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Tourism & Leisure
Tourism & Leisure
The Redoubt, The Wish Tower and Other Historical Eastbourne Sites Offer Heritage Open Day Tours!
The nation-wide initiative, Heritage Open Days which is managed by the National Trust, is being celebrated across the country from 10-13 September and Eastbourne is joining in by celebrating the wealth of heritage and culture on offer in the town, opening up many places which aren’t normally open to the public.
The Redoubt Fortress is offering free entry to the museum across all four Heritage Open Days for visitors to discover the many stories of Eastbourne’s unique Napoleonic Fortress and one of the largest of its kind in the UK. Guided tours of the whole building will be given by the highly knowledgeable staff and volunteers, at 11am and 2.30pm each day.



Guided tours will be given of St Mary’s Church and two of Eastbourne’s theatres, the Congress and the Royal Hippodrome, which both yield a wealth of history. The Wish Tower, The Hermitage Manor Gardens, Leaf Hall and Motcombe Dovecote are all open for tours on various days between 10 and 13 September.



Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “Heritage Open Days are an excellent chance for Eastbourne to celebrate and for visitors to discover the vast amount of history and heritage that our built environment offers. All of the buildings open for guided tours tell multiple stories of bygone eras, from Napoleonic wartime England to Georgian times to the Victorian era; visitors are in for a truly fascinating four days.”



On Saturday 12 September visitors to the Summerdown Camp exhibition at the Pavilion on Royal Parade can enjoy a day of discovery by learning about the extraordinary people who lived and worked at the convalescent camp in Eastbourne in during World War One.



From 11am until 3pm visitors can talk to a ‘wounded soldier’ and a ‘civilian woman’ who would have nursed servicemen back to health and develop a truly informative understanding of life in the camp. Guests are invited to have a go at making baskets and embroidered belts, have a guided tour of the exhibition, peek inside a recently discovered autograph book belonging to a Summerdown Camp cook at 1.30pm and hear stories from the relative of a soldier, Ernest Humbles at 11.30am.



The Wish Tower, a Napoleonic Martello tower which was used to defend the coast from Napoleons marauding forces, will be have volunteer led guided tours at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm between 10 and 13 September. The Congress Theatre’s guided tours on Sunday 13 September between 11am and 3pm are a chance for a behind the scenes look at the Grade II listed building which has recently undergone an extensive restoration.



Explore behind the scenes of the oldest theatre in Eastbourne, the Royal Hippodrome with tours given at 10.15am, 10.45am and 11.15am from 10-12 September and learn some of the secrets of the building which was built in 1883. Leaf Hall, the oldest public building in Eastbourne built in 1864 and originally founded to promote social, moral and spiritual welfare of Eastbourne’s working classes, will be open for tours at 11.30am and 2.30pm from 10-13 September.



Motcombe Dovecote, St Mary’s Church and the 18th Century Manor Gardens at the Hermitage will all be offering very insightful tours of some of Old Town’s most precious heritage sites, across the four days. Visit St Mary’s Church from 2-5pm on 10 and 11 September and 10am-12pm on Saturday 12; explore the Manor Gardens from 11am-1pm from 10-13 September and have a tour of Motcombe Dovecote between 2-5pm on 12 and 13 of September.


Some of the Heritage Open Day tours must be booked in advance, to find out more information on all heritage sites in Eastbourne offering tours and to book places on tours go to www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/town/Eastbourne or www.eastbournemuseums.co.uk.
08 September, 2015

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