It’s stuffed full of historic buildings, has a long history dating back to Roman times, goes crazy on Bonfire Night and has a fabulous brewery right in the middle of the town.
Yep, I’m talking about the county town of East Sussex in southern England, Lewes, and here’s a selectin of 50-odd photos form my recent visit to the town (sadly to watch the mighty Dulwich Hamlet FC lose).
Built in 1069 by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, the brother-in-law of William the Conqueror, Lewes Castle stands at the highest point of the town, and it was cunningly constructed on an artificial mound.
Clock tower against a Lewes sunset.
The Fifteenth Century Bookshop, complete with timber frame and overhanging storeys , uneven floors and low narrow doorways, at 99-100 High St, Lewes.
Secondhand shop window.
Lewes is home to the wonderful Harveys brewery. Their Sussex Ale is a thing of wonder.
Night view, on our way back on from the Lansdown Arms.
Looking down the cobbled Keere Street at night.
Sixteenth century half-timbered building at 49-51 Southover High Street.
The remains of the Priory of St Pancras, once one of the largest monastic churches in the country.
Prospect Priory, a Victorian addition to the old Priory site.
Battle of Lewes Memorial. The battle took place at Lewes on 14 May 1264.
Looking over Lewes from the top of the mount opposite Lewes football ground.
VRAC tea rooms on Lansdown Place, Lewes.
Unfortunately they were closed when we walked past, which was a shame as I was definitely in the mood for a reviving cup of Rosie Lea after a might on the Harveys ale.
Harveys Brewery, Sussex’s oldest independent brewery, founded in 1790 and located smack bang in the centre of Lewes by the banks of the River Ouse.
There was a car boot sale going on on the other side of the river to the brewery. Wheelchairs, bins, old frying pans – they had the lot.
River Ouse and Cliffe High Street crossing.
Harveys brewery shop on Cliffe High Street.
Coffee with a shivering dog, Cliffe High Street view.
There were several antique shops along Cliffe High Street. Tourists ahoy!
Old 1830 water pump.
‘Brick Brighteners’ graffiti.
On 27 December 1836, the worst ever avalanche recorded in Britain happened in Lewes when a large build-up of snow on the nearby cliff slipped down onto a row of cottages called Boulters Row. Eight people lost their lives.
A pub in South Street is named The Snowdrop in memory of the event – you can just see the pub sign in the distance in this photo.
Striking Victorian Gothic building.
Elaborate clock tower.
Towards the castle.
Bull House, once the home of freedom fightin’ English-American revolutionary and writer Thomas Paine, and now serving as the headquarters of Sussex Archaeological Society.
Paine lived in the house at 92, High Street, between 1768 and 1774.
Tom Paine Printing Press opposite.
Another view of the delightfully wobbly Fifteenth Century Bookshop.
The cobbled Keere Street is home to many historic buildings.
A local history website reports that Keere street was known as ‘the street of locksmiths’ and was partly built on the dry ditch of the town wall, with the central watercourse paved with water-rolled flints .
Springtime in Southover Grange Gardens, Lewes.
The park is set in the gardens of a striking 16th Century building in the heart of Lewes.
Interior view of the imposing Lewes railway station.
With no trains running because of engineering works, we had to take a replacement bus serviced. These cups look like they may have been placed there by bus drivers waiting to set off.
More photos: Sussex photo galleries
Also: Lewes Bonfire Night info