In Tudor times wassailing revellers visited local orchards, sang and made a general hullabaloo (often by banging pots and pans) to awaken the trees ready for a good harvest. Join us for a magical event of dancing, drumming, fire and feasting to bless the Priory’s apple trees and wish them good health for the year ahead!

The Priory is delighted to be hosting the 2024 ‘Twelfth Night Wassail’ on the 20th January in partnership with Martlet Productions. There will be traditional entertainment from Blackpowder Morris, Gallyard Tudor Dancers, Pentacle Drummers and more who will transport you back 500 years to when Wassailing was common across Sussex.

There will be an alcohol-free Family Wassail in the afternoon (3pm to 5pm) followed by an evening 18+ Wassail (6pm to 9pm). Bring along a musical instrument, decorate yourself in foliage and feathers and join the torchlit procession to wake our apple trees from their slumber, scare away evil spirits and celebrate winter just like the Tudors did.

Jake Thorpe from Martlet Productions commented: We are absolutely delighted and thrilled to be bringing the Tudor Twelfth Night Wassail back to the Priory for the 4th year in a row! Old friends and new can expect an impressive fiery torchlit procession through the cloister to the orchard after a thrilling evening of drumming, food, fire, merriment and mead, as well as entertainment from some fantastic border morris sides, traditional Tudor dancers and world famous fool Devilstick Peat!
The d
ressing up in greenery, lights and the bringing of bells, whistles, pots, pans and musical instruments is positively encouraged to ensure that no spirits remain bound to the boughs of the slumber-some trees come harvest time – WASSAIL!”

Hot and cold refreshments will be available at both the Family Wassail (tickets: adults -£15; children 5-17 – £5; under 5s free; Family 1 adult + 3 children – £25; Family 2 adults + 4 children – £40) and at the 18+ Wassail (tickets: £15 per person) where alcoholic refreshments will also be available.

Pre-booking is essential as capacity is limited (tickets will not be available on the evening).  Book online at https://sussexpast.co.uk/event/wassail/