history museums in Sussex
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Sussex Museums & Galleries

kent area surrey area hampshire and new forest Map of Sussex

including civic and independent art galleries and museums in Sussex...

Museums long ago ceased to be stuffy rooms full of glass cases containing bits of old pottery and fossilised bones. Today even most conventional museums include changing displays but over recent years there has been a growth in industrial and "living" museums. Here you can learn about local heritage, get a feel for how people lived and worked, the hardships they endured...

Galleries listed include not just civic galleries displaying publicly owned artworks, but also privately owned galleries with items for sale.

Sussex Museums and Galleries

blank tabTHE SHIPWRECK MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Rock A Nore Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3DW
Establishment Photo
This award winning museum is devoted to the history of wrecked ships. Hastings has one of the richest displays of shipwrecks at low tide in Europe.

An exciting audio-visual presentation tells the story of the ships featured in the display. These include a medieval sailing barge sunk in the Thames at London; the 70-gun English warship Anne beached near Hastings in 1690 during the Battle of Beachy Head; and the Dutch East Indiaman Amsterdam that ran aground at Hastings. Additional features include push-button videos, touch screen technology and Primrose - the last Rye barge.

Group Bookings can book anytime throughout the year. Opening times are on the website.
Tel: 01424 437452
E-mail: info@shipwreckmuseum.co.uk
See our website

blank tabLITTLEHAMPTON MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
The Manor House, Church Street, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 5EW
Littlehampton Museum is in the heart of the town centre and offers a fascinating insight into the community.

Littlehampton's social history is explored through a variety of exciting galleries, many with audio points and interactive elements to help guide you through the history of the town.

Admission and helpful advice is all FREE so come along and enjoy a visit to your local family museum.
Tel: 01903 738100
E-mail: museum@littlehampton-tc.gov.uk
Book online or find more info - LITTLEHAMPTON MUSEUM

blank tabTHE BRIGHTON TOY & MODEL MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
52-55 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4EB
Establishment Photo
With a collection of teddy bears, dolls, planes, forts and trains and Toy & Model film memorabilia.

The museum is located in four of the arches under Brighton Railway Station.

The museum covers over 4,000 square feet with over 25,000 exhibits and has an 'Aladdin's Cave' atmosphere.

Events and exhibitions are held throughout the year, please contact us for more information.

Open all year.

Tuesday to Friday.

Last admission 4pm.
Tel: 01273 749494
E-mail: info@brightontoymuseum.co.uk
See our website

blank tabHASTINGS MUSEUM & ART GALLERYMuseums & Galleries
Johns Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1ET

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery contains fine paintings and china, the cultures of other lands and a contrasting view of local wildlife today and as it would have been 150 million years ago. There are plenty of special features for children with fossils, local animals and a display on the Hastings born conservationist, Grey Owl. The most spectacular part of the museum is the magnificent Durbar Hall constructed for the Indian and Colonial Exhibition of 1886. There is also a wide ranging programme of exhibitions by the very best local artists, national touring exhibitions and local history topics.
Tel: 01424 451155
E-mail: cwalling@hastings.gov.uk
See our website

blank tabREDOUBT FORTRESS & MILITARY MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Royal Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 7AQ

Arguably one of Eastbourne's hidden treasures, this impressive circular fortress was built between 1804-1810 to defend the coast from possible invasion from Napoleonic France. Now restored, it houses one of the south's largest military museums. Collections on display include uniforms, medals and documents from the Sussex Combined Services, The Royal Sussex Regiment and the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars. Since 2004 an ongoing programme of redevelopment has been taking place at the Redoubt. With a new welcoming entrance area and signs throughout the building visitor facilities have already been improved. In addition there are a number of refurbished displays and a major new exhibition, supported by a series of events.
Tel: 01323 410300    Fax: 01323 438827
E-mail: redoubtmuseum@eastbourne.gov.uk

blank tabMARLIPINS MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5DA
Establishment Photo
Marlipins Museum reopened to the public on 1st May 2004 with new displays and two new galleries after an extensive period of redevelopment.

Doors from 10.30am to 4.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
Tel: 01273 462994 or 01323 441279
E-mail: marlipins@sussexpast.co.uk
See our website

blank tabTHE PRIEST HOUSEMuseums & Galleries
North Lane, West Hoathly, West Sussex, RH19 4PP
Establishment Photo
Standing in the beautiful surroundings of a traditional cottage garden on the edge of Ashdown Forest, the Priest House is an early 15th century timber-framed hall-house with a dramatic roof of Horsham stone.

It was probably built for the Priory of St. Pancras in Lewes and in Elizabethan times was modernised into a substantial Yeomen's dwelling.

It is now a museum containing a fascinating array of domestic country furniture, kitchen equipment, needlework and household items. Outside there is a formal herb garden containing over 170 culinary, medicinal and folklore herbs.
Tel: 01342 810479
E-mail: priest@sussexpast.co.uk
See our website

blank tabBENTLEY WILDFOWL & MOTOR MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Harveys Lane, Halland, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 5AF
Establishment Photo
Something for everyone with one of the largest waterfowl collections including Swans, Geese, Ducks, Cranes and Flamingo's in a natural setting.

The Motor Museum has over 100 exhibits including Veteran, Edwardian, Vintage and Classic cars and bikes.

The Gardens are a reflection of the house with a series of rooms divided by yew hedges.

There is a Woodland Trail, Playground, Picnic Area, Tearoom and Craft Workshops.

Disabled access; free electric wheelchairs available on request. Free parking. Assistance dogs only (except in wildfowl reserve).
Tel: 01825 840573
E-mail: info@bentley.org.uk
See our website

blank tabANNE OF CLEVES HOUSE MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
52 Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1JA
Establishment Photo
Part of the divorce settlement made by Henry VIII to Anne of Cleves, this lovely Wealden hall-house is now a popular venue for weddings and a range of other events.

On display are artefacts including Wealden ironwork, firebacks, cannon and the story of Lewes from the 16th century to the present day.
Tel: 01273 474610
E-mail: anne@sussexpast.co.uk
See our website

blank tabTHE REGENCY TOWN HOUSE TOURMuseums & Galleries
13 Brunswick Square, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 1EH

Explore Regency life and the development of Brunswick town designed by Charles Busby in the 1820's during a guided tour. Look at Busby's drawings of the project and visit the Regency town house, which is undergoing restoration. Tours available throughout the year, please call to confirm times and prices.
Tel: 01273 206306
E-mail: info@rth.org.uk

blank tabBOOTH MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORYMuseums & Galleries
194 Dyke Rosd, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 5AA

Originally built to house his private collection, Edward Thomas Booth (born 1840) spent much of his time collecting, stuffing and casing birds. Bequeathed to the Brighton Corporation, several other collections have since been added and the museum now illustrates the evolution of wildlife and the natural world.
Tel: 01273 292777
E-mail: museums@brighton-hove.gov.uk

blank tabBRIGHTON MUSEUM & ART GALLERYMuseums & Galleries
Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1EE

The museum houses everything from fine art, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, fashion items from the 1800s onwards, the Willett Collection of pottery and porcelain, ethnography and furniture. Plus, these outstanding buildings were originally stables and a riding school for Prince Regent.
Tel: 01273 290900
E-mail: museums@brighton-hove.gov.uk

blank tabHOVE MUSEUM & ART GALLERYMuseums & Galleries
19 New Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 4AB

The museum is split into a number of galleries including the Wizard's Attic which contains toys and interactive exhibits regarding children's lives, a local gallery plus other exhibits regarding the town's pioneer film-makers. There are also two contemporary craft galleries that showcase star objects from the collection, introduce some of the key craft pioneers of the 20th century and explore the process of craft making.
Tel: 01273 290200
E-mail: museums@brighton-hove.gov.uk

blank tabROYAL PAVILIONMuseums & Galleries
Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1EE

John Nash transformed the spectacular seaside palace of the Prince Regent (George IV) between 1815 and 1822 into one of the most dazzling and exotic buildings in the British Isles. The Royal Pavilion houses furniture and works of art including original pieces lent by HM The Queen and a magnificent display of Regency silver-gilt. Glorious decorations and fantastic furnishings have been re-created in a £10 million extensive restoration programme. The Queen Adelaide tearooms provide a sweeping view over the Pavilion gardens, which have also been returned to their original Regency splendour. No access available for wheelchair users to the upper floor.
Tel: 01273 290900
E-mail: royalpavilion@brighton-hove.gov.uk

blank tabPRESTON MANORMuseums & Galleries
Preston Drove, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1  6SD

Experience the charms of this delightful old Manor House, dating from 1250. Rebuilt in 1738 and added to in 1905, it powerfully evokes the atmosphere of an Edwardian gentry home both 'Upstairs' and 'Downstairs'. Explore more than twenty rooms over four floors from the superbly renovated servants' quarters in the basement to the children's day nursery on the upper floor. The house contains notable collections of furniture, portraits, silver and family memorabilia. Preston Manor is situated next to Preston Park in Preston Drove, 2 miles (5 minutes drive) north of central Brighton on the A23. Nearest train station is Preston Park. Open April to September.
Tel: 01273 292770
E-mail: museums@brighton-hove.gov.uk

East Grinstead Museum

Old Market Yard, Cantelupe Road, East Grinstead, Sussex, RH19 3BJ
Tel: 01342 302233      E-mail:

East Grinstead Museum


With exciting, brand-new displays, tracing the history of the town and its neighbourhood, its characters, events, trades and institutions, we look forward to welcoming local people and visitors to the area.

Our longer opening hours and convenient new location, close to East Grinstead's historic medieval High Street, as well as free admission, will make dropping in to a look round the museum a local habit.

If you are into family or local history, why not make use of our new research room.

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Court Hall Museum

High Street, Winchelsea, East Sussex, TN36 4EA

Housed in the oldest building in Winchelsea, exhibits include a town model that shows the effect of the sea retreating from the town. Exhibits relating to the time that the town was one of the Cinque Ports can also be found here.

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Fisherman's Museum

Rock A Nore Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3DW
Tel: 01424 461446

Found amongst the Tudor net shops on the beach, in a former fishermen's church, the exhibition includes the lugger 'Enterprise' (built in 1909) fully rigged for sea. Also to be found here are a number of models, the last horse capstans (used for dragging the boats up the beach) and a painting of Sir Winston Churchill from 1955.

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Seaford Museum of Local History

Martello Tower, The Esplanade, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 1JJ
Tel: 01323 898222     E-mail: info@seafordmuseum.co.uk

The museum is housed in one of the Martello Towers; these were built as protection from invasion during the Napoleonic Wars. The one in Seaford was completely restored in the late 1970's and artefacts regarding the towns history plus re-constructions of shop and domestic scenes (such as a Victorian kitchen, grocer's shop, school and chemist) can be found inside.

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Brighton Fishing Museum

201 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NB
Tel: 01273 723064

Seafront museum depicting history of the fishing industry and Brighton seaside. Nostalgic exhibition set amidst arches still used by working fishermen. Host to annual Mackerel Fair and Blessing of the Nets in May. Shellfish, fresh fish stalls and traditional smoker. Museum shop.

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Crawley Museum

Goffs Park House, Horsham Rd, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 8PB
Tel: 01293 539088

Located next to Goffs Park House on the outskirts of Crawley, exhibits showing the town’s history as far back as the Bronze Age are rotated on a regular basis.

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Steyning Museum

The Museum, Church St, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3YB
Tel: 01903 813333

Steyning dates from Saxon times and the museum charts the changes from port to market town. Open all year. Please contact for times.

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Bognor Regis Museum

69 High Street, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 1RY
Tel: 01243 865636

Features include shop window displays, memorabilia, Edwardian kitchen, local fossils and temporary exhibitions.

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Chichester District Museum

29 Little London, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1PB
Tel: 01243 784683

Take a historic trip around Roman, medieval, Georgian and Victorian Chichester. The mosaic from East Street, stocks and many other treasures can be seen in this museum which is located in an eighteenth-century corn store.

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Fishbourne Roman Palace

Roman Way, Salthill Rd, Fishbourne, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 3QR
Tel: 01243 785859      E-mail: adminfish@sussexpast.co.uk

See Britain's finest collection of in-situ Roman mosaics at Fishbourne. The 1st Century palace was discovered in 1960. Twenty mosaics are on display along with the remains of hypocausts, courtyards, corridors and a bath suite. A museum displays finds, while an audio-visual presentation brings the site to life. Outside, the superb Roman garden has been replanted to its original plan. Guided tours at weekends.

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Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0EU
Tel: 01243 811348    Fax: 01243 811475    
: office@wealddown.co.uk

In the heart of the beautiful South Downs is England's leading museum of historic buildings and traditional rural life. More than 500 years of architectural heritage is represented, including the recreated Bayleaf medieval farmstead, a 17thC working watermill, Tudor kitchen and Downland Gridshell. Heavy horses, shop, cafe, crafts, picnic area and dogs on leads welcome.

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Petworth Cottage Museum

346 High Street, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0AU
Tel: 01798 342100

Once the home of Mrs Mary Cummings, seamstress at Petworth House, the inside can be seen as it was in 1910.

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Amberley Museum

Station Road, Amberley, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LT
Tel: 01798 831370

Sussex's best kept secret! Over 36 acres of fun, inside and out, for the whole family! Travel across site by vintage bus and narrow gauge railway. See our craftspeople in action and learn some tricks of the trade. Use interactive displays in our telecommunication and electricity halls! Enjoy the nature trails, cafe, gift shop, picnic areas and much, much more!

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Pallant House Gallery

9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1TJ
Tel: 01243 774557     E-mail: info@pallant.org.uk

Located in a fully restored Queen Anne town house and contemporary building. 20th century art from artists such as Piper, Moore, Sutherland and many more can be found. Excellent temporary exhibitions held throughout the year.

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