More than £1 million in lottery funding has been secured to restore Bridge Cottage, Uckfield, and open it to the community.
Renovation of the Grade II listed building is due to start in the autumn with the aim of opening it late next year.
The preservation society plans to organise a range of activities at Bridge Cottage to enable all sectors of the community to understand and appreciate their heritage.
There will be educational programmes, hands on heritage activities for all ages, local history and craft events, and a heritage hub for historical research.
Key periods of the cottage’s history, such as the late medieval, Tudor and Victorian will be used to help bring British history to life.
A space will also be created that can be used by local groups as a meeting place.
Bridge Cottage, next to the River Uck, in the centre of Uckfield was built circa 1436. It is a single-aisled Wealden hall house of much larger than average size.
The identity of the original owner is not confirmed but it is known that the occupier in 1570 was Thomas Maunser and that the building passed to Arthur Langworth and Edward Orwell, who were officials of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Mick Harker, chairman of the Bridge Cottage Heritage Group said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this grant.
“Bridge Cottage is a central feature of the town but as a community we have not been able to use it to its full potential owing to the essential works the building needs.
“It is great to know that we are a step closer to putting this right and preserving it for future generations.”
Stuart McLeod, head of Heritage Lottery fund South East England, said: “We are delighted to support this project that not only restores an important historical building, but also creates a community space, learning opportunities and a base from which the area’s heritage can be promoted in the future.”
Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory