Great Britain, Lewes – Traditional Anglo-Saxon Town
After the natural and architectural beauty of Wales we will move to the south of England. More precisely to the historic region of Sussex, where our first stop will be the town of Lewes.
The traditional county of Sussex is situated on the south coast of England, its Duke Prince Harry and his wife Meghan and is administratively divided into East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove. The capital of the county is Lewes (70 km from London).
Despite the relatively low population (about 17,000), the town of Lewes is the police, judicial and religious center of the county. Its origins date back to prehistoric times, but unambiguous evidence of the existence of the settlement is from the Roman era. Throughout history, Lewes had to face the Norman invasions, the legendary battle of Henry III and Simon de Montforte and the mass executions of Protestant martyrs during the English Reformation. Later on, industry began to develop. The port along the River Ouse was booming not only in terms of construction but also transport links. However, this period ended with the construction of the port of Newhaven at the mouth of the river.
There are many beautiful sights in the town. Perhaps the greatest landmark is the medieval castle of Lewes, which stands on an artificially built hill, the ruins of the Lewes Priory Monastery, the house of the revolutionary writer Thomas Pain (Bull House), intellectually inspired patriots to the American Revolution, or the historic seat of Newton's family - Southover Grange garden. Wealden Hall House, a 16th-century traditional folk house, a little more distant Glyndebourne, where the operetta festival takes place every year, and undoubtedly the entire High Street with museums, galleries and historic buildings (half-timbered houses) are also worth seeing. Do not miss a stroll through the historic Keerati Street, a visit to the railway station, Fitzroy House and the narrow streets of Anglo-Saxon (twittens). You will also find many technical monuments, military monuments (eg Lewes War Memorial) and numerous sacral buildings.
Of natural gems, we recommend a visit to the South Downs National Park, not long ago (2011), with its hills, chalk cliffs and flora, the alluvial landscape around the River Ouse, and the local protected sites of great biological and geological significance.
The locals mostly work in services or commute to work in neighboring cities (Brighton, London). Tourism forms a significant part of the city's income, which is also reflected in the organization of several important events during the year. The most prestigious is certainly the Bonfire Night, held always in early November, reminiscent of the unsuccessful assassination of King James I and the burning of martyrs.
There are weekly markets in the town or small shops where you can buy local produce. Great chains or supermarkets do not look for. There is also the Harvey & Son brewery, which is considered one of the best beer producers in England. You can even meet your own currency (Lewes Pound), which supports exclusively home trades. The town does not forget the famous personalities who were born or worked here. For example, the distinguished English writer Virginia Woolf, paleontologist Gideon Mantell (considered to be a discoverer of dinosaurs) or physician Richard Russell, who was engaged in water therapy.
Lewes is truly a beautiful town that will enchant you with its picturesque and fairy-tale atmosphere. If you plan to visit England, then plan your trip here.
GPS: 50°52'22.5"N 0°00'35.6"E
Text: Oskár Mažgút
Photos: Beata Fricová
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