Some of Eastbourne’s hidden heritage sites will be unlocked as England’s largest festival of culture and history takes place this September and the Heritage Open Days return.
From today (Friday September 13) until Sunday September 22, there will be a series of free tours and events.
From a rare chance to stroll around the ruins of the 13th Century medieval farmhouse at Wilmington Priory to discovering the historical secrets of Eastbourne’s oldest public building Leaf Hall, Heritage Open Days offer the chance to get inspired by local heritage sites.
Eastbourne council’s tourism lead Margaret Bannister said, “The Heritage Open Days offer something for every heritage explorer to enjoy with a range of our local historical sites opening their doors, allowing visitors to uncover some of their fascinating stories and hidden history.”
The Friends of Meads Parks and Gardens will be celebrating the Italian Gardens located in Holywell with an exhibition telling the story of the once prized gardens while the Stone Cross Windmill will be open offering the opportunity to purchase some freshly milled flour.
Step inside St Mary’s Church in Eastbourne’s Old Town, which is one of the town’s oldest churches, or take a guided tour and go behind the scenes at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre which dates back to 1883.
Discover the Old Court Room including the dock as it was used until 1886 with the prison cells and exercise yard at the Pevensey Court House Museum, while the Wish Tower, one of only two remaining publicly owned Martello Towers, will also be open for seafront visitors to explore inside and enjoy magnificent sea views from the roof.
The full list of events and open times includes: Eastbourne Heritage Centre, Sept 13-15, 10am–4pm; Italian Gardens, Sept 14, 15, 21 and 22, 11am–5pm; Leaf Hall, Sept 18, 11am–3pm and Sept 19-22, 12pm–10pm; Motcombe Dovecote, Sept 20, 2pm–5pm; Pevensey Court House walks, Sept 13, 14, 20 and 21, 4pm–5pm; Pevensey Court House talks, Sept 21, 12pm and 2pm and Sept 22, 2pm; Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Sept 14 and 19, 10am–4pm; St Mary’s Church, Sept 13, 10am–12pm and 2pm–4pm; Stone Cross Windmill, Sept 14-15, 10am–4pm; Wilmington Priory, Sept 14 and 15, 10am–4pm and Sept 16, 10am–1pm and the Wish Tower, Sept 14, 15, 21 and 22, 10am-4pm.
For more information visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk or www.visiteastbourne.com