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Lewes: Sussex towns and villages

PUBLISHED: 10:56 27 June 2013 | UPDATED: 10:56 27 June 2013

Lewes

Lewes

Archant

Archaeological evidence suggests that people have lived in the area since prehistoric times

As old as the hills

Archaeological evidence suggests that people have lived in the area since prehistoric times. During Roman times there was a settlement here called Mutuantonis, and the Saxons then later built a large castle next to the river, before giving the town its name.

Battle in vain?

In 1264, the Battle of Lewes took place in the fields just west of where Landport now stands, between Simon de Monfort and Henry III’s army. The battle was part of the Second Barons’ War, and Simon de Monfort emerged the victor.

A way with words

William Morris once said of Lewes; “You can see Lewes lying like a box of toys under a great amphitheatre of chalk hills ... on the whole it is set down better than any town I have seen in England.”

Timeline

Lewes is on the Greenwich (Prime) Meridian, and sits in a gap in the South Downs, originally created by the path of the River Ouse. Going from east to west, back towards the Greenwich Observatory, the Prime Meridian passes straight through Lewes, having crossed France, Spain, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana, and Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, among many others.

Go

Glyndebourne

Having taken the train to Lewes, free coaches take patrons straight to the beautiful home of British opera

01273 812321; glyndebourne.com)

Eat

The Shelleys Hotel and Restaurant

High ceilings, crisp clean linen and classic fine dining

01273 472361; www.the-shelleys.co.uk)

Drink

The Anchor Inn

Set on the west bank of the river, this is a beautiful pub in a beautiful setting

01273 400414; www.anchorinnandboating.co.uk)

Sleep

Netherwood Lodge

A small but perfectly formed country retreat. Great for kicking back and relaxing

01825 872512; www.netherwoodlodge.co.uk)

***

Notable neighbours: Piers Morgan went to school here, and Charlie Watts of Rolling Stones fames used to live in the town

Getting there: Lewes has its own train station, and the A27 and A26 both pass close by

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