Herstmonceux and Michelham
Tuesday 22 October
The days tour starts at the Herstmonceux Science Park where the group will be split into two parties.
The first party will be taken on a conducted tour of the exhibition 'Domes of Discovery- the story of The Royal Observatory' which brings to life the 300 year history of one of the most famous scientific institutions in the world. The tour is extended to include domes not normally open to the public.
The group will then have the opportunity to visit the cafe for refreshments or stroll around the Discovery Park which is a 'Science Playground' of large-scale interactive exhibits designed to help visitors explore themes of force, movement, genetics and sound, in a way that is always fully ‘hands-on', and sometimes ‘feet-on' too. The exhibits are designed so they can either be investigated individually or with the help of others. They each have an explainer which helps you understand how the exhibit works and relates the mechanisms used to real life objects. There is something for everyone among the exhibits, including a fascinating sculpture in the middle of the park! Is it Einstein or the world? It really depends on your perspective. The slap pipes exhibit is our latest addition to the Discovery Park; use the paddles to create some noise from the huge steel tubes and listen to the different notes obtained from the different length pipes. With over 100 hands-on exhibits both inside and outdoors there is something for everyone to try. Our permanent indoor exhibits are based around the themes of Forces, Light and Colour, Earth and Beyond and Astronomy and Time. We also have temporary exhibitions that are changed during the year to give you an even broader science experience.
The second party will do the above itinerary in the reverse order, both groups leaving the science centre will end at approximately 13.15 for the short journey to Michelham Priory.
Arriving at the Priory Gardens at approximately 13.30 those who wish to have lunch should proceed directly to the cafe. To speed up the process, lunches were pre-ordered at the September Main Meeting, those taking advantage of this service will be given an appropriate ticket to be handed in at the food counter where the food will be ready for serving.
After lunch there will be an opportunity to stroll through the priory and gardens.
The priory is steeped in history, the original priory being built in or before 1229 and was a few hundred yards from the roads linking Lewis and Hailsham, Battle and the port towns of Rye, Hastings and Winchelsea. The site chosen for the priory was a low spur of land projecting into the floodplain of the little river Cuckmere. The name 'Michelham' is thought to come from the Old English 'miccle hamm', meaning a large area of land in a river bend, as the river surrounds the site on three sides.