Lewes History Group: Bulletin 27, (7 October 2012)

1.   Next meeting, Monday 8 October 2012: ‘Anne of Cleves & her house in Lewes’
2.   Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street
3.   Lewes History Group Organisation (by Ian McClelland)
‘Lewes Streets’ project (by Ian McClelland)
Lewes Postcards: A General View of Lewes (  by Ali Harris)
6.   Street Driving (by Ann Holmes)
Under Starter’s Orders at Lewes Racecourse in 1913
A Bird’s Eye View of Lewes


1.   Monday 8 October, 7.30 p.m. at the King’s Church Building, Brooks Road

            Joanna Wilkins          ‘Anne of Cleves and her house in Lewes’

Anne of Cleves House, in Southover High Street, is now a museum owned by the Sussex Archaeological Society, and one of the town’s tourist landmarks, drawing visitors away from the High Street to the historic suburb of Southover. It is a remarkable house in its own right, quite apart from its association with its best known owner, the fourth of Henry VIII’s six queens. Joanna is an Education Officer with the S.A.S., and will be talking to us both about the house itself and the Queen who owned it – a very different figure from the cartoon image you might get from ‘Our Island Story’ or ‘Horrible Histories’.

As usual all will be welcome, and we shall be serving coffee and biscuits prior to the talk.

2.   Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street


This coloured postcard of Southover High Street (publisher unidentified) features Anne of Cleves House in the left foreground, and Southover Church in the middle distance. It is remarkable how many Edwardian cards feature policemen – they seem to have been everywhere.

3.  Lewes History Group Organisation                                  by Ian McClelland

The Terms of Reference group set up to put the Lewes History Group on a more formal footing has been meeting, and we think we have got far enough to recommend implementation from next year. We will introduce an outline of what we propose to the whole group at the October meeting, after the main speaker’s talk. There will be a short presentation followed by a short Q&A session. The aim is that we become a legal entity, which will enable us to submit bids for external funding.

What I would like us to achieve next week is to establish that the group as a whole is happy with the direction we propose. If so we will plan the more formal aspects, such as an AGM in December to approve a subscription and elect officers for 2013.


4.  ‘Lewes Streets’ project                                          by Ian McClelland

We now have a good number of people signed up to study one area of the town or another. However, there are still plenty of streets, and indeed some whole areas, that have not yet attracted interest. If someone else has already put down for your street, don’t let that put you off. Two people working collaboratively, especially if they have different interests, backgrounds or approaches, will discover more than two people working in isolation.

We are planning to establish a gmail list, with a password, so that people can easily contact each other.

Cluster Name Street(s) of interest
Nevill Sarah Hitchens North Way
Ann Holmes South Way
Western Road Peter Luckin Spital Road, Leicester Road
Rosalind Young St Annes Crescent, Western Rd, Irelands Lane
Southover High Street Liz Waters Southover High Street
David Louis Cleve Terrace
Southover Grange Jo Miller Keere Street
Arnold Goldman Eastport Lane
Friars Walk Dee O’Connell Friars Walk
North/Market Street Marion Smith North Street
Lewis Orchard North Street
Jae & Julian Parsons Market Street
Station Street Debby Matthews Station Street
Pells area Richard Mason Pelham, Talbot & Toronto Terraces
Ros Brewer Toronto Terrace
Jane Lee Toronto Terrace
Sun/St John Street Rosemary Page Sun Street
Peter Strong Sun Street
Flo Ashley Sun Street
Pat & Robin Charlton Sun Street
Sue Weeks St John Street
Cliffe Meg Griffiths Chapel Hill
Marietta van Dyck English Passage
Malling Liz Allsobrook Malling area
Barbara Merchant Malling Deanery
Geoff Isted Dunvan Close


5.  Lewes Postcards: A General View of Lewes                                 by Ali Harris


Image courtesy of Linda Weller

This is my favourite of the views over Lewes as it gives such a good insight into the area north of the High Street. The expanse of the Phoenix Ironworks is impressive, and a glimpse of the railway arch just above the jetty where there is a barge moored adds interest.  The houses and the Naval prison in North Street / Lancaster Street and adjoining roads show what a busy residential area this was.

I hadn’t realised until looking at this photo that there were three windmills on Kingston / Ashcombe Hill. Finally, where is the large house with the pointed tower (straight down from the furthest left windmill) – it appears to be bottom of Juggs Lane area?


6.   Street Driving                                                                      by Ann Holmes

Source: 1 November 1935 Sussex Express

The old question of the danger and inconvenience caused by the driving of cattle through the streets from the market to the railway cattle dock has cropped up again. The Borough Council have received communications on the matter from the Chief Constable and from the R.S.P.C.A. and these have been considered by the General Purposes Committee, who adjourned further consideration “until another meeting”, not, be it noted, to their next meeting.

It is unlikely that anything will be done to remedy the present state of affairs. Although all parties concerned would be only too pleased to do anything within reason, there appears to be nothing practicable that can be done. If the traffic is not sufficient to justify the railway company providing a cattle dock nearer the market, there does not appear to be any need to go further in the matter.

Cattle in the streets are dangerous, because they are apt to become excited and terrified by the traffic. But not so Southdown sheep. At cross-roads and in traffic the stolid Southdowns have a habit of getting in a bunch and going round and round. On the day of a sheep sale not so long ago it took over three quarters of an hour to drive a flock from Cliffe Corner to Library Corner, a distance of no more than a quarter of a mile.


7.   Under Starter’s Orders at Lewes Racecourse in 1913


Source: Postcard offered for sale on ebay earlier this year.


8.   A Bird’s Eye View of Lewes


A Samuel Hieronymous Grimm, 1785, watercolour taken from Baldy’s Garden in the Cliffe.

Source: British Library online collection

John Kay



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