It’s that time of year when children or grandchildren need entertainment. Luckily, we are blessed with dozens of Sussex museums that are stacked to the rafters with interesting stuff that should keep little ones and older ones enthralled one way or another, whether they love vintage cars, giants crabs or quirky vintage fashion. Lots of our small Sussex museums are run by volunteers and you’ll find the staff are super friendly and informative.
So here are 12 Sussex museums with links at the end to a few more:
Bognor Regis Museum
To the west of the town in West Street, Bognor Regis is a fabulous museum with all sorts of quirky exhibits. There are vintage cameras and radios, fossils and rocks, a Victorian bathing machine, a vintage kitchen, models of buildings in the town, old photographs and details of some of the famous folk of Bognor of yesterday. The museum is only a short walk from the seafront.
The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free.
East Grinstead Museum
In Cantalupe Road, this is another great little museum. The town is known for its Guinea Pig Club (which was a group of WWII airmen recovering from facial injuries and surgery) and there is a whole collection dedicated to this aspect of the town’s history. Other collections include their Object Collection (a collection of historical objects from the area from pre-historic times to the present day). They also have about 14,000 images and photographs and they hold tours, events and children’s activities.
The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm and bank holidays. Admission is free.
Perhaps most famous for its patron Eddie Izzard and his family’s model railway, other collections here include a vintage costume collection, sea creatures (the famous giant crab), dinosaurs, a celebration of the town’s motoring history, and a WWII section. There is loads to see and the museum backs onto a park.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 11 am to 4 pm. Admission is £4 for adults, £2 for children, under 5s go free and concession tickets are £3.
Opposite the castle gates, Arundel Museum has all sorts of artefacts including pre-historic flint tools, Roman floor tiles, beautiful model ships, details of the town’s printing and newspaper past, and air sirens. They hold different events and activities here throughout the year including Lego mornings in August.
They open daily from 10 am to 4 pm, including Bank Holidays. Adult admission is £5.00, children under 6 years are free, children (6-16 years) are £3.50 and family tickets (2 adults and children) are £10.00.
Housed in Henfield Hall, Coopers Way, this busy museum also has a diverse collection with everything from prehistoric flint artefacts to objects from the 20th century. It includes a noted costume collection, the Marjorie Baker and other photographic archives, a wide-ranging art collection, and an oral history collection. It also has temporary exhibitions.
Open Monday to Saturday but check times first.
The museum is in an 18th century Manor House located on Church Street and the museum has lots to see including everything from archaeology to art and photographs.
It’s open Monday-Friday 9.00 am to 4.30 pm and Saturday 10.30 am – 4.30 pm and admission is free.
You’ll find this museum in Church Street and it has a selection of permanent and temporary exhibitions. When we last checked their latest exhibition was ‘Women of The Downs’ which celebrates women’s contribution to art, medicine, agriculture, law, literature and Sussex life in general.
The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm and admission is free.
Storrington Museum is in School Lane and has a collection that includes local archaeology, articles from local churches, domestic history, details of local people and their memorabilia, artefacts of vanished local places, trades and services and articles from the two world wars. It covers the surrounding villages as well as Storrington.
The museum is open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free.
Housed in a very distinctive Martello Tower on the seafront, the tower itself is worth a visit and contains a ship’s figurehead. Other collections include town memorabilia, early gramophones, radios, televisions, souvenirs of Seaford’s cinemas, a Victorian kitchen and scullery and lots more.
It is open from 11 am to 4 pm every Saturday and Sunday and each Bank Holiday as well as Wednesday afternoons from 2 pm to 4 pm. Admission for adults is £3.00, children (5 – 15 years) £1.50, concessions £2.50 and children under 5 free.
You’ll find this museum in Knockhundred Market along with a tea room in a 16th century building. Their displays show what life was like in various periods as well as commemorating notable events and anniversaries. Their displays are changed often.
The museum is Tuesday to Saturday from 10.30 am to 4 pm.
Petworth Cottage Museum
Housed in a Leconfield Estate worker’s cottage which has been restored and furnished as it might have been in about 1910 when Mrs. Mary Cummings lived there. The museum also has a rare collection of Petworth Goss China and a cottage garden, a scullery, a living room, a bedroom, a sewing room, an attic, and a cellar.
It is open from 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm Tuesday to Saturday.
Pevensey Courthouse Museum
This fabulous museum is in the Old Court Room and has the dock as it was used until 1886, with the prison cells, exercise yard, and Tudor window on the ground floor below. In a town with a rich 1066 history, it is packed with information and even has a plague doctor. At the time of writing it was closed for emergency repairs but check back often as we hope it will be open again soon.
If you’re still looking for more Sussex museums, you may be interested in: