About Us

This topic contains the ‘Terms of Reference’ of Rowlands Castle Heritage Centre together with other constitutional and operational matters including those required by the Charities Commission:

Terms of Reference

The objective of the Rowlands Castle Heritage Centre is to establish and maintain a museum in Rowlands Castle in order to advance the education of the public in the history and heritage of the village, its former inhabitants and the surrounding area.

Mission Statement

Our Mission Statement is to ‘Protect, Record and Prepare’. We believe this means looking after and cherishing artefacts and archive from the past, while noting and measuring aspects of today, so that we may be more aware of the continual changes going on around us. Both  ‘protecting’ and ‘recording’ will encourage us to be more prepared for and perhaps more responsive to future opportunities and threats.

Rowlands Castle is a dynamic community whose residents have expressed a high level of satisfaction with the village as a place to live. They also value and are interested in protecting the surrounding countryside, much of which is now more protected by being in the South Downs National Park.

The Heritage Centre, as with the RCA from which it originates, will contribute further to this important sense of local identity and community.

Boundaries and Concepts

The Heritage Centre will have, as its main area of interest, the civil Parish of Rowlands Castle, which includes Finchdean. Additionally for geographical and social reasons this recognises the concept of ‘Village & Valley’ used by the Rowlands Castle Association in its regular Magazines, and is also implicit in the Local Landscape Character Assessment. The overall boundary will then extend to the whole catchment of the Lavant (embracing West and East Lavants which flow from above Finchdean – evident when both winterbournes are in spate). The northern boundary extends into the South Downs as far as the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, including the village of Chalton and the Butser Ancient Farm Museum. For social reasons, the Stansted Estate and adjacent hamlet of Forestside, (both in West Sussex) will also be included – as residents work or are attendants at the House as well as enjoying recreation in the carefully managed grounds of the estate.

How will it develop?

The website represents the first step towards the larger project of forming a Village Heritage Centre or museum. The project was started under the auspices of the Rowlands Castle Association (RCA). The Heritage Centre has become independent, as a registered charity, with its own membership, volunteers and bank account. It is exploring the options to store the archive, hold meetings, and offer displays and presentations.

What is in it?

The website offers the opportunity to integrate and display the embryonic archive – historic, environmental, social and economic – that has evolved. As the community of Rowlands Castle grows, it spontaneously creates material of interest to future generations. At the moment, apart from the archive from larger, well organised groups such as the Rowlands Castle Association or Golf Club, archive material is being assembled by individual residents, is being lost through neglect, or by residents moving away or dying.

Who is it for?

The target populations for the website are, firstly its residents, secondly visitors, thirdly and importantly younger people, fourthly ‘expert’ inquirers, and lastly by linking with the County Archives, wider society.


The Heritage Centre represents a coordinated attempt to provide a ‘one-stop shop’, or single, central home for archive and memorabilia which is of interest and value to the local community.

It will help the community become more aware of its past, to prepare for its future.

AGM: Chairman’s Reports and Minutes

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