Bringing Lewes’s history alive with stories

The latest in the Fiddle series
The latest in the Fiddle series

The Lewes History Group is holding its annual meeting on Monday (December 9), reporting on the society’s significant growth in audiences, membership and general awareness in the town.

This will be followed by a talk from American-born local author Alison Jolly on ‘Telling Lewes History for Children’.

“Lewes is old. Of course it is haunted.” This is the opening of Dr Jolly’s series of six children’s books about a little girl called Fiddle.

The latest, Fiddle and the Falling Tower, has just had a glowing review in The Guardian and, as with all her time-travelling adventures, Fiddle sees transparent people walking around her home town of Lewes, even though they lived many years ago. The books require in-depth historical research and Dr Jolly will talk about the challenge of inventing stories which are true to history even though they are fiction for 10-year-olds.

Her work has covered historical figures and events that include Thomas Cromwell and the dissolution of Lewes Priory, Tom Paine and the smugglers, John Every’s ironworks and the first Lewes workhouses, all woven into thrilling adventures for Fiddle and her friends.

The venue for the event is the Kings Church building, in Brooks Road opposite the Homebase car park. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start and everyone is welcome.

There is a small admission charge on the door but free mulled wine and mince pies. Visit for more information on the group, its meetings and other activities, including how to get involved in the Lewes Streets Stories project.

Fiddle and the Falling Tower is the sixth in the series, which is illustrated by Helen Stanton and published by Pomegranate Press.

When her school visits medieval Anne of Cleves House in Lewes Fiddle meets the impish Eliza, a see-through servant girl from Tudor times – who’s about to get some bad news about the Cluniac Priory of St Pancras.