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New tales of ancient trade exhibition at The Beachy Head Story

Visitors to The Beachy Head Story can discover tales of ancient trade and explore some of the bygone routes which once connected the communities and landscapes around Eastbourne, at a new exhibition opening this month.

‘Connecting communities – A tale of two landscapes’ opens on Saturday 25 May at the venue on Beachy Head Road and runs until Sunday 13 October. Entry is free, and the opening coincides with half-term workshops for children.

Marking 10 years since the discovery of a significant archaeological site at Pocock’s Field in Kings Drive, Eastbourne, the new exhibition will explore 3,000 years of large-scale industry, networks of innovation, settlement and burial grounds.

The excavation, which took place in 2014, unearthed the largest quantity of Iron Age salt production material on the south coast along with evidence of the people that were producing it. For the first time, these extraordinary objects made and used by the people living there will be put on show for the public.

Roman Brooch Pocock’s Field Image: @VisitEastbourne

Exhibits on display

Some of the excavated exhibits on display will include part of an Iron Age mirror, salt working materials and beads found buried with an Iron Age woman and child, in addition to part of Eastbourne’s Roman Villa, Iron Age pots from Old Town and Saxon treasure.

Amongst the stories, visitors will also be able to follow the threads of Saxon weavers to discover how those skills influenced the development of a liminal settlement between the downland and wetland of Eastbourne.

The exhibition is open from 10 am-5 pm daily and entry is free.

During the opening week, three drop-in half-term workshops for children aged five and over will be taking place, along with a half-term trail exploring how Beachy Head and the stories in the exhibition connect with Eastbourne and the rest of the world.

The ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite’ paper kite workshop will take place on Tuesday 28 May from 10.30am – 12.30 pm, price is £2.50 per child.

The ‘Imprints in Time Kids’ Craft Workshops’ will give younger visitors the opportunity to craft their own fossil plate on Wednesday 29 May and Saturday 1 June from 10.30am-12.30 pm, price is £2.50 per child.

New events

There are also events coming up at The Beachy Head Story for adults led by Writer in Residence Annalie Seaman, including two creative study walks and two creative writing courses.

Walks include ‘Communications from the Headland: Signallers and Structures’ on Monday 20 May which will explore two centuries of communications archaeology on the headland, while working out how to identify the physical structural remains on the ground.

‘The Archaeology of Bullock Down: Furrows and Families’ on Monday 24 June will include a walk into the dry valley by Bullock Down Farm to gain an understanding of thousands of years of downland farming.

Those attending will be invited to create their own writings on these themes as they explore the landscape.

Creative writing courses include ‘Sea Creatures: Real and Imagined’ on Monday 3 June which will see visitors delve into the hidden world of modern marine mammals and cetaceans and the imagined world of folkloric sea monsters.

‘Genius Loci: The Spirited Atmosphere’ on Monday 15 July will tap into the Roman idea of the Spirit of the Land, of household gods and hero-ancestors, the guardians of hearth and field.Family

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said: “It’s exciting to see a new exhibition opening at The Beachy Head Story alongside activities for children and adults alike in the coming weeks. This exhibition and events all help people discover more about the fascinating history and landscape that is on our doorstep and how our ancestors lived.”

Click here for further information on all events taking place at The Beachy Head Story and to book Creative Study Walks and Writing Workshops.

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