Many people who visit Ditchling come for the beautiful countryside that surrounds the village, latticed with walking and cycling trails – but there is more to discover than just rural pleasures. The village is steeped in the arts and crafts tradition, with a vibrant, nationally-renowned museum and a programme of art-themed events throughout the year.
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft
The museum holds an internationally important collection of work by the artists and craftspeople who were drawn to the village, including the sculptor, wood engraver, type-designer and letter-cutter Eric Gill, the calligrapher Edward Johnston (responsible for the famous Johnston typeface used for London Underground), the painter David Jones, the printer Hilary Pepler and the weaver Ethel Mairet. The impact of the many artists and craftspeople who came to live and work in Ditchling from the beginning of the 20th century onwards established this village as one of the most important places for the visual arts and crafts in Britain. The museum has a lively programme of changing temporary exhibitions along with workshops, demonstrations and free family activities.
The Turner Dumbrell Workshops
Art in Ditchling
An inspirational trail in and around a historic and picturesque village within the Southdowns National Park. A rich artistic heritage includes Eric Gill, Sir Frank Brangwyn and The Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic; family members continue these traditions in some venues today. Exhibitions are in studios, workshops, galleries, public houses and restaurants and show a diverse range of high quality art & craft skills. The trail operates during the Brighton Festival in May and at other times during the year.
Auricula is a treasure trove of tempting beaded gemstone jewellery including elegant, timeless jewellery inspired by the shapes, colours and texture of gemstones and freshwater pearls. These stones are hand-selected on her trips to China and India; each piece of jewellery is hand-crafted, and you can find pieces to suit any occasion, from a chunky bold statement piece to exquisitely delicate items. A visit to Auricula is a sensory treat. Cast your eye over necklaces of glittering garnets, earrings of shimmering labradorites, bracelets of lustrous pearls. Translucent green fluorite is offset with a solid vivid-blue lapis lazuli, a soft-purple fluorite is accentuated with subtle-green aquamarine. Bold orange carnelian makes a perfect foil to neutral shades of smoky quartz and grey-green kunzite looks fabulous with silver and sapphires.
12 Turner Dumbrell Workshops, Dumbrells Court Road, Ditchling BN6 8GT
Tel: 01273 845 582
Jane Hopkinson Bags
Offering an extensive range of handmade leather bags. Come and see where the bags are made, smell the leather as you walk through the door! Open Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm (Sat by appointment only)
2 Turner Dumbrell Workshops, Dumbrells Court Road, Ditchling BN6 8GT
Tel: 01273 844336
Made & Making
Choose from a selection of workshops and classes to suit from sewing and knitting to floristry and paper craft, including beginner and intermediate sessions plus individual sewing lessons. A professional soft furnishings and curtain making service helps you create the home you love.
3 Turner Dumbrell Workshops, Dumbrells Court Road, Ditchling BN6 8GT
Tel: 07967 819540
A beautifully restored, award-winning, working post mill in the heart of the glorious Sussex countryside, open to visitors. Open on the first Sunday of each month between April and October. In May, July and September, there are themed events with lots of special activities for adults and children. Visitors are also welcome to visit the Mill on Thursday Mornings throughout the year when volunteers are working on site and depending on the level of maintenance activity may be available to give a guided tour.
Pruden & Smith Goldsmiths, Jewellers
See goldsmith Dunstan Pruden’s work and tools in the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, then visit the modern equivalent. Designer makers P&S, descendants of the Ditchling Guild, offer tours of their workshop and gallery.
The Crossroads, 2 South Street, Ditchling BN6 8UQ
Tel: 01273 846338
The Window Gallery
A gallery run by Philip Dunn, whose subjects include Brighton & Hove’s seafront, the Royal Pavilion, both piers and his famously dazzling arrays of deckchairs. Alongside Philip’s paintings, you’ll find the work of others artists including Annielies Clarke, Julia Clifton, Brenda Hartill, Michael Embden and other. Opening hours are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 11-5pm (other times by appointment, phone or text 07986 938 750).
9 Turner Dumbrell Workshops, Dumbrells Court Road, Ditchling BN6 8GT