Woolf's former home for sale

ONE of the most interesting – and prettiest – homes in Lewes, once owned by Virginia Woolf, is up for sale and is expected to attract the attention of both Bloomsbury enthusiasts and windmill fans.

The Round House in Pipe Passage was once the town windmill, built in 1801 in Pipe Passage, which follows the sentry walk inside the mediaeval town wall.

As well as the Woolf connection, the picturesque cottage was also formerly owned by John Every, ironmaster of the town’s prestigious Phoenix works, and still contains fine examples of his designs.

Annie Crowther, the current owner, is the author of a well-received book about the house, which traces its history from beginnings as a subscription mill more than 200 years ago. Some 19 years after it was built, the mill’s upper smock was removed and the remaining roundhouse was converted to a home, many of whose occupants played important roles in the town’s progression through the 19th century.

Virginia Woolf bought the cottage, for 300, in 1919, as a weekend and holiday retreat. But later decided that Monk’s House at Rodmell was more suited and put it back on the market.

Annie, a retired teacher, is moving to a more easily-managed new home nearby, and has placed the house with Lewes estate agent Wycherley.

Anthony Dicks from the Friends of Lewes said the house was a important building within the town.

He said: ‘We would hope whoever purchases it recognises this is an important part of the Lewes townscape because it’s quite rare to have a windmill within a town, and although it obviously no longer a windmill, it still has the base of the building.

‘It’s also a focal point for people who walk around the town, and quite an attractive place that visitors notice and I hope it can be recognised as such.’

Anthony Dicks from the Friends of Lewes said the house was a important building within the town.

He said: ‘We would hope whoever purchases it recognises this is an important part of the Lewes townscape because it’s quite rare to have a windmill within a town, and although it obviously no longer a windmill, it still has the base of the building.

‘It’s also a focal point for people who walk around the town, and quite an attractive place that visitors notice and I hope it can be recognised as such.’