Wealth of Sussex attractions line up for this year's Heritage Open Days

Explore Cowdrays Veteran Trees (credit, Cowdray Heritage Trust)Explore Cowdrays Veteran Trees (credit, Cowdray Heritage Trust)
Explore Cowdrays Veteran Trees (credit, Cowdray Heritage Trust)
West Sussex will be playing a major part in this year’s Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture (September 13-22).

The county will see an exciting programme of free events this September.

Spokeswoman Laura Davey said: “This year it’s our 25th anniversary, and to celebrate we have over 1,200 events planned in the south east, with highlights including Eton College Collections, Shah Jahan Mosque and the Big Data Institute!

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“Many of the venues are not normally open to the public or offering behind-the-scenes access and family activities. And, at places which normally charge, festival visitors get free entry, making it a great opportunity to experience local destinations on a budget.”

Participating venues in West Sussex include:

Arundel Museum

Chichester Cathedral

Coultershaw Heritage Site & Beam Pump

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Explore Cowdray’s Veteran Trees

King Edward VII Estate


Petworth House and Park

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Shoreham Lifeboat Station

St Mary’s Hospital

St Nicolas Old Shoreham

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Laura added: “A special programme of People Power events will also highlight communities, groups and individuals - both contemporary and from history – who have affected positive change; buildings saved, greenspaces created, friendships forged, campaigns fought and voices heard. Meanwhile a series of ‘craftivism’ workshops will encourage everyone to become change-makers, by combining craft and activism as part of this year’s Unsung Stories arts project, Dare to Dream.”

Among the events new for 2019 are:

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, East Sussex

Family-friendly, hands-on, crafty activities are the order of the day in Ditchling! There will also be demonstrations by leading craftspeople, as well as a new Women’s Work exhibition, celebrating women who turned their creativity into businesses between the World Wars.Sun 22nd, 11am – 5pm

Eton College Collections, Eton College and Windsor Festival and Fringe, WindsorJoin a special Curators’ Choice Trail of objects from the school’s archives and collections of art, natural history and antiquities, with a fun extra trail and art activities for children. Visitors can also see School Yard, and enjoy the Tower Gallery exhibition, which is normally by appointment only.Sun 22nd, 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Coming up as part of People Power are: In the Footsteps of the Suffragettes, Dorking Museum, SurreyLearn about the People Power campaign for female suffrage in Dorking. Led by costumed re-enactors, visitors on the walking tour will follow in the footsteps of the Suffragettes, visiting the election headquarters of local societies and campaigns.Sun 15th, 2pm – 3:30pm

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Dare to Dream Workshop, The Alverbank Hotel, GosportDrop in at this workshop exploring positive change through gentle protest, as part of this year’s Dare to Dream arts project. Participants will stitch a hope for the future onto a fabric ‘dream cloud’, to be hung on trees in the hotel grounds and shared on social media, to encourage us all to be solution-seekers.Sun 22nd, 11am – 3pm

In the great for families category are:Powell-Cotton Museum, KentExplore an award-winning world of adventure, and discover more about Asian and African culture with this Victorian family’s extraordinary collection. Then head outside and enjoy some fresh air and a picnic in the beautiful Quex Gardens.Sat 14th and Sun 15th, 10am – 5pm

Heritage Steam Railway, Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Isle of WightWelcome aboard a day of fun for the whole family at the interactive Train Story Discovery Centre. Visitors can see historic locomotives and learn about their restoration in the workshops, get active on a woodland walk and watch a birds of prey flying display!Sat 14th and Sun 15th Sep, 11am – 3:30pm and Thurs 19th – Sun 22nd, 9:30am – 5pm

About Heritage Open Days:

• Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture; in 2018, over 5,500 events welcomed more than three million visitors across the country.

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• All events are free, including access to many sites that usually charge for admission.

• Heritage Open Days is coordinated and promoted nationally by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and run locally by a large range of organisations (including civic societies, heritage organisations, and local councils, community champions and thousands of enthusiastic volunteers)

• Heritage Open Days is England’s contribution to European Heritage Days, taking place across 50 countries. Other events in the UK are Doors Open Days in Scotland

(www.doorsopendays.org.uk); Open Doors Days in Wales (www.cadw.wales.gov.uk/opendoors); European Heritage Open Days in Northern Ireland (www.communities-ni.gov.uk/articles/european-heritage-open-days); Open House London (www.openhouselondon.org.uk).

• For further details, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk, follow on Twitter @HeritageOpenDay, or subscribe to the newsletter.

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