From Sussex trug making and hurdle making to flint walling and block printing, our Museum hosts some of the most varied heritage craft courses in the country. We work closely with Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) to ensure that these are not only fascinating courses, but also informative and inspiring to all who attend.
With the latest release of The Red List of Endangered Heritage Crafts by the HCA, there has never been a more imperative time to embrace new skills and keep these traditional methods alive.
First published in 2017, The Red List of Endangered Crafts was the first report of its kind to rank traditional crafts by the likelihood they would, or would not, survive to the next generation, based on intangible cultural heritage safeguarding principles.
The 2023 announcement shows some positive improvements but unfortunately, five new critically endangered crafts were identified and 17 new endangered crafts added to the list.
Through our education and interpretation programme, we hope to not only keep these crafts alive but ensure that skilled craftspeople are able to continue using them for generations to come. As well as our extensive courses, we also run daily demonstrations throughout the year, with help from our team of interpreters, volunteers and Museum Curator. These include endangered crafts such as charcoal burning, coppice working and hedge laying.
Raising awareness of many forgotten crafts, and showing the joy that can be found from learning a new skill, is the key focus for our upcoming event, ‘Made by Hand – Heritage Crafts and Skills Weekend’, taking place on 16 – 17 September. With plenty of hands-on opportunities and a range of inspiring craftspeople to see and speak to, there will also be fascinating demonstrations of rural crafts and skills taking place throughout the weekend, all of which were once essential to life in the country.