Walk - The Pubs of Lewes
The late Lesley Davies was told by his grandfather many years
ago that Lewes once boasted seven churches, seven breweries
and seventy pubs. So in 1977 he made himself busy tracing
the whereabouts of all those hostelries: in fact he found
that in 1890 the town had 66 public houses, of which 21 are
still running. He wrote a book about his findings, which has
been revised by The Friends of Lewes and Andrew Whitnall.
Tonight Whitnall is giving a guided tour divulging the wealth
of information he has gleaned about the subject. The walk
starts in the Dorset Arms and winds round to the Swan, where
refreshments will be taken.
Whitnall now probably knows more about pubs in Lewes than
any other person (in a purely historical sense, of course).
We’ll not divulge too much of what he says, because
we don’t want to detract from his walk. But for instance,
you know the white lion in the car park near the bottleneck?
That was the sign for a pub called the White Lion that was
there until the slum clearances. The inhabitants were moved
to Landport, and the Tally Ho was built to replace the pub
– there is still a white lion on the wall there commemorating
the fact. And you know which pub has had the most names? It’s
the Meridian, on Western Road, formerly the Pewter Pot, the
Rifleman and The Hole in the Wall, and originally a canteen
for the workers building the prison. More about this next
week, when the book comes out. AL