NOSTALGIA: Dovecote monument open to the public

Julian Martyr pictured outside the historic dovecote at West Dean
Julian Martyr pictured outside the historic dovecote at West Dean

Dovecote Garden at West Dean is joining English Heritage in making English archaeology accessible to all with a free weekend.

Open on Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11, from 10am-4pm, there is a live Second World War radio station transmitting on “GB2WD”, Spy Radio from the Cold War.

In addition, an archaeology event will take place next to the 1597 Manor House. The Dovecote Scheduled Monument will be open.

The site is the centre of the old West Dean farm which goes back to 899AD.

At that time it was a farm in royal ownership and is mentioned in Alfred the Great’s Will as well as Domesday Book 200 years later.

West Dean Dovecote is the best preserved part of the old farm buildings which date from the medieval era.

A conservation project for the dovecote led by English Heritage and with the support of Wealden District Council and the Mitford Foulerton Trust was completed in 2009.

During the archaeological evaluation of the site a Neolithic work pit was discovered which probably dates the settlement back to 2700BC.

There is free entry at the weekend event and parking and toilet facilities in the field by the church. Dogs are welcome on leads.

The Ox Yard will host an indoor market with artisan foods and local art, crafts, plants and woodcraft. Harvey’s Brewery is bringing the vintage delivery van for ales tasting and tea and homemade cakes are in the Farrowing Bar to support West Dean Church.

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