Wednesday 14th June

Twittens Walk

In Brighton they call them twittings; in Scotland they are vennels, in Yorkshire people say ginnel. They can be called snickets and jetties and twitches. In Nottinghamshire they are known as twitchings. We call them ‘twittens’ and they are one of the best things about Lewes. I was always told that ‘twitten’ was a derivation of ‘betwixt and between’ but a consultation of the (biggest) Oxford English Dictionary reveals this to be untrue. The word probably derives from the Old English ‘twicen’ or ‘twitchel’ which meant a narrow passageway between two walls or hedges. David Edy’s fascinating walks around the castle area of Lewes end up examining these remarkable sloping alleyways so particular to Lewes.

But there’s much more besides. Edy, a member of the Sussex Archeological Group and an approved tour guide, loves to paint a vivid picture of Lewes’ past using visual clues from the buildings and monuments still around today. He is a font of information, and once you go on one of his walks you will never see the town in quite the same way again. You will, for example, find out where the Victorian ‘lovers’ twisting’ spot was specially constructed for romantic dalliance. Why Pipe Passage is called Pipe Passage. And countless other fascinating facts. “I can tell you, for example,” he tells us, “exactly where the chef from Bull House used to sharpen his knives. And why the craze for mathematical tiles in Victorian times created the traffic problems we have in the High Street today.” Intrigued? We are. AL

Not a twitting, a twitching, a snicket or a jetty or a twitch.
A Twitten, and a nice one at that

Bus stop in front of Crown Court
When? 11 and 2.30pm, every Wednesday til end of Sept
How Much? £3
David Edy
(t) 01323 894 199