Launching on Saturday 8 June, Charleston’s new Queer House Tours offer the chance to discover Charleston’s groundbreaking LGBTQ+ history with an expert guide. Join us to discover the queer stories behind Charleston, its objects and the fascinating lives of its inhabitants.
The tours will be launched as part of an LGBTQ+ day of celebration – bring a picnic and enjoy a range of free activities on the day, as well as exploring the garden, café, galleries and walks in the surrounding area.
There will be the opportunity to participate in a chaired discussion about developing a Queer Bloomsbury programme at Charleston. The discussion will start with contributions from writers KUCHENGA, Kathrine Smith, and performance artist Nando Messias, asking ‘What do our communities need now in terms of engaging with radical queer art? How do we inspire radical young queers, the Bloomsbury group of tomorrow?’
On the day, there will also be Bloomsbury group inspired dressing up with Gladrags, live music by Hannah Brackenbury, and Queer Tours of Charleston’s current exhibition In Colour – Sickert to Riley led by curator Dr Darren Clarke.
Charleston has an incredible LGBTQ+ history, having been home to the Bloomsbury group – a largely queer group of artists, writers and thinkers that included, among others, Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant and John Maynard Keynes. Together, the Bloomsbury group forged a new way of living at Charleston in the early 20th century, with the house acting as a space of freedom where love and friendship, pacifism, atheism, and other diverse ways of living were actively embraced.
Advance booking is recommended for the queer house tours.
On 8 June, tours will run every 15 minutes from 11.30am – 4.00pm
From 11 am
1 pm – 2 pm
2 pm – 3 pm
We are excited to say that we’ll be running a FREE shuttle bus from Lewes train station to Charleston!
Departing from the front of Lewes Train Station at 11am – arriving Charleston around 11.30am
Departing Charleston 4pm – arriving Lewes Train Station at around 4.30pm
Read about other ways to get to Charleston here
Sign up here for news about future LGBTQ+ events at Charleston.
After 8 June, Queer Tours will be available to book as an extended House Tour.