Visitors can explore one of the best Collections of Modern British Art, which includes works by Henry Moore and Richard Hamilton, for free and take part in a range of family-friendly activities exploring the 300-year history of Pallant House to celebrate Heritage Open Day on Saturday 8 September.
Heritage Open Days celebrate England's extraordinary architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to Buddhist temples.
Pallant House is one of the country's finest examples of domestic town architecture. Built in 1712, 300 years ago, as a residence for newly-weds Henry and Elizabeth Peckham, it was the first building of its kind in Chichester and set the standard for future developments. No architect has been linked to the project, but a local stone mason Henry Smart worked on the House and was responsible for creating its unique character with its elaborate Corinthian columns flanking an imposing doorway.
In 1982 Pallant House opened as an art gallery after Walter Hussey, the Dean of Chichester Cathedral, left his personal collection to Chichester with a condition that it would be shown there. Since 2006, the house has been adjoined by an award winning contemporary wing, designed by Long & Kentish architects in association with Colin St John Wilson.
Visitors to the Heritage Open Day will be able to wander freely through the historic house and contemporary extension and explore its contrasting architecture, and take part in a free tour (at 2pm) exploring the fascinating history of the Queen Anne townhouse and its former occupants. They can also view ‘Bow Selector' the latest contemporary stairwell installation by Bouke de Vries which was commissioned to mark the 300 year anniversary of the House.
Other exhibitions on display for visitors to enjoy for free include Artist Pop Stars (until 7 October), which features works by Bryan Ferry, Bill Wyman, Ian Dury and Pete Doherty; and Derek Boshier: David Bowie and The Clash which explores the Portsmouth-born Boshier's artwork for David Bowie's iconic Lodger album. Visitors can also gain half price admission to the major summer show Peter Blake and Pop Music exhibition (until 7 October), which celebrates the Godfather of Pop Art's 80th birthday and his lifelong love of music.
Other highlights include the chance to sample free coffee courtesy of De'Longhi, the Headline Sponsor of the Gallery in 2012, and a range of children's activities including badge and biscuit making.
Family friendly activities
Free De' Longhi Coffee tasting
Free ‘300 Years of Pallant House' Tour
2pm, meet at reception