Lewes CommunityAd Magazine
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A Bit about Lewes
Lewes is the county town of East Sussex with a population of 17,297 (2011 Census)
The place-name ‘Lewes’ is first attested in an Anglo-Saxon charter circa 961 AD, where it appears as Laewes. In the Domesday Book of 1086, it appears as Lewes. The name means ‘hills’ from the old English ‘hlæw’.
Known as a traditional market town, the Battle of Lewes commenced in 1264 which was one of two main battles of conflict known as the Second Barons’ War.
Notable landmarks in Lewes include Lewes Castle, Lewes Priory, Bull House (the former house of Thomas Paine), Southover Grange and Public Gardens and the Anne of Cleves House. There are also several places of worship and religious buildings in the town.
Lewes has six primary schools and three secondary schools, Lewes Old Grammar School, Priory School and Kings Academy Ringmer with one of East Sussex College’s campuses also based in the town. You may not know that a rather familiar face, whether you recognise them from morning TV or filling up your Twitter timeline, was a former pupil at Priory School, Piers Morgan.
Lewes is also the police and judicial centre for all of Sussex and is home to Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Lewes Crown Court and HMP Lewes.
The town’s most important annual event is the Lewes Bonfire. These celebrations commemorate the memory of the seventeen Protestant martyrs burnt at the stake as well as the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Controversially, the event involves burning an effigy of Pope Paul V (the Pope during the Gunpowder Plot) and is known as the largest and most famous Bonfire Night celebrations in the country.
Last year, Lewes Little Theatre celebrated its 80th birthday and with Lewes Live the towns local summer music festival and Lewes Light, it’s safe to say the community cares massively for the arts.
Sporting clubs include Lewes FC, who became the first football club in the world to introduce equal pay to both the men’s and women’s teams, Lewes Rugby Club, who turned 90 this year, Lewes Priory Cricket Club, Lewes Athletic Club and many more.
Notable residents of Lewes include Thomas Paine, Virginia Woolf, Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts and many more.