Mysterious Beachy Head Lady draws the crowds

Ancestors exhibition SUS-140326-104938001
Ancestors exhibition SUS-140326-104938001

The popular Eastbourne Ancestors exhibition will be extending its opening hours for the summer season with plans to open daily from April 1.

The free exhibition, which explores Eastbourne’s ancestors from Saxon and Roman times, has seen more than 2,500 visitors through the door already during reduced winter opening hours.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Leisure & Sports Services, Cllr Carolyn Heaps said ,“We’re delighted to have had such an amazing response to the exhibition and we look forward to welcoming thousands more over the coming months to this growing heritage hub. Kids have loved becoming bone detectives and dressing up in Saxon clothes, and the cake in the café is wonderful too.”

The Beachy Head Lady sparked nationwide interest in February after it was revealed that the skeletal remains found at the south coast’s most famous landmark were in fact sub-Saharan African from Roman times – a rare discovery in UK archaeology.

Over the last two years, the Heritage Lottery funded project has seen extensive archaeological digs, scientific bone analysis and 3D cranio-facial reconstructions to discover the story of 12 individuals uncovered in Roman and Saxon burial sites around the town.

Scientific analysis tells the story of their life, where they came from, where they lived, what they ate, what they did for a living, their health and in some cases their social status.

Visitors can listen to pure spoken Saxon, dress up in Saxon clothes and armour, view burial treasures and meet the famous Beachy Head Lady.

Eastbourne Ancestors opens 10am to 5pm daily from April 1 to November 16 at The Pavilion next to the Redoubt Fortress, with free entry.

This weekend the exhibition opens from 10am to 4pm.