Lots for local history fans at opening of iconic Tudor building
For the first time in many years, one of Pevensey’s most important and iconic buildings is to open its doors to the public.
The Mint House dates back to the early 16th century but its doors have been closed to the public for many years.
This will change for a few days in September when the Friends of the Mint House open the building for the hugely popular national Heritage Open Days, when doors are typically thrown open to many otherwise unknown heritage sites.
Over the weekends of September 11 and 12 and September 18 and 19, Mint House will be open for tours between the hours of 10am and 4pm.
Entry is free and all are welcome.
This will be a rare opportunity to experience such an important historic building, with its spectacular carved fireplaces and unrestored service range or kitchen.
The Mint House is believed to have been built around 1530, perhaps as a market hall, guild hall or merchant’s warehouse, only later being turned into a dwelling.
It’s strange to think that when the building was built, partly using timbers salvaged from the redundant Pevensey Castle, King Henry VIII was pursuing Anne Boleyn and the country was entering one of the most turbulent events in its history: the Reformation.
Sadly, the building has been neglected for many years and is now in desperate need of saving.
Vice chair of the Friends of Mint House Colin Torode said:“Parts of the original timber frame is in a shocking condition, but it’s not too late to save it.”
With the building coming under threat of sale and development, a group of local heritage enthusiasts and professionals decided to take the building on; forming the Friends of the Mint House.
Although The Friends currently have custody of the building, their aim is to purchase and restore it before using it as a Tudor museum where visitors will be able to learn about Tudor life and the wider history of the area.
Chair of the Friends of Mint House Harriet Tait said: “These four open days are the first opportunity in many years for the people of Pevensey and beyond to enjoy this wonderful building.
“We have only had custody of the building for a few weeks, so there are no exhibits or carefully manicured grounds, just an honest Tudor building in the raw, complete with dust and spiders’ webs!”
Find the Mint House in the market square at the centre of Pevensey village, opposite the entrance to Pevensey Castle. Parking is available in the village car park opposite.
• The Mint House has been largely empty and unused for many years and is now in need of full restoration.
Realising the danger posed to the building by neglect and the threat of development, a group of local people decided that immediate action was needed and formed the Friends of the Mint House. Members all have individual professional experience in running charities, fund raising, archaeology, historic buildings, education or historical interpretation.