DISCOVER THE PAST with DR JANET PENNINGTON

Diploma: English Local HistoryMA: Regional HistoryPhD: Inn and Tavern History janetpennington

  • I give illustrated talks about Sussex history and more general talks covering the south-east of England.
  • I travel anywhere in West and East Sussex and to the Dorking and Haslemere areas of Surrey.
  • I am happy to do talks at short notice.

Illustrated Talks Available for 2016-2017

1. CHANCTONBURY RING: The Story of a Sussex Landmark
2. WISTON HOUSE, SUSSEX & Sir THOMAS SHERLEY (c.1542 – 1612)
3. THE WOMEN OF WISTON HOUSE, SUSSEX
4. THE WISTON ESTATE: A Thousand Years of History
5. A WALK AROUND OLD STEYNING: A Sussex Market Town and its History
6. STEYNING SCANDALS: The Secrets of a Sussex Market Town, 1547-1947
7. STEYNING GRAMMAR SCHOOL: Four Hundred Years of Education
8. THE PUBS & BREWERIES OF STEYNING
9. A HISTORY OF THE ADUR VALLEY IN WEST SUSSEX
10 LANCING COLLEGE, SUSSEX, AND ITS LOCAL HISTORY
11. SUSSEX INN SIGNS AND THEIR HISTORY
12. ENGLISH INN SIGNS: Their Local and Regional Significance
13. SUSSEX INNS AND THEIR ARCHITECTURE
14. ENGLISH INNS, TAVERNS AND ALEHOUSES
15. TRAVEL IN THE PAST: The Problems and Pleasures of the Journey
16. SIDESADDLE TRAVELS IN ENGLAND WITH CELIA FIENNES (1690s)
17. SHOPS AND SHOPPING: The Small Shop Through the Ages
18. WITCHES, WARLOCKS AND WELLINGTONS: The Ritual Protection of the Home
19. SHOES: Walking Through History [In Preparation]

I have a digital projector, laptop, remote control/laser pointer and long extension lead, (PAT tested), also a portable screen if required.

I often lead walks around the old market town of Steyning in West Sussex, revealing much of its history, scandalous or otherwise. I usually do these in spring and summer, and advertise them in the local papers and Your Steyning, as well as on this website. Otherwise I am happy to organise a walk with a society or group individually – so do contact me for details.

Steyning High Street, early-20th century.

I am sometimes able to arrange a tour of Wiston House, the beautiful manor house nestling under the South Downs, built by Sir Thomas Sherley in the 1570s after he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I.

Wiston_House,_West_Sussex,_EnglandYou will hear about the history of the house and how Sir Thomas made his money. As a Member of Parliament and a Justice of the Peace, he did not, sadly, apply the laws of the land to himself. There are modern echoes in his story, which is set against the Dutch rebellion against the Spanish.

A compulsory cream tea is part of this afternoon, which will not be forgotten in a hurry – neither the tea nor Sir Thomas! A visit to St Marys Church is also part of the tour, and the views from the gardens and terrace to the south of the House are wonderful.

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I was born in the county of Sussex. I am an independent researcher with a degree in the architectural and social history of early-modern Sussex inns and taverns (Thesis). I was the archivist at Lancing College, and also taught local history and palaeography for the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Sussex. (Read more)

Contact Janet Pennington –  I am happy to do talks at short notice.