Celebrate 175 Years With Us

Founded on June 18, 1846, we are now an amazing 174 years old.

Although we have been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown, and our properties are at risk of permanent closure, we still hope to mark our next anniversary, the 175th, in style.

We can only do this with your help.


We urgently need to raise £1 million to cover the shortfall from severely reduced visitor numbers and loss of income from gift shops, cafes and events due to the Covid 19 crisis.

The build up to our celebrations began on June 18th, with the launch of our Celebrate 175 Campaign and will continue throughout the next 12 months. We hope to bring you as many special activities as we can, government restrictions permitting. Some of our properties will begin to open in July.

We will also be doing a lot of fundraising, so we are delighted to tell you that author and historian Tom Holland has agreed to be patron of our Celebrate 175 fundraising appeal.

Launching the appeal, Mr Holland said:

“How wonderful it is that in a county as rich in history as Sussex even the archaeological society – an absolute model of how to preserve and cherish the legacy of the past – should be 175 years old next June. Now is the perfect opportunity to help it flourish for at least another 175 years.”

At 174 years old, we are the oldest county archaeological society in England. Our founding members got together following the discovery in Lewes of the tombs of Norman knight William de Warenne and his wife Gundrada.

As well as archaeological research, we now care for buildings and museums across East and West Sussex, including Britain’s largest Roman residence and an 11th-century Norman fortification.

We also look after significant archaeological and historical collections ‒ you may have visited the award-winning Collections Discovery Centre at Fishbourne Roman Palace ‒ and are proud to be recognised across the two counties as a champion of the area’s cultural heritage.

A spokesperson for the South Downs National Park Authority said:

“As a National Park, we value Sussex Archaeological Society for its contribution to the visitor economy of the park and the wider county. Through its 175 year history, the society has shown a commitment to supporting and delivering research, and engaging and inspiring the public with the archaeological and social history of Sussex, and we hope, despite the devastating impact of Covid-19 on creative, cultural and tourism sectors, that Sussex Archaeological Society will thrive for a further 175 years.”

Please support the heritage of Sussex today by:

Media enquiries: please contact our Press Officer or view our press release.