St John’s May Fair at Michelham Priory

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Beautiful Michelham Priory will provide the stunning setting for Sussex St John Ambulance’s May Fair which promises to be a great day out for all the family.

The fair will showcase the work of local artists and craftspeople, giving visitors the chance to come away with a unique, handmade gift while supporting the life saving work of the nation’s leading first aid charity.

It takes place throughout the weekend of 14-15 May at the historic priory at Upper Dicker in East Sussex.

The Elizabethan Great Barn, which dates back to the late 16th century, will be transformed into a treasure trove of arts and crafts stalls offering everything from hand made glass jewellery and hand printed silk clothing to garden figurines, pottery and unusual antiques.

There’ll be plants for sale, homemade cakes, top quality teddy bears and a huge range of other goodies designed to appeal to everyone from art connoisseurs through to gardeners and treasure hunters determined to seek out a gift with a difference.

The fair will take place in the barn and on the surrounding terrace which overlooks the priory’s gorgeous gardens and England’s longest medieval water-filled moat. It will be open from 10.30am until 5pm on both days.

Normal admission prices, allowing full access to the priory and gardens as well as the fair, apply though visitors can claim a discount with a leaflet available from Sussex St John Ambulance County Fundraiser Jeanne Peterson. Call 01273 371522 or email before 10 May.

Jeanne said: ‘We know people are watching every penny in these difficult economic times so we’ve come up with an ideal way for them to support us while enjoying a fabulous family day out.

‘The money raised will enable us to continue our work in local communities throughout Sussex – work which on many occasions is quite literally the difference between a life lost and a life saved.’

Visitors to the May Fair will be able to enjoy all the other attractions of Michelham Priory including its extensive gardens, art exhibitions and a working watermill. There’s also a working forge, Iron Age centre, picnic site and play area. Plenty of free parking is available.

On Saturday afternoons the Michelham Bowmen, dressed in full medieval costume, demonstrate their longbow skills on the south lawn behind the house.

Sussex St John Ambulance relies on public donations as it is not part of the NHS and receives no core government funding. Last year its volunteers devoted more than 168,000 of their free time, providing first aid cover at hundreds of public events across the county.

At this year’s Brighton Marathon 350 St John Ambulance volunteers treated 1,500 runners and spectators who were either injured or unwell during the event.

For information on making a donation or becoming a volunteer please call 01273 371 500 or visit