Here's when Fishbourne Roman Palace is reopening to the public

Fishbourne Roman Palace is set to open its doors to the public this weekend five months after closing for lockdown.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 2:13 pm
Updated Monday, 17th August 2020, 3:36 pm
Fishbourne Roman Palace. Property Manager Melanie Marsh. Pic Steve Robards SR2006111

The popular historic site will reopen on Saturday (August 22) with a number of Covid safety measures

Some areas of the site, including the collections discovery centre, will remain closed, but the café will be open, offering a take-away service.

Further opening dates for September will be confirmed, in line with government guidelines, on the Sussex Past website at the end of August.

Interim CEO, Helen Anson: "The reopening of the palace is a really positive step forwards for the society.

"However, our future is still far from certain and this is very much a trial to see if it is financially viable to open at this time. School and coach groups make up a large proportion of our visitors and it is unlikely that these visitors will return in any significant numbers until the spring of 2021."

The group appealed for urgent help last month and has seen a dramatic decline in income after being 'hit hard' bu lockdown restrictions.

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"Please show your support by visiting when we reopen or making a donation via our website if you want to help us save this fantastic place."

Property manager Melanie Marsh said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome our visitors again. Finally, we can get back to something like normal, although opening times will be different at first.”

The palace has Covid-19 safety measures in place to ensure that everyone can enjoy their visit safely.

A limited number of visitors will be allowed into the museum at any one time, to ensure that social distancing is maintained, and visitors must wear masks while in any enclosed spaces.

The palace is cared for by the Sussex Archaeological Society, one of the oldest county archaeological societies in the UK.

It owns 13 historic properties and five scheduled ancient monuments across East and West Sussex and has been hit hard by the Covid-19 lockdown, which forced it to close all its properties to the public.

In June it launched a fundraising campaign to help it build up funds to survive the winter and reach its 175th anniversary next year. More than £30,000 has been raised.

A spokesman for the society said: “It is wonderful that the palace can now reopen. The society still faces a challenging time ahead, but with the support of our donors, visitors, and members, we are determined to make it through to next year when we hope to be able to open all our sites as normalc.”

The site, normally open every day in summer, will now open from Saturday to Tuesday only. Opening times will also be different: from 10.30am to 4pm, with last entry at 3pm.

For more information visit www.sussexpast.co.uk.