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Following Government advice to stay safe and protect the NHS, we are working hard to continue to deliver for you. Find information here on how to enjoy the National Park virtually, and how our services are operating during this time.

Major lottery boost for cultural heritage sites in South Downs National Park

Major lottery boost for cultural heritage sites in South Downs National Park

Much-loved heritage sites in the South Downs have received a welcome boost after winning lottery funding.

The historic Cowdray Ruins, which are set in the heart of the National Park and opposite the South Downs Centre, will benefit from £45,200 in lottery funding.

Due to the need for urgent repair works the magnificent ruins, both a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I listed building, had to limit access to visitors. The ruins are an evocative reminder of one of the country’s most important Tudor houses with historical, social and political significance – having hosted visits by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

The project will enable the Cowdray Heritage Trust to carry out an options and feasibility study to secure the long-term planning for the future of the site.

Meanwhile, Sussex Archaeological Society, which runs Lewes Castle and other important venues near the National Park such as Fishbourne Roman Palace, has received vital support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund following a successful application to their Covid-19 Emergency Fund.

The registered charity has received the maximum £250,000 grant to help cover immediate costs and urgent conservation works required at their properties.

Amanda Jones, Chair of Trustees for the Sussex Archaeological Society, said: “The award of the maximum amount available is a real validation of the importance of our much-loved society at national level. We are committed to ensuring the society, its wonderful archaeological and heritage collections and the amazing properties in its care will survive to play a central role in our region’s social and economic recovery.”

Commenting on the award for the Cowdray Ruins, Sally Guile, Operations Manager, said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will be the start of an exciting journey to once again reopen, reimagine and share stories of the nationally important Cowdray Ruins.”

Lewes Castle