Lewes History Group Meeting – Monday 12 May 2014, 7:00 for 7:30pm

Helen Chiasson and Kate Hickmott: Feasting, Fighting and Freedom at Lewes Priory

Helen Chiasson & Kate Hickmott, education officers for Lewes Priory Trust, will talk about how the Priory of St Pancras developed to be important enough to host the King and his army during the Battle of Lewes and the role the Priory played in the Battle and its aftermath.

Lewes Priory Battle MonumentThe Priory of St Pancras was founded between 1078 and 1082 and by 1264 (the year of the Battle of Lewes) had grown to be the largest and richest establishment in the region with strong connections to mainland Europe and the rest of England. The talk will look at how the Priory came to occupy such a position and why it became the backdrop to the important events of May 1264.

The Battle of Lewes took place on 14th May, two days after the Feast of St Pancras, one of the most important dates in the calendar of the monks. Helen and Kate will look at why this date was so important to the Cluniac monks of Lewes and why the arrival of the King and his army caused such disruption.

The monks of the Priory may not have played an active role in the fighting but the Priory was an important sanctuary for the King and came under attack from the barons. The monks were also present at the surrender and the signing of the illusive Mise of Lewes.

Helen and Kate will also talk about how they bring the Battle of Lewes to life for children in Lewes schools.

Battle of Lewes Surrender, by Andy Gammon

Illustration by Andy Gammon for the Lewes Priory Trust

All are welcome from 7.00pm for free refreshments and updates on the Group’s activities. The talk will begin promptly at 7:30pm and will finish by 9.00pm.

There is an entry fee for these meetings, payable at the door, of £2 for members, and £3 for non-members.

Venue: The King’s Church building on Brooks Road, Lewes, BN7 2BY. (Between Tesco car park and Homebase)

See the Meetings page for a list of  forthcoming monthly talks organised by the Lewes History Group.

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