Key stage 2 activities at Alfriston Clergy House

South Downs, Managing our downland landscape South Downs Managing our downland landscape
Young girl holding bug viewer at Erddig

Built in 1350, the Clergy House has many layers of history to discover and can offer exciting learning opportunities for students of all ages. The house, garden and surrounding area provide the ideal setting for cross-curricular activities. Workshops can be led by the property volunteer team or your teacher.

Clergy House and Garden Tour focuses on different aspects of the property such as architectural features and evidence of change, what it would have been like to live in the house during different periods of its history, and the role of the Trust in saving the building. We also look at how the different parts of the garden, including the vegetable beds, herb garden and apple orchard, relate to the 700 year story of life at the house
Building Materials Workshop focuses on the traditional skills and methods that have been used in the construction of the house; in particular, thatch for the roof, wattle and daub for the walls, and the putting down of the chalk floor in the Great Hall with the help of 30 gallons of sour milk!
Life in Victorian Britain tells the story of Harriet Coates, the last resident of the Clergy House, who lived throughout the reign of Queen Victoria. Children can take part in a range of hands-on activities, such as costumed role-play, artefact handling, food preparation and the use of 19th century maps and documents. They can also identify Victorian features of the house and village during a warden-guided tour.
Archives Alive uses old photographs, parish maps, original documents and architectural features to solve an age-old mystery. The children learn that facts are based on proof and that assumption and theory involve an element of guesswork. They also discover that evidence can come from a range of difference sources. 
Life in Tudor Times can be experienced through a range of hands-on activities, which include costumed role-play, artefact handling, food preparation, pomander-making and the use of 16th century maps and documents. They can also identify Tudor features of the house and village during a warden-guided tour.
Alfriston History Trail is a ½ mile guided tour of about an hour through 1,500 years of the village’s history. The children learn how the village developed from a small farming hamlet in Saxon times to become a thriving medieval market town. They also find evidence of the boom times experienced by the village during the Napoleonic Wars, its decline during the Victorian era, and its resurgence as a tourist destination during the twentieth century.
A Tale of Two Churches is a ¾ mile guided walk of about an hour which takes the children to St Andrew’s, one of the largest parish churches in Sussex, known as ‘The Cathedral of the Downs’, and then, by contrast, leads them across the river to the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lullington, reputed to be the smallest church in England. The site at Lullington affords spectacular views across the valley to the White Horse at High and Over and the sea at Cuckmere Haven.
Snake River Walk is a 1½ mile guided walk of about 1¼ hours from the famous White Bridge at Alfriston, along the Cuckmere riverbank to Litlington Bridge; returning along the opposite bank. The children learn about the natural processes of erosion which have created the distinctive meanders of ‘snake’ river, look at the diverse flora and fauna along the riverbank, and observe how the profile of the valley changes as the river flows down to the sea.
Call us on 01323 871961 to find out more or e-mail us at