Conferences & Events

We organise a wide range of events for our members, and you do not have to belong to the Society to come along, although if demand is high, we may give priority to our members.

Please read the following carefully as it is important that anyone attending Society events is aware of our responsibilities to you and your own responsibility for your welfare.

While we make every effort to ensure your safety, taking part in events is at your own risk, and you must be able physically to manage any activity involved – e.g. climbing stairs, muddy hills or stiles etc. Such requirements will be notified in advance, and the Society cannot be held responsible on the day if you are unable to participate fully in the event, nor can we guarantee to make accommodations for you on the day. It is an unfortunate fact that many of the places we visit are, by their nature, unlikely to be fully accessible for those who have difficulty walking, so if this may be a problem do please contact us before booking.

View upcoming conferences

View upcoming events


Saturday 20 October 2018
Design and Destiny: Arts and Crafts of the Iron Age
This conference will explore the Iron Age through its artefacts, and how their design, destiny and loss or deposition inform us about their users and makers.Our speakers will enlarge our understanding of social influences and the economics of trade and exchange in this period as Britain was influenced by the events and upheavals from pre-Roman Gaul and the Roman invasion of northern Europe. Click on the title for more details and to book your place.
Click here to see the conference handbook.

Saturday 28 April 2018
Ancient to Modern: The Changing Sussex Landscape
The day offered a broad overview of the changing relationship between the Sussex landscape and the people who lived here, from the earliest arrivals. Our speakers, all specialists in their periods, identified key themes for which some evidence remains, with the emphasis on how new ideas resulted in significant changes in the use of the Sussex landscape.
You may download a copy of the conference handbook here.

Saturday 21 October 2017
The Long Sunset: the Country House c. 1840-1940

This conference concluded our series on the country house across the centuries, which we began in 2009. Topics included technological innovation in Victorian and Edwardian country houses, the country house garden and the contributions made by plant collectors, the Americans and the country house, the Arts and Crafts country home and the country house in the interwar years.
You may download a copy of the conference handbook here.

Saturday 29 April 2017
The Changing Parish Church: from Saxon to Victorian, c. 600-1900

The conference sold out two months in advance, but we were able to accommodate some of those on the waiting list at short notice. Topics included the Christianisation of early medieval Britain, the late Anglo-Saxon church, the meaning and making of medieval wall paintings and the impact of the reformation on Sussex parish churches. You may download a copy of the conference handbook here.

Saturday 15 October, King’s Church, Lewes.
The Age of Luxury: the Georgian Country House and its Setting c. 1700-1820.
This sell out conference covered a diverse range of topics including garden design, furnishings, household management and guide books. You may download a copy of the conference handbook here.

Saturday 9 April, King’s Church, Lewes.
Roadside Settlements in Roman Britain and Beyond attracted 160 people for a fascinating day on this emerging topic in Roman studies. Download a copy of the delegate handbook here.

Our sell-out conference in November 2015 was on the theme Artists and the Sussex Landscape c1750-1960. Speakers included experts on Turner, Constable and Ravilious, among others, and you may download a copy of the delegate handbook here.

In May 2015 our theme was The Tudor and Early Stuart Country House in Sussex c1500-1640 and a copy of the handbook is available here.

In 2014 we held a one day conference entitled The Home Front: Sussex in the First World War to mark the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War.  You may download a copy of the delegate handbook, complete with illustrations, abstracts and further references. Later in the same year, our theme was Animals! understanding human culture through the ubiquitous others, which was jointly organised with the Universities of Nottingham and Chichester and supported by AHRC funding.

Earlier conferences have covered topics as diverse as the Battle of Lewes: the Beginnings of Parliamentary Democracy?, the Piltdown hoax (The Piltdown Centenary Conference: Truth and Lies from the Deep Sussex Past) and Sussex and the Seaside Resort c1740-1940.  In 2013 our theme was Sussex and the Georgian Age c1680-1830, and the fully illustrated delegate handbook contains abstracts, information about the speakers and a comprehensive reading list.


Details of forthcoming members’ events are published in Sussex Past & Present, which is sent to all members three times a year – look in the centre pages at the Noticeboard section.  We also carry information on other events that may be of interest, but only those organised by the Society (in print, they will appear in burgundy) can be booked through us.  You can find a copy of the current Noticeboard here.

Bookings can be made online for most of our events (see the events listing for more information), over the phone or by post.

We do ask that you book in advance. In many cases, numbers are restricted because of the venue size or the practicalities of taking a group through busy streets, and we really do need to know how many people to expect. We also ask that, if you have booked and then find you can no longer come on the event, you do let us know. In some cases we have waiting lists and your place may be welcomed by someone else. The Society reserves the right to cancel, postpone or alter the time of an event although we will do our best not to do so and will notify you as soon as we can of any change. For this reason, it is essential that you provide daytime contact information and acknowledge receipt of any change that has been advised to you.

In addition, occasionally our properties organise events with a special rate for members – please check the individual property pages or the main events listing on our home page for these.

We are also happy to carry details of events organised by other societies which may be of interest to our members.