• Sussex Heritage Trust Awards 2024

A warm welcome to you all on the occasion of the 26th Sussex Heritage Trust Awards, which we are fortunate to have generously sponsored by Irwin Mitchell.

The quality of the projects entered into the Awards scheme continues to be very high as you will see from the list of entries in this programme.

Over the last 10 years, we have seen the Awards grow from strength to strength with a consistent level of outstanding entries. Now in its 26th year we have seen a record 94 entries, clearly highlighting the importance of this scheme for Sussex. [continued below].


Just click on the category title below to see the winning and highly commended entries for the Sussex Heritage Trust 2024 Awards.

It seems fitting therefore that, in this record breaking year, we present the Awards at Lancing College Chapel, which has won multiple Awards over the years. The Trust would particularly like to thank Lancing College and the Friends of Lancing College Chapel, for welcoming us today.

Most importantly this continued success would not be possible without the support of all our sponsors. This year we have welcomed NFU Mutual Chichester and Horsham as sponsor of our hand carved slate plaques which are designed to adorn the winning projects, and also Kreston Reeves who are co-sponsoring The Eco Award this year, with Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust. Launched last year, I am delighted that this important category has received 33 entries in 2024.

St Michael and All Angels Church in Berwick was the winner of the inaugural Eco Award and the venue for our launch, which was sponsored by Toovey’s Antique & Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers. We were delighted to welcome 100 guests in early March, including the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Andrew Blackman alongside many of our friends and supporters.

Due to the number of entries, we have also had to increase the number of judges and it has been wonderful to see so much new talent join our knowledgeable and committed teams. My thanks to all who entered the Awards, working tirelessly to protect the heritage of Sussex and to the judges who do so much to make the Awards such a success.

These last twelve months has been busier than ever, and it is hard to summarise in a few short paragraphs. We have had very special visits to the restoration work at Wakehurst Place with thanks to our friends at DBR Southern; a garden tour with head gardener Tom Coward at Gravetye Manor; and a visit to Petworth House Gardens with our President, Lord Egremont and Lady Egremont. Later in 2024 we will host a lunch at Bentley Manor, with a lecture on leading 20th-century classical architect, Raymond Erith by his daughter and biographer, Lucy Archer. These fundraising events do so much to raise money for our important work.

At the beginning of June we launched our pilot scheme to encourage young people into the construction and building conservation sector.

Launch of 2024 Awards from left, Church Wardens Peter Lewis and Andrew Williamson, Heritage Crafts Trustee, Imogen Bright Moon and Patron, Christopher Gebbie OBE DL

Dantina from Crawley College trying Wattle and Daub

Biennial Dinner at Folkington Manor from left, Trustee Charles Anson and Juliet Nicolson, Dr Harry and Mrs Jacquie Brünjes, Sir Nicholas and Lady Coleridge and Chairman, David Cowan

Students attend Taster Day at Weald & Downland Living Museum.

Thanks to funding from South Downs National Park Authority, Sustainable Communities Fund – South Downs Trust, and The Foyle Foundation, the Trust was able to offer young people from the Chichester College Group a ‘Taster Day’ opportunity to try out four different building conservation crafts at the Weald & Downland Living Museum.

Many of the students who took part in this ground breaking scheme are now being offered Sussex Heritage Trust Bursaries to further their training in building conservation. It is envisaged that the Taster Day programme will form an increasingly important part of the Trust’s work.

At our Annual General Meeting last September we said a sad goodbye to our Project Officer, Bob Overton-Hart and our longstanding Trustee and Treasurer, Chris Stebbing. We also announced the retirement of Simon Knight as Chairman of the Trust. Simon had been a Trustee for nine years, four years of which were as Chairman, but happily remains as a Patron and Friend. We were able to celebrate Simon’s tenure at our Biennial Dinner at Folkington Manor, as guests of Dr Harry and Mrs Jacquie Brünjes. Recently, we have two new Trustees: Victoria Back, who is Managing Director of RH & RW Clutton and James Pavey, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell. Leanne O’Boyle has also joined the team as a consultant to support the Taster Day activity.

Finally, I would like to note my thanks to all our Trustees, in particular James Whitmore, who has taken on the role as Vice-Chairman of the Trust and Chairman of these Awards, and our dedicated team of Helen Reeve, Hannah Stubbington and Katya Smith. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our President and Patrons who continue to offer their time and support.

David Cowan

Winners and Highly Commended of 2023 Awards

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