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Discover Eastbourne’s History with Heritage Open Days

9 September 2019

England’s largest festival of culture and history takes place this September when the Heritage Open Days return on 13-22 September. Celebrating 25 years in 2019, the festival will be unlocking some of Eastbourne’s hidden heritage sites with a series of free tours and events.


St Mary's ChurchFrom 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 our local heritage sites.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr 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 these once prized gardens, while the Stone Cross Windmill will be open offering the opportunity to purchase some of their 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 public 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, 13-15 Sept, 10am – 4pm
• Italian Gardens, 14-15 Sept & 21-22 Sept, 11am – 5pm
• Leaf Hall, 18 Sept, 11am – 3pm & 19-22 Sept, 12pm – 10pm
• Motcombe Dovecote, 20 Sept, 2pm – 5pm
• Pevensey Court House, 13-14 Sept & 20-21 Sept, 4pm – 5pm (walk)
• Pevensey Court House, 21 Sept, 12pm & 2pm & 22 Sept, 2pm (talks)
• Royal Hippodrome Theatre, 14 Sept & 19 Sept, 10am – 4pm
• St Mary’s Church, 13 Sept 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm (guided tour)
• Stone Cross Windmill, 14-15 Sept, 10am – 4pm
• Wilmington Priory, 14-15 Sept, 10am – 4pm & 16 Sept, 10am – 1pm
• The Wish Tower, 14-15 Sept & 21-22 Sept, 10am-4pm

For more information visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk or www.visiteastbourne.com.

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