Talk explores impact of industry on the South Downs over 5,000 years

Plate layers in Shoreham, 1905.
Plate layers in Shoreham, 1905.

The imprint industry has left on the Sussex landscape will be explored in a talk at the King’s Church in Lewes on Monday January 12.

Lewes History Group will stage the talk which features Geoffrey Mead speaking on Sussex Industrial History: a different perspective.

A wide variety of trades and industries have left their mark on the landscape over the last 5,000 years, including flint working and an international airport.

The armament trades of the 16th century with their furnaces and forges, left behind tranquil hammer-ponds and nature reserves 21st century.

The same industrial locations remembered in the place-names of Furnace Farms and Forge Lanes throughout the Weald.

A spokesperson for the Lewes History Group said: “The industries of the Low Weald, bricks and potteries, glass and tanning have a less high profile in historical research yet employed large numbers of workers in the past with brick making still an economic factor in the county.

“The downland is seen as a less industrialised zone yet chalk and cement production are within living memory and their features are seen as part of the National Park landscape.

“The coastline of the county has seen shipbuilding and fishing decline but tourism and new ‘creative’ industries grow.”

The venue is King’s Church building, Brooks Road opposite the Homebase carpark.

Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start and everyone is welcome.

There is a small admission charge on the door of £3 for non-members and £2 for members.

Visit for more information on the group, its meetings and research activities.