A magic circle of mystery

Rouser 2013
Rouser 2013

There is a ‘Magic Circle’ off Castle Ditch Lane in Lewes. It was once a secluded, private garden with stone seats surrounding a circular lily pond.

According to Kim Clark in her The Twittens, Saxon and Norman Lanes of Lewes, (Pomegranate Press): ‘It was built some years before the First World War by Frank Frankfort Moore, an Irish author who lived for many years at Castlegate House.

‘He was a prolific writer (although surviving examples of his prose make it clear why he is now quite forgotten) and he told the story of his creation in a Garden of Peace, published in 1920 and in which Lewes is given the name Yardley Parva.

‘He spent a good deal of time redesigning the large garden of Castlegate House and brought in tons of rock, including monoliths from the Giants Causeway in Ireland. Somewhere he also discovered an elaborate gateway with a peacock architrave and stone seats with an Egyptian motif.

‘The circle survives although the lily pond is long gone.’

The area is now used mainly as a cut through to the adjacent car park.

It would be so nice to see the magic circle restored in some way so that people can enjoy its peace and solitude.

* Some oldsters knew it as the Fairy Ring - a secret place for wayward teenage activities!