Book review - The Inns of Lewes

Did you know that there used to be a pub called The Stag on North Street which was destroyed by bombs and fire during a German air-raid in 1943? Did you know that the entrance to Albion Street used to be a pub known as The Turk’s Head, which was pulled down to allow for the development of the new street? Are you aware that Stuart-era commuters to London had to start their journey at the White Hart? There were two stagecoaches a day, leaving a 6am, and returning from Charing Cross a day later. The Friends of Lewes’ new booklet ‘The Inns of Lewes past and present’ has just come out, and is on sale in the Tourist Office. It’s a fascinating read, originally published in 1977 by LS Davey and revised by local CAMRA man Andrew Whitnall.

There have, according to the book, been over 90 pubs, inns and hostelries in town, of which 21 are currently trading. Along the years we’ve lost The Cleopatra, The Manxman, the Welcome Stranger, The Crimean Tavern, The Spread Eagle, The Fruiterers, The Morning Star (once in the premises of Bow Street Bookshop) and The Jolly Friars, to name but a few of the more colourfully named. The author of the book has searched the archives for references to pubs, and it’s the historical attention to detail which makes the book so interesting. The Lewes Arms, for example, was once known as The Brack Mount and was famous for the riotous behaviour of its customers. AL

Mouse Over!
Many of you will have enjoyed a pint in the Fruiterers. But did you
know that in the sixties Lewes lost over 50 pubs?
On sale in Tourist office
When? 9.30am – 5pm daily
How Much? £3.99

The Friends of Lewes
(w) Website