Tales of the Town

From Wobbly Ditches to Incredible Illusionists

Discover the tales of the town...

We can visit you for talks or interactive sessions about the history of Eastbourne.  Using discoveries made recently and objects in our collections as inspiration, find out more about the town we call home.

Have a look below for the list of talks we offer. We ask for a donation to Heritage Eastbourne of a minimum £40 but this may rise according to the distance we need to travel. 

To book one of these talks for your group or meeting or if you would like another subject, contact us.

Find out more

In the beginning...

Once upon a time: The story of Eastbourne through 10 Discoveries
Carpet GardensThe story of early Eastbourne has been changed dramatically through a number of archaeological discoveries over the past few years. Discover tales of sacrifice, treasure, palaces and great human endeavour, all discovered just beneath the surface of the town we call Home.
From Stone Age to Space Age FlintAxeExplore what made us so clever so quickly. What happened in just a few thousand years to help humans make the leap from stone age hunter gatherers to builders of global civilizations?
This talk will look at the factors that helped homo sapiens make the leaps in technology and thinking that have enabled us to develop rapidly and also discuss what evidence for these advances has been left for us around Eastbourne.
Wobbly Ditches and Splodgy Banks: Tracing our Neolithic Ancestors at Butts Brow
Butts BrowDiscover the very latest revelations about the nationally important early Neolithic monument being investigated by Heritage Eastbourne on the Downs above Willingdon.

Stitching, Saxons and Scratches

Through the eye of the Needle
18th Century EmbroideryExplore how the sewing needle changed the world! Discover what happened when the sewing needle was invented 45,000 years ago and why it became the most important invention of all time. Find out how this invention impacted prehistoric people’s lives and how it continued to affect industry, culture and society.
Eastbourne's Saxon Treasures
Saxon BroochTake a lively look at the amazing discoveries made during the excavation of a major Anglo-Saxon period burial ground at St Anne’s Road, Eastbourne and explore some of the burial types and grave goods in an attempt to understand the significance of identity in the memories of these people
Prayers Wrought in Stone-mysterious markings in ancient churches
Fish GraffitiDiscuss an exciting project focussed on recording historic grafitti in local churches and unravel their hidden meanings and stories

Myths and Magic

Myth and Memory in Eastbourne
Lamb InnIn this intriguing talk, some local myths will not only be busted but also carefully unpicked and re-examined in order to understand how they have evolved and that in fact, the real stories are just as exciting.
Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Stories
Mary WilsonDiscover extraordinary stories of ordinary women living in Eastbourne over the last 2500 years.
They haven't always made it to the history books so many of their stories are relatively untold or unknown. The women in Eastbourne fighting for Suffrage before and after 1918, the woman leaving her home for the first time to care for wounded soldiers in Eastbourne, and the woman saving her husband from imprisonment during the Civil War. This is our chance to tell their stories
How’s Tricks? A Tale of two Georges
George GrimmondDiscover the stories of George Grimmond, Eastbournes’s incredible illusionist and magician and George Beaumont Loveday the actress stealing manager of the Royal Hippodrome.

High Flyers and Holidays

Health, Wealth and Happiness: discovering holidays by the sea
Victorian HolidaysCome to Eastbourne for an enjoyable sporting holiday! With the expanding town, seafront and shops came tourists from far and wide to keep active and take part in Eastbourne’s flourishing sporting scene! Recuperate by the sea to recover from a bout of bad air and take tea in the park.

Hop on a train coming to Eastbourne for the first time, remember to bring your bike, they’re all the rage now. See the Victorian hotels rising up along the seafront, establishing Eastbourne as the Empress of Watering Places. 

Redoubt Residents: Discovering the stories behind the fortress
Redoubt FortressThe Redoubt Fortress has been a home to many different residents for over 200 years. From Napoleonic and First World War soldiers to a summer camp for the Church Lad's Brigade and even Aquatic life! Travel back through time to discover the incredible stories behind Eastbourne's iconic landmark.
Planes, Trains and Airships: Eastbourne's Aviation Pioneers
AirshipDiscover stories of the incredible pioneers in aviation history in Eastbourne from the beginnings of the Eastbourne Aviation Company, Amy Johnson's flying visit and the vital work of airships along the south coast during the First World War

People from the past

The Story of Hana Mullerova
Hana MullerovaExplore the remarkable life of a Jewish Czech refugee who escaped Nazi persecution in 1939 and made her home in Eastbourne for the next 60 years. Her moving story was only preserved by a chance encounter late on in her life and proves how important it is to record our memories.
Summerdown Blues
Summerdown Camp cook

Discover the stories behind the pioneering WW1 convalescent camp from the brave soldiers recovering there to the men and women caring for them from the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Military Massage corps.

Find out how these stories were revealed and told for the first time through archeological investigations, research and sometimes a bit of luck!

Eastbourne Ancestors: A story of life from the bones of the past
Saxon Man

Food, Drink and Infamy

Eating for Eastbourne
Eating for EastbourneLook at how archaeology, science and tradition have helped to determine what the ancestors of Eastbourne consumed. Historical secrets will be discussed including if Iron Age Eastbournians were actually fish phobic, how teeth are the key to recording eating habits and even why cess pits are so interesting!
Beer, Boulders and Bullets
Beer Boulders and BulletsDiscover Eastbourne’s penchant for beer, follow the journey of a humble piece of stone and uncover the secret weapon kept under lock and key in Beer, Boulders and Bullets: Eastbourne’s Extraordinary Industry
A Century of Secrets
A Century of SecretsSolve the mysteries of Eastbourne’s often forgotten century with tales of plague, piracy and pies. Explore the suspicious stories of the Wilson Family in the 17th century and find out how locals protected themselves from the plague.

And many more...

The Blue Boys perform at Summerdown Camp

Check out our events page for more information about Culture and Cake or Talks at the Town Hall

What's On

The Story of Eastbourne

We are always writing new talks so if you would like a talk that isnt listed here, let us know!

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