Organised by the Sussex Volunteer Fundraising Committee

Tour of Sackville College

  • Sackville College |
  • Guided Tour |
  • Tuesday 13 September 2016 - 10:30 until 12:30

Sackville College is a Jacobean Almshouse founded by Robert Sackville in 1609 and still in use as an almshouse today.  The College is built of Sussex sandstone around a quadrangle and contains large mullioned windows and four exquisite old doorways, the northern one of which bears the Dorset coat of arms. These almshouses represent a splendid example of Jacobean architecture.  Visitors to Sackville College enter a building that is nearly 400 years old. The college is a charitable foundation which operates according to an act of Parliament of 1624 and a Royal Charter of 1631. It continues to provide affordable accommodation for elderly people.

The college's connection with the Sackville family goes back to the year 1609 and the will of Robert Sackville, Earl of Dorset. This provided a sum of money with which to buy land and build a convenient house of brick and stone to be used as an almshouse. For many years the College had a second use, by providing overnight accommodation for the Sackville family as they journeyed to and from their estates in Sussex. The heads of the Sackville family have been Patrons of the College throughout its history. The present Patron is the 11th Earl De La Warr.

The visit will include the common room, where residents used to cook meals, the Great Hall with its Minstrels' gallery and hammer beam roof, the chapel with its carved door and the study. This is where the Victorian hymnologist, the Revd Dr John Mason Neale, Warden 1846-1866 wrote many well-known hymns and carols, including Good King Wenceslas and Jerusalem the Golden.

The visit will last for approximately two hours after which you will be able to explore the historic town of East Grinstead.  Amongst other things the town boasts many historic half-timbered buildings and open hall houses.  Some buildings date from the 15th and 16th centuries and there are also splendid examples from Georgian and Regency times. The town is home to the terminus of the Bluebell Railway Line.

This event has been organised by the Sussex Volunteer Fundraising Committee to help raise money for the Art Fund.

Venue details

Sackville College
High Street, East Grinstead West Sussex RH19 3BX