Covid-19 update, 24th July 2020

Current property reopening status:

  • Marlipins Museum, The Priest House, Barbican House Museum, and Anne of Cleves House are closed until further notice.
  • Fishbourne Roman Palace and Lewes Castle are currently closed but we are hoping for occasional opening from mid-August. Please check our Friday updates each week for further information.
  • The gardens and café at Michelham Priory are open seven days a week (takeaway service only). The house will reopen in early August. The playground, shop and mill remain closed for the time being.

Please note that we are continually reviewing opening plans as government guidelines change. Factors such as predicted visitor numbers, Covid-19 safety adaptation options/costs, availability of volunteers and staff (due to shielding) and the likelihood of coach companies and schools being able to visit, all inform our decision-making process. We cannot wait to get back to normal but need to ensure that we phase the reopening of our properties in the most effective way.

This week’s sunshine has brought visitors to the gardens at Michelham Priory, whilst inside the house preparations have started for reopening in early August. To ensure Covid-19 safety guidelines are observed, some displays in the house will be temporarily roped off and our traditional hands-on activities, such as spice grinding, will be removed. A one-way system has been created through the house to ensure that visitors can socially distance and enjoy their visit safely.

The Priory has rescheduled its ever-popular Classic Vehicle Show to August 15th and 16th. The show will be smaller than in previous years in order to control the number of visitors on site at any one time. There is no additional charge for this event. Our usual ticket prices will apply, with entry free to our members. For further details, please see our events page.

Our Curator and Museum Officer, Emma O’Connor, has been working hard in our collections store at Anne of Cleves House. Supported by a team of staff and helpers, Emma has been assessing our reserve collections and looking at options and ideas for new displays, starting next year. The current closure of the house gives us an amazing opportunity for reviewing the collections, assessing their condition, and repacking items for safe storage.

Our 175 fundraising campaign has got off to a great start and we are thrilled to report that we have now comfortably exceeded our first milestone of £30,000. We cannot thank our supporters enough for their amazing generosity. This means we can now leap into the next phase of our plans and will be working on our ideas for fundraising events and new supportive working partnerships over the coming months. Naturally, Covid-19 and social distancing requirements have changed our initial plans, but we are not letting that put us off. Further details will be announced over the coming weeks and months.

Thank you, as always, to our members, supporters, volunteers, staff and visitors for your amazing support and patience over the past months. We really do appreciate it.

Next update: July 31st