Michelham Priory is the site of a former Augustinian Priory in Hailsham, East Sussex. it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1537 where some of the building was demolished between 1599 and 1601. Transformed into a Tudor gentleman’s residence, then a farmhouse. It has remained in private hands into the 20th Century and was then restored by the Sussex architect and antiquarian Walter Godfrey. It is now owned by the Sussex Archaeological Society and is Grade 1 listed.
Michelham has a fascinating 800 year history and has the longest filled moat that surrounds the site dating back to 1229. Crossing the moat through the 14th Century gatehouse you enter the seven acres of beautiful gardens, that feature many plantings and herbs, that are authentic to a medieval garden, as well as apple and pear trees and other fruits. The Cloister Gardens are dedicated to medieval pleasure gardening, with flowers such as Madonna Lillies, Columbines and red gallica roses growing in abundence, providing vivid colour and interest.
Inside the historic house, furniture and artefacts trace the Priory’s religious origins and developments over 800 years. Outside there is a medieval watermill, a working forge, rope museum and a dramatic Elizabethan Great Barn.
There are trails and many hands-on activities indoors and out for all the family.
The Priory is currently featuring artists who are with Creative Coverage.
My inspiration for my three cut paper works that are exhibited in the historic house are mostly about nature but I wanted to also reflect the beauty of the Priory surrounded by its moat, featuring swans gracefully gliding in and around the river plants such as Yellow flag iris, cow parsley and reeds.