Today is Sussex Day! It’s a thing that happens on 16 June each year and is designed to celebrate the rich heritage and culture of our beautiful county.
Did you know Sussex had a patron saint?
We have St Richard of Chichester – and Sussex Day marks the anniversary of the translation of St Richard’s body from its original burial place in the nave of Chichester Cathedral, to an elaborate shrine there. This happened on 16 June 1276. So it’s always 16 June, and Sussex Day is also St Richard’s Day. No, we didn’t know either.
Richard actually sounds like a pretty brutal kind of guy – he was Bishop of Chi and wore hair shirts and refused to eat off silver, and had a tough line on concubines and priests who defiled nuns. You can read more about Richard here.
What does our flag mean?
On Sussex Day and the week running up to it, since 2013 at least, the Sussex Flag is flown in each of the six ancient Rapes (sub-divisions) of Sussex. It’s hoisted over the Council House in Chichester, on Maltravers Street in Arundel, St Nicholas’ Church in Bramber, at Lewes Castle, from another St Nicholas’ Church this time in Pevensey, and finally from Hastings Castle. Covering the six divisions. And another factoid – those bird on the flag are called martlets. Sound familiar?
Stuff to do
So, history lesson aside – there’s lots to do over Sussex Day and you can see more about that HERE for West Sussex. East Sussex doesn’t seem to have a specific Sussex Day section but there’s some ideas for the east side HERE.
Also, on Saturday 17 June, it’s a special Free Day at Brighton Museum. Discover the rich heritage and culture of Sussex with family-friendly activities including flag- and badge-making, an introduction to Sussex dialect and folklore, and storytelling. The RSPB will showcase Sussex’s fascinating wildlife, while Writing Our Legacy will perform poetry, music and tales inspired by the historic county and its depictions by John Constable.
Meanwhile we’ve put our own little celebratory list together to enjoy some of what our diverse county has to offer. Cheers
Five ways to celebrate Sussex
1. Get out on the beach!
Sussex has a long stretch of coastline and the sun is shining. Low tide today is around 10:15am so if you fancy a paddle through the shallows, why not grab a picnic brunch and get your toes wet?!
2. Get out on the Downs.
The South Downs is just stunning, rolling its way through huge swathes of Sussex, with wild open tracts and verdant forests. Take a dog, borrow a dog, and get out there and feel the Sussex magic.
3. Have a pint of Sussex beer, sparkling wine or a large Sussex gin and tonic.
The whole county is littered with breweries, vineyards and distilleries and it’s YOUR DUTY to support these local manufacturers. Sussex Beers, Sussex Wines, Sussex Gins
4. Eat Sussex.
Once you’ve refreshed your palette we strongly recommend eating somewhere where the produce is locally sourced, right on your Sussex doorstep. We have love for Issac@ in Brighton (fish dish pictured), Jeremy’s at Borde Hill, and the Cafe at The Sussex Produce Company in Steyning but there’s tons of amazing places.
5. Get some heritage under your belt.
Between you and us, now is a pretty good time to see castles and gardens, before the schools break up and seeing places like this means fighting through an angry hungry crèche full of toddlers who have overdosed on car journeys and sugar. Browse the ancient wonders of our county in peace. Then go get beer and food.
Happy Sussex Day
Sat 17 June, 10am-5pm (*free* admission for all, including to the major exhibition Constable and Brighton), Brighton Museum
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