Historic Sussex sites due to welcome visitors indoors this month

Historic sites will be able to reopen interior spaces to the public from Monday (May 17) under step three of the roadmap out of lockdown.

Saturday, 15th May 2021, 10:00 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 3:06 pm
Petworth House will reopen to the public on Monday (May 17). Photograph: Steve Robards/ SR20022201 (6)

Here, we round up a selection of the places in East and West Sussex due to start welcoming visitors back indoors this month.

From Tuesday (May 18) Arundel Castle is due to reopen. In a statement, a spokesperson said that some interior areas will remain closed due to narrow spaces and social distancing restrictions, including the Keep. The site, seat of the Duke of Norfolk and with nearly 1,000 years of history, started welcoming the public back to its gardens (pictured) on April 1. For more details, see arundelcastle.org
Charleston Farmhouse in Firle – the former home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and a meeting place for Bloomsbury set members – is due to welcome visitors from Wednesday (May 19). The reopening will see Charleston Trust start two exhibitions: a retrospective of work by artist Nina Hamnett and a display of new work by artist Lisa Brice. Fifty plates that Bell and Grant painted to celebrate famous women throughout history are also to go on show. See charleston.org.uk
May 30 will see stately home Firle Place reopen. The house, which has belonged to the Gage family for more than 500 years, will welcome visitors on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays until October 26. Events planned for 2021 include its Regency Wardrobe exhibition starting on August 29 – a display of 11 full-size costumes and accessories that textile artist Stephanie Smart has made out of paper. See firle.com
The Sussex Archaeological Society has confirmed that Lewes Castle and Museum will welcome the public from Monday (May 17) with the town model/film room the only area due to remain closed. It will be the first time that the towers of the Norman castle have reopened since March last year. See sussexpast.co.uk
Brighton's Royal Pavilion – what was George IV's seaside palace – is to welcome people back from Monday (May 17). In 2019 more than 120 items that George IV commissioned or bought for the Pavilion were returned on loan from the Royal Collection Trust. Visitors will still be able to see these original pieces, relocated from Buckingham Palace, as they will now remain on show until January 2022. See brightonmuseums.org.uk
Conservation charity the National Trust confirmed on Friday (May 14) which of its houses would start to reopen. Petworth House, inspired by Baroque palaces of Europe, is among those in West Sussex that will reopen from Monday (May 17). See nationaltrust.org.uk
Monk's House – the former home of writer Virginia Woolf and publisher and political worker Leonard Woolf – will start to reopen from Wednesday (May 19), the National Trust has confirmed. The Rodmell cottage and its gardens will be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with this week the downstairs rooms open and the exhibition room closed. See nationaltrust.org.uk
The Sussex Archaeological Society will reopen Fishbourne Roman Palace to the public from Monday (May 17). The charity says that the audio-visual room will remain closed and that the cafe will only be operating a takeaway service. See sussexpast.co.uk
National Trust site Standen, in East Grinstead, will welcome visitors back inside the ground floor of the house from Monday (May 17). On May 29 it is due to start its exhibition The Joy is in the Making, a look at the art of hand crafting that includes work by artist Kaffe Fassett and photographs by presenter Edith Bowman. See nationaltrust.org.uk
The house at National Trust site Nymans in Handcross – a part ruin – will reopen to the public from Monday (May 17), the charity has confirmed. The gallery is due to remain closed. See nationaltrust.org.uk
The house at Michelham Priory, in Upper Dicker, will reopen from Monday (May 17). The site's gatehouse, mill, rope museum and forge will remain closed until June 21 due to social distancing restrictions, Sussex Archaeological Society has confirmed. See sussexpast.co.uk
Friday (May 21) will see Bignor Roman Villa reopen to the public. It will open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays until October 31. See bignorromanvilla.co.uk
From Monday (May 17) the ground floor of Bateman's, in Burwash, is due to reopen, according to the National Trust. The first floor, which includes the study and exhibition room, is to remain closed. Bateman's, said to have been built about 1634, was the former home of Rudyard Kipling who bought it in 1902. See nationaltrust.org.uk