Alison Weir & Jim Maloney at Michelham Priory

We are delighted to announce that Alison Weir and Jim Maloney will be coming to Michelham Priory to read and talk about their books and inspiration in December as part of our Historic Christmas celebrations. Best selling historical author and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised on November 8, 2017

Restoring The Long Man of Wilmington

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The Long Man of Wilmington is now looking much more prominent from the road. This proud South Downs figure is now gleaming white having now received a fresh coat of paint and a trim.

Charlotte Allen, Heritage Landscape Assistant with East Sussex County Council and James Neal, Head Gardener at Michelham Priory, did an incredible job of organising a team to help to restore the Long Man to his former glory: volunteers came together from The Sussex Archaeological Society’s ‘Skills for the Future project’, Seven Sisters Park and Michelham Priory. Together they made the epic climb up the steep slopes armed with shears to trim the grass and paintbrushes to recoat the blocks that form the outline of this historic spot.

The Long Man is repainted every 4 years and this year paint and brushes for the project were generously donated by Brewers Decorator Centre in Eastbourne. The Long Man’s East Staff measures 2,768 inches and there was considerable debate over how much paint would be needed for the job! In the end it took up to 80 litres of paint to cover him. Volunteers were incredibly lucky with the weather on the two days of painting in September and October, as any rain prior to and during the job, would have caused problems for the paint drying. Indeed the volunteers were extremely lucky with the weather!

In addition to the Long Man of Wilmington having a facelift, The Sussex Archaeological Society’s CEO Tristan Bareham gave a follow up talk for volunteers and staff regarding the history of the Long Man. This took place on 3rd October at nearby Michelham Priory titled “Retracing the lines: Exploring the origins and understandings of the Long Man“. This was an open event and provided opportunities for people to ask questions about the Long Man. Attendees were granted free access to Michelham Priory’s House and Gardens for the day as a thank you.

Special thanks must go to Brewers for their kind donation to the project and to Michelham Priory, The Skills for the Future Project, East Sussex County Council, Seven Sisters Country Park and many other local volunteers from the local area for their help and support with this project.

Lewes Castle is on the Radio!

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This week Ultimate Radio Experience will be playing interviews with the Sensing Culture team at Lewes Castle!

Gavin Griffiths, a blind member of Lewes Castle’s focus groups, attended the recent launch and made these great interviews with the Sensing Culture team regarding the new Sound Installation and Audio Guide App.

For those who couldn’t make the launch on 28th September…

…Tune in this Wednesday 11th Oct at 10:30 AM
or this Friday 13th Oct at 11:30 AM

Simply click on the link below at these times and click tune in:
Ultimate Radio Experience

Fishbourne’s tribute to Margaret Rule

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Fishbourne Roman Palace has planted a tree in honour of Margaret Rule who was involved with the early excavations of the site, 57 years ago.  Margaret died in April 2015 and staff at the Palace wanted to celebrate all that she contributed during those early years.

Margaret first became interested with Fishbourne in 1960, when a water pipe trench being dug on the eastern side of the village revealed something of archaeological interest.  Her involvement with the excavations of the site continued annually until 1968 when Margaret became the Palace’s first Curator.  A quarter of a million visitors passed through the doors when the site opened in the summer of 1968, including prestigious individuals such as the Prince Charles, the King of Sweden and the King and Queen of Greece.

Margaret remained Curator until 1979 when she left to become involved in the excavation and recovery of the Mary Rose with which, like Fishbourne, her name will always be associated.

Property Manager, Katrina Burton said, “Here at Fishbourne, we wanted to commemorate Margaret’s contribution to the site.  She was instrumental in those early days of discovery of the site to its later development and what we know today.  We are very grateful to the Friends’ of Fishbourne Roman Palace in making this acknowledgment possible”.

The Walnut tree, which was kindly donated by the Friends of Fishbourne Roman Palace, is displayed in the Palace’s plants garden with a plaque commemorating her time at Fishbourne from 1960 – 1979.  A ceremony was held for the Palace staff, Friends and Trustees of the Sussex Archaeological Society and the ribbon was cut by the Friend’s secretary.

 

 

Conserving Nature at Michelham

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Michelham Priory is continually improving its plans for garden conservation. The Priory, as well as being a Scheduled Ancient Monument, conserved by the Sussex Archaeological Society, is a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. The site is particularly diverse for wildlife … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised on August 17, 2017

Fishbourne helps Innovative Study in Roman Building Techniques

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conservator with nailsThis year Fishbourne Roman Palace has been fortunate to be part of an innovative project, called ‘Building Roman Britain’. The project trials new archaeological scientific techniques to explore Roman building methods and the composition and production of ‘new materials’.

The project was initiated by The Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science at Bournemouth University and involved an exchange of data with both Fishbourne Roman Palace Museum near Chichester and The Roman Baths in the City of Bath. To showcase this project, Bournemouth University have produced an exciting short film.

Project Director, Prof Mark Brisbane, said “When the Romans arrived in Britain in the first century AD they brought with them a new form of architecture that used squared stone blocks and materials made of fired clay such as bricks and tiles. This would have been a completely new form of construction to most of the local inhabitants whose main building materials were wood, thatch and daub”.

The project aimed to characterise stone and ceramic building materials (bricks and tiles) by using a relatively new type of instrument known as portable X-ray Florescence (or pXRF for short). This allows archaeologists to chemically ‘fingerprint’ archaeological examples of these materials, in order to learn more about where the stone was quarried and where the ceramic building material was produced.

Another key aim of the project was to impart this exciting new process of scientific discovery to the general public, reaching a wider audience. The 12 minute long film has been produced by the team at IMMIX Media Ltd and explores the project’s development, results, their implications and the style of questions designed to put the handheld pXRF to the test.

The work was largely funded by HEIF (Higher Education Innovation Fund), part of HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England) and will be the subject of on-going collaborations between the university and its partner museums.

The project’s film can be watched via this link below:
https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/2017/08/building-roman-britain-the-movie/

For further information on the Building Roman Britain Research Project see: https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/project/building-roman-britain/

The work has subsequently helped underpin a successful bid by The Roman Baths to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a major redisplay and interpretation centre known as the Archway Project: https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/archway-project

Lewes Castle launching new app!

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A new way to experience the sights and sounds of Lewes Castle and its museum at Barbican House was launched this week on Thursday 6th July. The audio guide app will take visitors on a 30-minute journey through the castle’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised on July 7, 2017

Augmenting Reality at Lewes Castle

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It has been a fascinating week at Lewes Castle getting feedback from visitors on how a newly designed digital experience called ‘Augmenting Reality’ should be developed. Visitors had a great time testing the film and the incredible soundtrack. The technology … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised on May 16, 2017

Donate and receive signed Lindsey Davis book!

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Make a donation of £10 or more to support the work of Fishbourne Roman Palace and receive a free signed copy of one of author Lindsey Davis’ books. Fishbourne Roman Palace is home to the largest collection of early mosaic … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised on April 4, 2017

Garden Owners Tea Party at the Priory

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Michelham Priory House and Gardens has just hosted a Garden Owners Tea Party to launch the season for The National Garden Scheme within the county of East Sussex and Mid Sussex. Garden owners taking part in the scheme were treated … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised on March 29, 2017