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

We are all used to looking up at the Lewes sky line and thinking unprintable thoughts at the sight of County Hall, but as will be revealed over the next few weeks, that was just one of many esoteric decisions the planning department made on the town’s behalf during the 1960’s and 70’s. The magnificent building on the right was Albion House, which stood at the corner of Albion Street and the High Street until the early 1970’s. Built at the same time as the rest of Albion Street, round about 1822, it was designed by a new, successful town developer and architect, Amon Henry Wilds. As well as building the gorgeous Priory Crescent in Lewes, Amon and his father were also responsible for some of the grandest crescents and terraces in Brighton.

I haven’t been able to find much out about Albion House (if anyone does know anything e-mail us) although I’m told that the house had a fabulous garden which was subsequently turned into a car park. The lime trees from the garden remain but the last of the original beech trees were removed amidst much controversy as part of the latest Rees Elliott glass ‘n’ steel development. The house fell into sad dilapidation during the 1960’s. It was then demolished and replaced by the building which can be revealed by placing your mouse pointer over the image on the right, (yes it’s true) to provide new office accommodation for the town. And a lot tidier it looked too: give me function over form any day. SC

Roll over to swap old for new
The old and the new: put your cursor on the picture to see what
they replaced this building with
Thanks to Friends of Lewes (hyperlink) for fighting the cause and documenting all this in their book: ‘Lewes 1952 - 2002 - Fifty years of Change’ available from the Tourist Information Office