Lewes Castle


Title: Lewes Castle
Description: Started in 1066 by William de Warenne and added to over the following 300 years, Lewes Castle stands high above the medieval streets of Lewes. Owned in Georgian times by Thomas Read Kemp and his family, you can take a guided tour around its fascinating history.

Address: 169 High Street, , Lewes, East Sussex
Post Code: BN7 1YE

Further Information:
Built to defend the vital river crossing by William de Warrene in the eleventh century soon after the Norman Conquest, Lewes Castle stands high on a motte overlooking Lewes and, typically for the time, has a keep and bailey. Unusually the castle has a second motte to the north, protected by a curtain wall but probably without a keep, although there is nothing left to see.

Two polygonal turrets were built on to the existing keep in the thirteenth century and the barbican was added to the southern gateway in the fourteenth century.

The only time that it was attacked was in 1264 during the Battle of Lewes, when Henry III was defeated by Simon de Montfort and his Barons. Regarded as the starting point of parliamentary democracy in England, the King was forced to accept a number of conditions allowing the new chartered boroughs to be represented in Parliament.

Nowadays it is possible to take a guided tour around the castles fascinating history. Barbican House, which adjoins the castle, houses the Museum of Sussex Archaeology.