Lewes is a charming small town in East Essex, England, which can be easily reached from London by train. We’ve been there a few years ago and would gladly return for a day getaway!
Lewis castle was founded in 1068, just a couple of years after the Battle of Hastings that started the Norman conquest of Britain that makes it one of the oldest Norman fortifications of the country. It was founded by William de Warenne, one of the closest advisors of William the Conqueror. As the name suggests, the Battle of Lewes took place around this area too in 1264.
The almost unique feature of this motte-and-bailey castle is that it has two mottes – only one other castle like this is present in the whole United Kingdom which is Linkoln castle! For almost three centuries Lewes Castle stood strong (the stunning barbican gate was added to it in the 14th century) but the last of de Warennes died childless and the castle slowly went into decline.
If you want to learn more about the history of Sussex, head to the adjacent Museum of Sussex Archaeology also known as Barbican House Museum. And don’t forget to climb to the top of Lewes Castle and observe the views of beautiful East Essex and especially Cliffe Hill.
Cliffe Hill at Lewes
I’m sure many of you have heard about the Seven sisters, white chalk cliffs near Eastbourne that form the part of the South Downs in East Sussex? Alternatively, you might’ve seen or been to the Étretat in France? Cliffe Hill is another part of the South Downs over Ouse river – and it’s so stunning!
What else to see in Lewes?
There are many other insights in Lewes not to miss! Among them are Cliffe High Street, the main street of the town, the house of Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII’s fourth wife, now turned to a museum, the 16th century Southover Grange house, and the ruins of Lewes Priory of St Pancras. And of course, Glyndebourne, the favourite spot of opera lovers, is not far away too!
Many thanks for my husband Boris for some of the photos I’ve used for this article.
Hope you enjoyed my blog!