Historic priory’s open weekend

Wilmington Priory, near Eastbourne
Wilmington Priory, near Eastbourne

A medieval priory will be open to the public this weekend with a chance to enjoy live music and nose around this fascinating building.

Wilmington Priory near Eastbourne will swing open its gates to celebrate 50 years of the Landmark Trust with local choir Byrdsong.

The priory is run as a bed and breakfast business by the trust, which rescues historic buildings.

Byrdsong will sing the specially commissioned piece called Lines Loops Bones and Stones: An Anthem For Landmark, created by Kerry Andrew.

She was the winner of two 2014 British Composer Awards for two of her operas.

Local choir Byrdsong will perform their own composition inspired by a toolbox of musical fragments created by Kerry.

The highlight of the weekend will be a Golden Moment at 3pm on Saturday 16 May when local musicians across the country will simultaneously perform a piece of music at all of the 25 open Landmark Trust buildings.

Engagement manager at the Landmark Trust Kasia Howard said: “As well as Landmarkers, we would love to see the local community during the Golden Weekend - people for whom Wilmington Priory is part of their local scene, and who perhaps knew the building before its restoration.

“This is a chance for us to celebrate Britain’s amazing history with everyone, as it exists all around us today.

“We are delighted to be working with Kerry and are over the moon with the range and quality of local musicians and singers involved.

“Each group will bring the special qualities of their setting and local cultural and musical influences.”

Wilmington Priory will be open from 10am until 4pm on Saturday May 16 and Sunday May 17.

Since May 1965 nearly 200 significant buildings have been rescued by the historic buildings charity, many of which could have been lost forever.

They have now been made available to people for short breaks.

Wilmington Priory was a cell of a Benedictine Abbey in Normandy and dates back to 1215.

It was added to and altered in every era since, particularly by the Georgians.

The historic building was part of the Benedictine Abbey at Grestain in Normandy and became its base for managing its extensive English estates.

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