Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Day fun at Cowdray

Explore Cowdray’s Veteran Trees and The Kitchen Experience at Cowdray Ruins took place last week as part of the Heritage Open Days Festival.

These two free events held on the Cowdray Estate were open to the public and organised as part of a national festival celebrating Britain’s diverse history and culture.

Forest Manager Richard Everett guided a group of people to visit a selection of the veteran and ancient trees found on the Estate on Wednesday 18th September. Cowdray has one of the largest numbers of ancient and veteran trees in Sussex including famous trees such as the Queen Elizabeth Oak and the Cowdray Colossus, a giant Sweet Chestnut tree.

The group heard about the importance of veteran trees in the landscape and the huge range of biodiversity that they support as well as the management of the trees and planning for their succession.

The following day, Thursday 19th September, visitors gathered at Cowdray Ruins for the free Kitchen Experience event. Paul Ullson of Raven-Tor, a multi-period living history group, gave an insight into 400 years of cooking at Cowdray Ruins.

The event started with a brief history to the Ruins before visitors moved into the kitchen, where fires were blazing, to listen to a talk about food which used to be prepared at the Ruins.

Sally Guile, Operations Manager of Cowdray Heritage, said: “We were delighted to be able to host two events at Cowdray in support of the Heritage Open Days Festival. Thank you to everyone who helped make these events possible, and to all those who supported us.

“The Veteran Tree Tour and the Kitchen Experience were a wonderful opportunity to showcase historic trees on the Estate, and also to see the Ruins’ kitchen come to life.”

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