Former mayor charts the rise and fall of Lewes Priory

Graham Mayhew with new book on Lewes Priory monks
Graham Mayhew with new book on Lewes Priory monks
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A book hailed as “a treasure trove of invaluable material about Lewes Priory” was launched this week.

The Monks of Saint Pancras has been written by three-times former Mayor of Lewes Graham Mayhew.

In the first ever study undertaken of an English Cluniac monastery, the local historian outlines the history of Lewes Priory from its foundation to its destruction.

It was one of the greatest monasteries in medieval England. By the early 12th century it had grown rapidly to be the wealthiest of any monastery in this country after the Norman Conquest, and in the years that followed received at least 19 visits by reigning monarchs, from King Henry I to King Henry VII.

Dr Mayhew’s book is lavishly illustrated with 30 maps and plans, more than 170 colour photographs and eight reconstruction drawings.

As well as the daily lives of the monks, it explores the Priory’s contribution to Romanesque art and architecture, its liturgy, dependent monasteries, its estates and more than 160 parish churches and chapels throughout England.

For a limited period, the book is available for the introductory price of £35 (normal price £45) from Lewes History Press, 2 Montacute Road, Lewes, BN7 1EN. Signed copies are available at the Town Hall from December 2-6, and the book will be available there following promotions week.