Contemporary Craft Fair returns to the magical medieval moated island at Michelham Priory

The annual Contemporary Craft Fair returns to the magical medieval moated island at Michelham Priory House & Gardens near Hailsham.

Michelham Priory
Michelham Priory

From Friday, July 29 to Sunday, July 31, the grounds at the heritage site will be transformed as craftspeople from the Sussex Guild return to show off their wares in marquees on the lawns and in the Great Elizabethan Barn.

Spokeswoman Flo Powell said: “Sussex Guild members have been displaying their creations at Michelham Priory House & Gardens for more than 50 years, with artisans of all kinds showing off ceramics, textiles, glass, leatherwork, printmaking, woodwork, furniture and more. Visitors can browse more than 40 stalls and watch live demonstrations to learn about different craft techniques directly from makers, including woodturning, embroidery, quilting, pottery and jewellery making.

“Dating back to 1229, Michelham Priory is steeped in history. It was originally home to Augustine canons, one of the religious orders of the Medieval church, and later housed Tudor families and Second World War evacuees. The property has stunning gardens - a haven for wildlife - and is surrounded by the largest medieval moat in the country.

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    “As well as the craft fair, families can explore the historic house and gardens, have fun in the revamped children’s play area and try homemade cakes and local produce at the café. There is plenty of green space for picnics where visitors can relax and take in the tranquil gardens w hich are abundant in the summer.”

    Dan Cook, property manager at Michelham Priory House & Gardens, added: “We’re delighted to welcome back the Sussex Guild for their Contemporary Craft Fair exhibition which has been a tradition at Michelham Priory for decades.

    “Entry is included in the cost of admission so visitors can make the most of the day here and see our historic house and gardens too.

    “At this time of year, a variety of dahlias and perennials will be in bloom so our display beds and herbaceous borders will be a sea of colour – it’s a glorious place to be in the summer.”

    Entry to the Contemporary Craft Fair (which takes place between 10.30am and 5pm on each day) is included in admission to Michelham Priory House & Gardens. Tickets are available at the point of entry only during the Contemporary Craft Fair. Prices start at £11 for an adult, £5.50 for a child or student, £10.50 for a senior, £25 for a family with two adults and up to four children, and £17 for a family with one adult.

    Every Wednesday during the summer holidays, there will be drop-in family activities at Michelham Priory House & Gardens, with a different theme each week – from pre-history to wildlife. No booking is required and activities are included in the cost of admission.

    Michelham Priory House & Gardens is among the eight Sussex Past heritage sites owned and cared for by the Sussex Archaeological Society, the county’s largest heritage-based organisation and charity. Other sites include Lewes Castle & Museum, Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens, the Priest House & Gardens and the Long Man of Wilmington.

    For more information, visit: https://sussexpast.co.uk