Heritage open days unlock Eastbourne’s history

Wilmington Priory SUS-180823-165944001
Wilmington Priory SUS-180823-165944001

Heritage Open Days return in September unlocking some of Eastbourne’s hidden heritage sites in a series of free tours and events.

From the 13th century medieval farmhouse at Wilmington Priory to behind the scenes tours at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Heritage Open Days on September 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15 and 16 is a chance to join guided tours and get a rare glimpse behind locked away treasures.

At the Italian Gardens, Friends of Meads Parks and Gardens will be celebrating this hidden gem with 1920s costumes and music, while the Dovecote across town in Motcombe Park will be opening up for stories of rats, ruins and regeneration.

St Mary the Virgin Church is lining up guided tours of its 12th Century Norman style architecture, and over at Stone Cross Windmill, the flour mill will be opening up and working its magic.

The Wish Tower, one of only two remaining public owned Martello Towers, will be open for seafront visitors to explore inside and enjoy magnificent views from the roof, while keen soldiers can step back in time at the Redoubt Fortress and join a tour or try out a reality app.

At the Towner, a free art store tour celebrating the women of Towner, is set to feature a special focus on female artists. The Leaf Hall will be offering guided tours, and Eastbourne Heritage Centre will be revealing the history of the Duke’s ‘Pleasure Ground’, Devonshire Park, as well as 70 years of the NHS, in current exhibitions.

The full list of events and open times is at www.heritageopendays.org.uk

The full list of events and open times includes:

Motcombe Dovecote, 7 Sept, 2 – 5pm

The Leaf Hall, 13 – 15 Sept, 11am – 3pm & 16 Sept, 11am – 1pm (tours 11.30am each day)

Italian Gardens, 13 – 16 Sept, 2 – 5pm (music and costumes on 15-16 Sept only)

Eastbourne Heritage Centre, 6 – 9 Sept, 10am – 4pm

Redoubt Fortress, 8 – 9 Sept, 10am – 5pm, daily talk at 11am and tours at 12.30 and 2.30pm (booking essential)

Royal Hippodrome, 13 Sept, 10am – 4pm

St Mary’s Church, 7 – 8 & 14 - 15 Sept, tours 10am – 12pm. Plus tours 2.30 – 4.30pm (7 & 14 Sept only)

Stone Cross Windmill, 8 – 9 Sept, 10am – 4pm

Towner Art Gallery, 8 Sept, tour at 3pm (booking essential)

Wilmington Priory, 14 – 16 Sept, 10am – 4pm

Wish Tower, 8 – 9 & 15 – 16 Sept, 10am – 4pm