Digging up the drains at Lewes Priory

Lewes Priory.
Lewes Priory.

Forthcoming plans for an exciting archaeological investigation at Lewes Priory will be the subject of a stimulating day of talks tomorrow (Saturday).

They will be digging the drains at the historic site and some idea of what they hope to find will be revealed at Sussex Downs College.

Key lectures will be delivered by James Bond, archaeologist and landscape historian, and by Dr Francis Woodman, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and specialist in pre-Reformation architecture.

The programme, from 10am-4.30pm, will feature an introduction to monastic water management, and the waterworks of Canterbury Cathedral.

Arthur Franklin will discuss the water systems at Lewes, and the investigating team will turn the spotlight on the culvert archaeology project at Lewes Priory.

The venue is the college’s Lecture Theatre in the Cliffe Building in Mountfield Road, and the Chair for the day is County Archaeologist Casper Johnson. The day costs £15 (concessions available) and to book a place online go to eprospectus.sussexdowns.ac.uk

The course code is 0107/2601 608 which should be entered in the advanced search option. Alternatively, call 0845 2601 608 or email info@sussexdowns.ac.uk

Elsewhere, local historian Graham Mayhew has thanked the Sussex Express for its support for the launch of his book on Lewes Priory, The Monks of St Pancras. Also the staff at Lewes Town Hall for making him so welcome during the week when he was selling copies in the foyer, Lewes Priory Trust for publicising it on its website and Norman Baker MP for allowing him to display copies of the book in his High Street window for several weeks. Dr Mayhew has now sold more than 300 copies and has made a huge dent in the printing costs – he is now nearly halfway to recovering the costs. The book is also beginning to sell further afield, mainly to universities but also in other towns and villages connected with Lewes Priory such as Halifax and Conisbrough in Yorkshire, where there is another de Warenne castle. “This should help to raise awareness of the historical importance of Lewes Priory in English history,” said Dr Mayhew.

“Thank you also to everyone in Lewes and the surrounding villages who have supported the book by buying copies – which are still available at the special promotional price of £35 (normal price £45) either from Dr Mayhew direct or from Lewes Town Hall.