On Thursday 16th of February, the 2023 Sussex Heritage Trust Awards were formally launched at Lancing College Chapel, sponsored by Lancing College and Toovey’s, Antique and Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers. I was lucky enough to be invited. As a Nathaniel Woodard student myself (Ardingly, not Lancing), I still feel a poignancy when I visit a Woodard school and this visit did not disappoint.
Sussex Heritage Awards
Sussex Heritage Trust was established in 1977 to preserve, improve and encourage the appreciation of the architectural and natural landscape of Sussex. The Sussex Heritage Trust Awards celebrate a wide variety of architectural and landscape projects, building craft and a Sussex Heritage Person of the Year. The guests at this launch event included the great and the good, notably the High Sheriff of West Sussex, James Whitmore and those involved in the completion project: architect – Michael Drury of St Ann’s Gate Architects, Bartosz Baran and Colin McCrae of Chichester Stoneworks, Colin Keevil of Doulting Stone Quarry and Jeremy Tomlinson, Friends of Lancing College Chapel.
The Sussex Heritage Trust Awards, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell, are now in their 25th year and celebrate the very best in conservation, restoration and good design of newly built projects across Sussex, as well as encouraging the use of traditional skills and crafts.
Like for so many others, Lancing Chapel is a familiar Sussex landmark towering over the surrounding landscape but this was the first time I had been inside. The Chapel is Grade I listed building and the world’s largest school chapel. The Chapel is also no stranger to the prestigious architecture and landscape Award’s scheme having won three Awards in 2008, 2018 and in 2022. The building of Lancing College Chapel commenced in 1868, but the design for the west front remained incomplete. 153 years since the laying of its foundation stone, the west end was recently completed with the addition of an elegant three-arched porch and glass doors.
Jeremy Tomlinson of Friends of Lancing College Chapel gave a fascinating, funny and at times moving talk about the history of the Chapel. If you ever get the chance to speak to anyone from Friends of Lancing College, grab it with both hands. It is an incredible story indeed, with a hundred little sub-stories at every stage of its 153-year journey.
Jeremy said afterward:
“It has been a privilege for Lancing College to host the launch of the 2023 Sussex Heritage Trust Awards. Lancing College Chapel, an architectural masterpiece situated on the South Downs, is an important part of our local heritage. The Friends of Lancing Chapel have been greatly encouraged in its conservation and completion by the support and recognition of the Trust over many years, culminating in the 2022 Award. Sussex is exceptionally fortunate in having a charitable trust specifically devoted to preserving its richly diverse heritage.”
How to enter the awards
For details on how to enter the 2023 Sussex Heritage Trust Awards go to www.sussexheritagetrust.org.uk – the deadline for all entries is Friday 31st March 2023. The Sussex Heritage Trust Awards will be presented by President of the Trust, Lord Egremont, on Tuesday 4th July 2023 at Pangdean Old Barn, Pyecombe.
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