Mat Homewood: The History of the Lewes Workhouse Building, 1868-1960
Mat tells the story of the impressive (and foreboding) Lewes Union Workhouse building, which once stood by De Montfort Road.
Full of fascinating stories, photographs and plans, this talk takes us from the building’s construction in the 1860s, right up its gradual demolition during the 1950s to make way for the Abergavenny Flats.
Mat will look at life in the workhouse and will also delve into the often turbulent lives of the seven workhouse masters, which included heavy drinking, immoral behaviour and insanity.
The talk will cover the building’s brief time as the Female Inebriates’ Reformatory, and reveal various escape attempts made by some of the inmates.
Mat will go on to discuss the building’s conversion to private flats in the 1920s, and its reputation by the 1950s as the ‘black spot of Lewes’. The talk will finish with a look at the plans made to replace the old workhouse with the collection of flats we see there today.
This well-illustrated talk provides a fascinating insight into this significant, but much forgotten Lewes building.
Photo of the flats in the 1950s, courtesy of Dave & Albert ‘Les’ Scott
All are welcome from 7.00pm for free refreshments and updates on the Group’s activities. The talk will begin promptly at 7:30pm and will finish by 9.00pm.
There is an entry fee for these meetings, payable at the door, of £1 for members, and £3 for non-members.
Venue: The King’s Church building on Brooks Road, Lewes, BN7 2BY. (Between Tesco car park and Homebase)
See the Meetings page for a list of forthcoming monthly talks organised by the Lewes History Group.