Find the nearest History & Heritage in East Sussex
Our History and Heritage category brings all Coast Radar’s East Sussex listings related to looking for something to do or a place to visit together where they offer some form of historic or heritage based activity.
Finding the best things to see and do on a East Sussex day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the historic and heritage links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next East Sussex activity.
- Eastbourne’s first council was established in 1883 when the town was incorporated as a municipal borough under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1882. The town’s first Mayor was Mr Alderman G A Wallis. The construction of a Town Hall soon followed when the foundation stone was laid by Lord Edward Cavendish on 9th October 1884. The building was opened by the Mayor, Mr Alderman G Boulton, on 20th October 1886.
- Hastings Castle, before or immediately after landing in England in 1066 William of Normandy ordered three fortifications to be built, Pevensey Castle in September 1066, Hastings (before the Battle of Hastings) and Dover, a few days after the battle. Hastings Castle was originally built as a motte-and-bailey castle near the shore. In 1070 William had issued orders for the Castle to be rebuilt in stone, along with the St Mary’s Chapel.
- Battle Abbey and 1066 Battle of Hastings Battlefield for a fantastic family day out! The exhibitions and the interactive displays bring the battle to life and gives you a really vivid idea of what happened in England at the time of the conquest. There is an audio tour which is complete with battle sounds and voices to create the atmosphere of this epic war as you roam the abbey ruins and stand where King Harold died. The Battle of Hastings took place in October 1066. Duke William of Normandy defeated the British King Harold and it is known as the most famous battle ever fought in the country. William of Normandy was then crowned as King William I which meant the end of Anglo Saxon England! This marked the advent of Common Law in England which still affects us today 1000 years later. The abbey was built in 1070 by King William then known as ‘the conqueror’. It was a symbol of his victory and served as a memorial to the dead whose corpses covered the fields for over 100 acres of the battle site. It stands today as a symbol of Norman triumph over England and its said that the high altar in the church itself stands on the spot that King Harold died on. Abbey museum explores the history of the abbey and contains a selection of historical items found during excavations of the site. Children will also enjoy the Discovery Centre which is open at weekends during the season and throughout the school holidays.Parking (charged) Cafe Picnic area Shop Toilets Disabled access Dogs on leads Museum Gardens Audio Tours (foreign language) Family Friendly Baby change Bottle and food warmers Play areas Pushchairs allowedSee the 1066: The Battle for England exhibition.
- The Booth Museum of natural history houses over half a million insects, skeletons and birds and the infamous merman which is a fake from the Victorian era but was highly regarded back then! There are also the 140 million year old bones of a dinosaur to be seen which generally wows the children so it is well worth a visit. Edward Booth contributed a life times worth of birdlife to the museum along with over 650 butterfly types and a huge collection of bone and fossils dating back to the age of dinosaurs. There is an interactive gallery and a host of different events throughout the year. Admission is free and the museum is open from 10am to 5pm through the week and from 2pm to 5pm on Sundays and Bank holidays.gift shop wheelchair accessible (accessible toilet is not currently wheelchair accessible but is accessible for ambulant disabled people) refreshments and children’s play area close by in Dyke Road Park
- The Brighton Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence. It was built in three campaigns, beginning in 1787, as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, from 1811 Prince Regent. It is often referred to as the Brighton Pavilion. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India for most of the 19th century, with the most extravagant chinoiserie interiors ever executed in the British Isles.
- Pevensey Castle was build as a coastal defence fortress.In the 4th century one of the last and strongest of the Roman ‘Saxon Shore’ forts. In the 1250s the towered bailey wall was constructed. Strengthened to face the threat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. World War II, pillboxes and machine gun posts were cunningly camouflaged among its ancient walls.
- Alfriston Clergy House is a medieval thatched cottage dating from the 14th Century. It’s in a perfect setting overlooking the River Cuckmere and the Judas Tree in the gardens sets the peaceful ambience. It was the first house that the National Trust saved and even has the original chalk and sour milk floor in the hallway. There are a variety of events hosted here including tours by the gardener of the gorgeous English garden and family trails and theme days. Visitors enjoy browsing in the gift shop where they sell jam, cards, gifts and stationery.Parking Toilets (car park) Pushchair friendly Groups welcome Braille guides Sensory experience
- Camber Castle, Until the late 16th century, most of the low lying ground between Rye and Winchelsea was a shallow harbour, called the Camber, protected from the sea by a long series of shingle banks. Henry VIII built a chain of artillery forts along the south coast to protect vulnerable and strategic areas. The existing tower at Camber was incorporated into a new fort built mid 16th century. There are monthly guided walks round Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, including the castle.
- Newhaven Local and Maritime Museum contains information regarding Newhaven and its neighbouring locality from prehistoric times to yesteryear. There are models of ships, aircraft, and historically-important locations. The walls of the museum provide a gallery for some of the best local pictures produced by acknowledged local artists. Filing cabinets contain historic information about the building of the harbour, the coming of the railways, railways that didn’t happen, shipwrecks, smuggling, Newhaven’s Bridges, Lifeboats, Seaplanes, Sheerlegs, Fires, Celebrations, Famous people… the list is endless.