As the county marks Sussex Day on June 16, Eastbourne will celebrate the historic occasion by hosting free events at some of its heritage hubs and cultural consorts, including the Redoubt Fortress and Towner Art Gallery, welcoming visitors to experience much of Sussex’s rich culture.
Eastbourne’s Napoleonic Redoubt Fortress will be free of charge on Sussex Day, giving visitors the chance to discover the landmark venue’s 200-year-old history, both within the walls of the Military Museum and in the parade ground and the gun platform.
With free entry to the museum, visitors can explore the current exhibition, For Hearth, Home and Honour? Eastbourne learns the reality of war, which depicts the story of 11 brave soldiers from Sussex, who on one fateful day in June 1916 went off to fight in the Battle of Boar’s Head, changing their lives forever, as well as Sussex’s history.
At 2pm on Sussex Day, the Heritage Eastbourne Service Manager, Joe Seaman will be giving a talk on the Council’s plans to build a new museum, which will house a much wider story of Eastbourne’s dynamic history.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “The Redoubt Fortress is Eastbourne’s most iconic treasure and houses an incredible amount of history which helps to depict Sussex’s rich and varied heritage and culture. Taking pride in the town, both the Redoubt and the Towner Art Gallery are providing Eastbourne’s visitors and residents a great offer of free events to mark the county-wide occasion.”
At 11am and 2.30pm, free guided tours of the Fortress grounds and the museum will be given by highly knowledgeable volunteers, providing another opportunity for visitors to discover the history of Eastbourne’s seafront monument which was built in the early 1800’s, with 24 rooms known as Casemates, and housed up to 200 men during times of battle.
Towner Art Gallery, home to the UK’s largest collection of Sussex artist, Eric Ravilious’ watercolour works, are marking the occasion by offering a free 30-minute Art Store Tour. The tour invites visitors to go behind-the-scenes and view a selection of paintings which reflect Sussex’s past, as well as its cultural and physical landscape. The tour will run from 11– 11.30am and spaces are limited. To book call the gallery on 01323 434670.
On Saturday 18 June, ‘Culture and Cake: Eastbourne Pals’, gives those interested in learning more about the Battle of Boars Head and the dramatic effect it had on Sussex, a chance to do so at this fascinating talk led by First World War Historian, Chris Kempshall. Tickets cost £6 and include cake, refreshments and museum entry.