BBC Antiques Roadshow coming to Battle Abbey

File photo: Battle Abbey SUS-190429-130348001
File photo: Battle Abbey SUS-190429-130348001

People in Hastings and Rother are being invited to bring along their family heirlooms and treasures to have them value when the BBC Antiques Roadshow programme films at Battle Abbey on Tuesday July 9.

Ever wondered if that old bit of china at the back of the cupboard, the jewellery that never gets worn or the painting gathering dust in your attic is worthless, or worth a fortune?

Then take it along to 1066 Battle of Hastings Abbey and Battlefield on July 9 to find out for sure, when Fiona Bruce and the Antiques Roadshow team will be filming two programmes for the next series of the BBC’s Sunday evening favourite.

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It is the first time since 2003 that the Antiques Roadshow has visited the area and around 4,000 people from across Sussex and the south east are expected to attend the day, bringing 15,000 items or so with them – 50 or 60 of which will be filmed for the shows. Everyone who brings a treasure along will see an expert.

Entrance is free for this entertaining family day out at one of English Heritage’s most visited historic sites. It gives a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and be a part of one of the BBC’s most popular programmes. Battle Abbey School is supporting the event and providing all the back of house areas needed for the BBC to make the roadshow run like clockwork.

Due to the large numbers expected to attend, entry to the abbey gatehouse museum and rooftop viewing area and audio guides will not be available on the day. But roadshow-goers can enjoy the exhibition and introductory film in the visitor centre, which tells the story of England’s most famous battle and all outside areas will be open to explore. They include the abbey ruins, the Victorian walled garden, ice house and dairy, the 1066 battlefield itself - and youngsters can enjoy the play area. Teas, coffees and cakes will be available throughout the day from the visitor centre café and an Antiques Roadshow tea tent.

English Heritage Head of Historic Properties, Natasha Williams said: “Battle Abbey and battlefield is home to one of the most important events in English history and visitors come from far and wide to stand on the spot where history was made. Equally, in everyone’s home is an important piece of their own personal family history and we’re excited to be bringing the two together by hosting the great institution which is the Antiques Roadshow. We’re very grateful to Battle Abbey School for their support.”

Fiona Bruce has presented the show for the past 12 years: “So much of what you see on the Antiques Roadshow is about the story of an object and its owner as much as about its value. We are never short of people bringing along items that tell a hell of a story, which can be very exciting, poignant or funny. Even after all these years people still have the most amazing things tucked away in their attics and garages and I can’t wait to see what they pull out of their bags and trolleys at Battle Abbey.”

Battle Abbey is open from 09.30am to 17.00pm and visitors should follow the yellow AA signs to the Battlefield car park - a shuttle bus runs from here to the event or visitors can enjoy a 20 minute walk across fields if they prefer. Blue Badge holders only can park in the main Battle Abbey car park next to the gatehouse, at the south end of Battle High Street.

Those wishing to get an expert valuation should arrive before 17:00 and are advised to come prepared to queue. It is expected the event will be busiest between 10.30am and 13.30pm Dogs on leads are welcome.

Visitors are welcome to just turn up on the day but can also share their stories about the special items they are bringing along up to a week in advance – more information, frequently asked questions, and parking information can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow or on the show’s Facebook page.

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