Research Projects

The Colonel & The Party Palace: Life at Herstmonceux Castle in the Roaring ’20s

Project Leads: Dr Christian Lloyd (Academic Director) & Dr Claire Kennan (Research Coordinator, Lecturer in History).

The ‘Roaring ’20s’ conjures images of exuberance, partying and glamour. Whether it’s the Great Gatsby or Downton Abbey, the 1920s has captured the popular imagination and it’s easy to see why – it was an age of transformation as the world emerged from one of the greatest conflicts in history.

With the centenary of the 1920s upon us this is the perfect opportunity to explore what life was like at Herstmonceux Castle 100 years ago. Particularly as this is a period in the castle’s history that we know very little about.

This brand new student-led research project will contribute to the work we do as a heritage site, creating new content for our Visitor Centre, website and social media channels; there will also be a number of themed special events as part of the project so watch this space!

‘Where there’s smoke there’s fire’, c. 1930, by Russel Patterson, Library of Congress, available under the Creative Commons Licence.

Ecology and Land Stewardship at Herstmonceux Castle

Project Leads: Dr Simon Coppard (Science Coordinator, Lecturer in Biology) & Guy Lucas (Gardens & Grounds Manager)

This is a series of research projects which focus on the environment in and around the castle grounds. More information coming soon!

Environments of Change: Digitising Nature, History & Human Experience in Late Medieval Sussex

Project Lead: Professor Steven Bednarski (University of Waterloo).

Environments of Change is an interdisciplinary research project supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The project explores, from multiple perspectives, the environmental history of late medieval Sussex using emerging digital tools. It aims to understand better the reciprocal relationship between humans and nature in the past and, in so doing, to apply these frameworks to present situations and contexts. It develops digital tools and resources that allow individuals to understand the complex and dynamic relationship between societies and the natural world. These tools will have application in educational, academic, policy, and tourist settings. 

More information about the Environments of Change Project can be found here.

Likely Medieval Flood Patterns in and around the Herstmonceux Estate, for full interactive map please click here.

GuideTags: A New App for Exploring the Herstmonceux Castle Estate

Project Leads: Dr David Brown (Brock University) & Anthony Montagano (Brock University).

GuideTags is a mobile phone and web-based app which allows users to choose how they navigate and interpret a site using their digital device. The app contains various thematic point-of-interest (POI) pages containing interpretive content like images of key features, GPS coordinates, and an interactive map to create an accessible, interpretive resource for users. 

GuideTags offers users different modes to navigate a destination. TOUR mode allows users to follow a pre-determined linear route with accompanying narrative through the destination. DISCOVER mode is more unstructured, and allows users visit any points-of-interest nearby in any order they prefer. Providing visitors with these options allows them greater flexibility with how they engage with this content, which can develop user appreciation of the importance of heritage in education.

This research project is part of Environments of Change

The ruins of Herstmonceux Castle c. 1850-1870, available under the Creative Commons Licence.