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Ruins of Lewes Priory, Lewes

Description: Ruins of Lewes Priory

Grade: I
Date Listed: 25 February 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 293053

OS Grid Reference: TQ4147109604
OS Grid Coordinates: 541471, 109604
Latitude/Longitude: 50.8686, 0.0091

Location: 4 Mount Street, South Downs National Park BN7 1HP

Locality: Lewes
Local Authority: Lewes District Council
County: East Sussex
Country: England
Postcode: BN7 1HP

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There is also a scheduled monument, Priory of St Pancras, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Explore more of the area around Lewes, East Sussex at Explore Britain.

Listing Text


14/74 (east side)
Ruins of Lewes Priory


Ruins of the Priory of St Pancras. Founded after 1077 by William de Warenne
and his wife, Gundrada. Chalk corework with flint and stone dressings and
facings, patched with some Portland stone. Principal parts that remain include:
Fragment of the southwest tower of the Priory church, probably late C11 or
early C12, with wall-bench and shafts;of its wall-arcading. Part of the
southern wall of the Frater, including herringbone flintwork and masonry.
Vaults remain below with the remains of a spiral stair. Various blocks of
masonry by the railway-line west-south-west of the frater, formally buttresses
to a large hall of unknown use. They are of C15 date, of chequered stone and
flint flushwork. The undercroft of the Dorter, late Cll and late C12, containing
the original reredorter. The southern part of the Dorter undercroft retains
the springing-points of the semi-circular vault. At some point this part of
the building was used for rifle practice. The Reredorter, late C12. In the
south wall have been set many carved fragments, now heavily weathered.
Remains of the Infirmary Chapel, late C11 and second third of the C12.
The original square-ended chancel was later lengthened with a nave, given
north and south chapels and may also have had a triforium. The remains at
Lewes are important, at least in part, because the first Prior of Lewes, Lanzo,
(1077-1107), was greatly influenced by Cluny, then in its third great phase of
building, and because, during its progressive enlargment during the C12, it was
very much a replica of the mother house. The first lay-owner was Thomas Crom-
well who, between 1537 and 1540, built a country house on the site of the
Prior's Lodging; this later passed into the hands of the Sackville family.
Work in connection with the cutting for the railway line from Lewes to Brighton
in 1845 destroyed the whole of whatever may have remained of the east end and
the high altar of the Priory Church. The Lewes Priory site is scheduled as
an Ancient Monument.

Listing NGR: TQ4142909558

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.