Disappearing Lewes. Now you see it… now you don’t

Tanners Brook is a cosy little cul-de-sac which is looking better and better as the years go on and the sheen of newness that made it look like Brookside starts to fade; as moss covers roofs and the brickwork loses its gloss. The houses, built in 1993, are all very similar: each has a sizeable living room, a stand-up kitchen, two or three bedrooms upstairs and a perfectly rectangular garden. It is handily placed near the station: these units are now going for around £250,000.

Lewes Cattle Market was a thriving concern between 1879 and the late seventies – it finally closed down in 1992. The market, held every Monday, was a magnet for scores of small-time butchers who came from as far afield as Crawley, Chichester and Hastings to buy livestock auctioned there. Up to 110 head of cattle, 600 sheep and 100 pigs went under the hammer every week. It was an exciting, noisy, bustling place where your senses were bombarded with animal noises and smells, and the distinctive song of the auctioneers. The far shed now housing Gorringes was ‘fur and feather’ market selling live rabbits, unplucked chickens, eggs, fruit and flowers. Sadly a mixture of government restrictions (it became more difficult for butchers to have their own on-site slaughterhouses), parking difficulties and rising costs meant that by the end the market was no longer a viable financial concern, and the decision was made to close it down and sell the land.

Tanners Brook rose from the rubble of the Lewes Cattle Market