The southern part of England is a special area of the UK. More sunshine, but original british landscape with a lot of protected settles like Lewes.

The settlement has a long history as a bridging point and as a market town, and is today an important communications hub, and tourist-orientated town.


History of Lewes:

The site that is now Lewes has a very ancient history. Archaeological evidence points to prehistoric dwellers and it is also thought that the Roman settlement of Mutuantonis was here, large quantities of artefacts having been discovered in the area. The Saxons built a castle here, having first constructed its motte as a defensive point over the river; they also gave the town its name.

After the Norman invasion Lewes was given by William the Conqueror to William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey. He built Lewes Castle on the Saxon site; and he and his wife, Gundred also founded a Cluniac priory here in about 1081. Lewes was the also site of a mint during the Late Anglo-Saxon period and thereafter a mint during the early years after the Norman invasion. In 1148 the town was granted a charter by King Stephen. The town also became a major port with docks along the Ouse.

The town was the site of the Battle of Lewes between the forces of Henry III and Simon de Monfort in the Second Barons’ War in 1264, at the end of which de Monfort's forces were victorious. The battle took place in fields now just west of Landport.

At the time of the Marian Persecutions of 1555–1557 Lewes was to witness the deaths of seventeen Protestant martyrs who were burnt at the stake in front of the Star Inn, now the Town Hall.

Through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Lewes developed as the county town of East Sussex expanding beyond the line of the town wall and serving as a port and developing iron, brewing and ship building industries.

In 1846 the town became a railway junction with lines constructed from the north, south, and east to two railways stations. The development of Newhaven ended Lewes' period as a major port.[citation needed] Lewes became a borough in 1881.

In 1940 The Battle of Britain was fought in the skies over the town which suffered damage by enemy action. (source: wikipedia)


My experience there:

I have spent only a short afternoon in Lewes but I got caught by it's atmosphere. If you doesn't do anything else but walking on the streets of this small peaceful town, its already impressing enough. Lot of medieval buildings, that reminds me of the age of VIIIth Henry. I really loved it.

Lewes Bonfire:

The town's most important annual event is Lewes Bonfire, or Bonfire Night - Guy Fawkes Night celebrations on the 5th of November. In Lewes this event not only marks the date of the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, but also commemorates the memory of the seventeen Protestant martyrs. The celebrations are the largest and most famous Bonfire Night celebrations in the country.


History of Bonfire
Bonfire festivities on the 5th began when the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot was declared a national holiday. Celebrations in Lewes were not planned or carried out annually, but were more random events that were more like riots. They continued until they were banned by Oliver Cromwell during the Commonwealth. However, they were reintroduced when King Charles II returned, but still on a random basis. Interest waned by the end of the 18th century but in the 1820s large groups of Bonfire Boys started celebrating with fireworks and large bonfires. The celebrations became more and more rowdy until in 1847 police forces were drafted in from London to sort out the Bonfire Boys. There were riots and fighting, and restrictions were clamped down on the celebrators, their locations moved to Wallands Park, at that time fields, not the suburb it is today. However, in 1850 they were allowed back to the High Streets. By this time the former riots had become much more like the processions carried out today. In 1853 the first two societies, Cliffe and Lewes Borough were founded and most of the others were founded later in the same century.