Bricks & Mortar - The Crown Inn

The Crown, a grade 2 listed building, is the longest serving pub in Lewes. It has been pouring out ale for its customers since at least 1638, when it was known as the Black Lyon and was a coaching inn, with stables in the space which is now the parking bay for Barclays Bank. Look carefully and you can still see the haylofts and pulley system from this time. The inn didn’t become known as the Crown until 1812. In the 1860’s it incorporated an off licence, which boasted being ‘the sole agent for Lewes & neighbourhood for Marshall’s Hungarian Brandy.’

In the early 1980’s, when there was still a piano in the bar, the Brewer’s briefly became the vogue pub for many of the town’s young drinkers who sang rebel songs to the accompaniment of the late, great John Rodhouse; nowadays it very much has the reputation as being a quiet local bar. They do some of the best pub lunches in town, however, best eaten in the spectacular plant-filled Victorian conservatory at the back of the building. The menu changes weekly; I’m still poking my nose in to see if they’ve put on the best haggis neeps and tattie I’ve tasted this side of Stirling. The adjacent dining room, with its 17th century wood-panelled walls and ceiling, is only open to hotel customers and barristers who want a quiet lunch. The Crown does not serve food in the evening: more’s the pity. AL

The Crown - serving pints since 1638
191 The High St, Lewes
When? Became the Crown in 1812
How Much? Rooms from £38

The Crown
(t) 01273 480670