Funeral ceremonies can now be held at historic manor house

Stunning backdrop ... Southover Grange is about to offer funerals, wakes and remembrance services
Stunning backdrop ... Southover Grange is about to offer funerals, wakes and remembrance services

A new service offering ceremonies celebrating the lives of loved ones is being launched at a refurbished 16th century manor house in Lewes.

The Grade II* Listed Southover Grange will host funerals, wakes and remembrance services from Sunday, April 1 – the first time these services have been offered at the venue.

Trained celebrants will be available to write and conduct a bespoke ceremony, which will be delivered in the historic setting of the venue’s ceremony room.

Meanwhile, people will also be able to remember their loved one and reminisce on past times over light refreshments at wakes held in the Newton Room.

Southover Grange, which is home to Lewes Register Office and already hosts weddings, civil partnerships and other ceremonies, reopened last year after a £1.5 million refurbishment.

Cllr Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council lead member for communities, said: “Southover Grange will provide a stunning backdrop to ceremonies which commemorate the passing of loved ones and celebrate their life.

“For an affordable price, people will get the expertise of our trained funeral celebrants, who will work with families to create a personalised, dignified service to give their loved one a fitting send-off.”

Customers will need to arrange a burial or cremation separately at the cemetery or crematorium of their choice.

More information is available by calling 0345 6080198 or emailing funerals@eastsussex.gov.uk

Southover Grange, which is listed on the English heritage Register, was built in 1572 by William Newton and owned by this family for the next 300 years. Colonel William Newton (1744-1808) was a personal friend of the Prince of Wales (later King George IV) who often came to visit him in Lewes.

Maybe it was on one such occasion that the Prince reputedly drove a coach and four down steep, cobbled Keere Street nearby in order to win a wager.