Bridge Cottage Heritage Centre holds the archive of the Uckfield and District Preservation Society. Our collection mainly – though not exclusively – consists of 19th and 20th century documents and photographs relating to Uckfield and the surrounding area. We also have a small collection of objects of local interest. We have a small reference library containing books of local interest and some periodicals. Anyone can visit the archive and there is no charge, but visits are strictly by prior arrangement only. You MUST contact us first to arrange your visit, we will not be able to accommodate you if you arrive at the archive without arranging your visit with us first.
Although our volunteers have catalogued over 1000 items, it is important to note that we are still in the process of cataloguing our collection. Therefore, we do not currently have a complete list of absolutely everything we hold. Researchers are very welcome to browse our online catalogue and visit our archive, but please be aware that you will not have access to, or even information about, everything we hold in our collection until the archiving project is complete.
Browse our online catalogue here.
All the information you need to know before you start to plan your visit.
How to access our collection
The only way to access material is to search our electronic catalogue and request the items in advance. Once you have made contact with us by email we will require you to search our online catalogue and make a list of the catalogue numbers of the items you require. We may be able to supply additional material on the day of your visit, but we cannot guarantee this as some items are not readily accessible without warning. Researchers are not permitted to manually search our archive.
The vast majority of our items do not require special handling equipment. If you do need to wear gloves or take any other measures we will advise you on the day. Please ensure that your hands are clean, and do not apply any heavy creams or ointments immediately prior to handing. Please do not bring your own cotton gloves as these can damage paper based materials.
Copying and photographing documents and images
You can purchase a £5 “photography license” which will allow you to take photographs of the documents and images you are using. Photographs or documents concerning living, identifiable people may be subject to restrictions with regard to copying and photography.
You can also make photocopies using the printer for a charge of 5p per black and white page, 20p per colour page
Charges for use of materials
If you have identified an item in the catalogue that you would like to see, we can send you a copy either by email or post for a charge of £3 per item, plus postage. There is no additional cost for using our items in educational publications (e.g. dissertations) although we do request acknowledgement and a copy of the work. If you wish to use an image in a commercial publication then please get in touch.
We can also undertake research on your behalf. The charge for this is £20 per hour (minimum £5 for 15 minutes). You can request that we search through a list of items that you request, or you can request that we search the catalogue for your, or a combination of both. Please be aware the same rule applies regarding uncatalogued items – we will endeavor to find all the relevant material but we will not be able to carry out a thorough manual search our uncatalogued items.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I bring with me into the archive?
Our Heritage Hub is also a working office for our staff and volunteers, and our materials are mostly not particularly delicate, so we do not restrict the use of pens etc. However we do prefer researchers to use pencils for their notes when working closely with archive material. There is a PC terminal available but you are welcome to bring a laptop if you wish. If you bring a camera or camera phone and want to use it to take pictures you will need to purchase a photography license for £5.
Do I need to register or get a reader’s ticket?
No. We are a small local history organisation and we are generally happy to share our archive with anyone who wants to see it without issuing a formal readers ticket.
Are there any restricted items?
Most items are not restricted but some concerning living people may be. Most items on loan to us will probably be restricted.
What facilities do you have?
The building has a kitchen which, unless otherwise in use as part of a room hire, you are welcome to use. If you wish to make a cup of tea or coffee we ask for a donation of £1. We have toilets onsite (including an accessible toilet).
Is the Heritage Hub accessible?
The Hub itself is up one flight of stairs and is not accessible by wheelchair users or others with restricted movement. However our lower floor is fully accessible and we are very happy to set up a workspace downstairs and bring materials down from the Heritage Hub.
How do I make an appointment?
Contact email@example.com. We will aim to get back to you within two weeks.
How do I get to you?
The Heritage Centre is next to the River Uck and is located on a main road (Uckfield High Street). You can find a map on this page. There is public car park at the rear of the building with a 3 hour parking time limit. The Luxford Field carpark is a 5 minute walk up the High Street and has 10 hour bays. Both are free of charge.
Bridge Cottage is very close to Uckfield train station, and the 29 bus route also stops nearby.
Can I donate something to the archive?
We welcome donations from the local community or those with a connection to the local area. Donations need to be properly acquired by us so please do not leave items outside or post them to us. If you have something you wish to donate contact firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about donating can be found here.