunity to see the recently restored areas of this 16th house and now the town’s register office. Built of Caen stone, it is

set within beautiful public garden. Sunday, September 12, noon until 5pm.

The Round House, Pipe Passage, Lewes. Discover the brick and flint base of an 1802 windmill which is now a house. Sunday, September 12, 2pm until 5pm.

The Werks, Fisher Street Lewes. The Werks in Fisher Street was built as municipal offices in 1916, designed by local architect Rowland Halls. Recently restored and refurbished, the building retains panels of oxen above the façade and a barrel-vaulted ceiling to the committee room. Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11, 10am until 5pm.

The Workshop, J Swan Jewellers, 164 High Street, Lewes. The Workshop (Jonathan Swan) is a jewellery shop with a historic interior. Friday, September 10 until Sunday, September 12, 10am until 5pm.

WaterCourt, 65 High Street, Lewes

WaterCourt, 65 High Street, Lewes. Private house of 1810, then school, then main post office 1881 to 2016. Now offices for an educational software business. Tours Saturday and Sunday, half-hourly midday to 3.30pm, must book, max 6 people per tour. Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, tours half-hourly noon until 3.30pm. Pre-booking required.

Newhaven Museum. An interesting collection of artefacts, archives and photographs of Newhaven, East Sussex and its related maritime history. Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11, 11am until 4pm.

South Heighton Pottery, Heighton Road, South Heighton, Newhaven. Chris Lewis’ work has been influenced by archaeology and the artefacts made by vanished or disappearing cultures. Chris will be exhibiting his work and opening up his studio and garden to visitors this Heritage Open Days. Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19, 11am until 5pm.

St. Michael’s Church, Newhaven. Explore this historic church in the heart of Newhaven. Monday, September 13 until Friday, September 17, noon until 5pm. Saturday, September 18, 10am until 5pm and Sunday, September 19, 1pm until 5pm.

Stone Cross Windmill, Beggars Lane, Stone Cross, Pevensey.

Visitors can see a fully operational Windmill which still produces flour using traditional methods. Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 10am until 4pm.

The Old Mint House, Pevensey. Explore this incredibly historic house right in the heart of Pevensey. Saturday, September 11, Sunday, September 12, Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19, 10am until 4pm.

St Michael the Archangel- Litlington Church, Polegate. Come and explore this historic church and enjoy the village fair. Saturday, September 11, 9am until sunset, village fair 10.30am until 1pm. Sunday, September 12, Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19, 9am until sunset.

Event Times

CWGC Tours: Seaford Cemetery, Cemetery Lodge, Alfriston Road, Seaford. Join us to find out more about the history and work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission whilst exploring the graves of those we commemorate in Seaford Cemetery. Sunday, September 12, tours 10.30am and 1.30pm. Pre-booking required.

Event Times

Seaford Cemetery Guided Tour, Cradle Hill Road. Join Kevin Gordon for this fascinating look at the history of Seaford Cemetery. Saturday, September 18, 11am. Pre-booking required.

Event Times

Seaford Heritage Walk, St Leonard’s Church, Church Street, Seaford. Take a fascinating walk through time with Kevin Gordon and learn about the history of Seaford. Saturday, September 11, 11am. Pre-booking required.

The Crypt Gallery, 23 Church Street, Seaford. Two art exhibitions and a Medieval undercroft- this incredible gallery is not to be missed. Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 10am until 5pm.

Tide Mills, A259, Seaford. Explore the history of Tide Mills on a walking tour. Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 10am until 2pm. Pre-booking required.

Winchelsea Wesley Methodist Chapel, Rectory Lane, Winchelsea. The Wesleyan Society was formed in Winchelsea in 1774 and this ‘Preaching House’ was built in 1785. John Wesley preach in the Chapel in 1789 and the pulpit remains in the Chapel. Saturday, September 11, 10am until 5pm.

Heritage Open Days is England’s contribution to European Heritage Days, taking place across 50 countries.

For further information about Heritage Open Days www.heritageopendays.org.uk