50 years of being open to the public marked at Fishbourne Roman Palace

Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe opens the New Headley Trust Viewing Platform with Tristan Bareham (chief executive), Christine Medlock (chair of trustees) and Katrina Burton(manager)
Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe opens the New Headley Trust Viewing Platform with Tristan Bareham (chief executive), Christine Medlock (chair of trustees) and Katrina Burton(manager)

Fishbourne Roman Palace and Gardens recently celebrated a very special anniversary.

The palace hosted a celebration of 50years of being open to the public.

As part of this celebration Sir Barry Cunliffe, who directed the original excavations, opened the new Headley Trust Viewing Platform.

This sunny evening welcomed guests including Louise Goldsmith, the chair of West Sussex County Council, and Tim Loughton MP.

Trustees, contributors to Fishbourne’s 50th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal, staff, and volunteers were also welcomed at the event.

Christine Medlock, chair of trustees, introduced Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe who gave a fascinating keynote talk on his recollections of the discovery of the palace.

This was followed by talks from Tristan Bareham, chief executive on The Society Moving Forward, and Katrina Burton, Fishbourne Property manager on New Interpretation and Activities for the palace.

Guests were then invited to experience the technology as part of the new interpretation project for Fishbourne which included the new viewing platform generously funded by The Headley Trust and 3D viewing devices which enable the viewer to visualise how this courtyard looked during the Roman period.

The evening’s proceedings finished with drinks and buffet in the stunning Roman garden and palisade.

Fishbourne Roman Palace and Gardens is owned by Sussex Archaeological Society, which is a registered charity that owns and opens to the public six historic sites in Sussex. The other sites at Michelham Priory House and Gardens, Lewes Castle and Museum of Sussex Archaeology, Anne of Cleves House Museum, The Priest House and Marlipins Museum. The society operates under the name of Sussex Past.

Part of the society’s charitable aim is to enable access to and understanding of local heritage in Sussex. To achieve this it carries out research and excavations, and run a variety of public events, open days, walks, talks, conferences and schools workshops and activities.