Michelham Priory, on a medieval moated island at the head of the Cuckmere valley, was an Augustinian priory in the 13th century. After the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century it became a farmhouse.
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Visitors still enter through a 14th century gatehouse, bridging a moat. The moat is home to a number of waterfowl. The flow of water is used to power a working watermill that grinds flour in the traditional way.
On view in the priory buildings are a Victorian kitchen, Tudor kitchen, prior’s room, and undercroft. Also in the interior are tapestries and furniture. The Tudor wing of the house has permanent and temporary exhibitions.
An Elizabethan barn, a blacksmith and wheelwright’s shop, and a rope museum are further attractions.
The gardens include rose gardens, evergreen borders, herbaceous flowers, and specimen trees. A physic garden is planted with herbs used for medicine in medieval times.
There’s a children’s play area, gift shop, and cafe. Special events are held during the year.
Upper Dicker, two miles west of Hailsham, East Sussex
Tel. 0 1323 844 224
Open: mid Feb-end Feb, 11am-4pm; March-end Oct, daily, 10.30am-5pm; Nov-mid Dec, 11am-4pm
Sussex Archaeological Society member; Historic Houses Association member; shop; restaurant