Marcus Taylor: Gundrada’s Chapel in Southover Church
The unexpected discovery of the bodily remains of Lewes Priory’s founders, Gundrada & William de Warenne, by railway workers in 1845 had at least two tangible and long-term results: the forming of the Sussex Archaeological Society in the following year and the building of a chapel in their memory attached to Southover Church.
The chapel is only 11 feet square, but is packed with historical artefacts and Romanesque architectural details, as well as providing the final resting place for their remains after a 900-year journey.
Only occasionally open to the public, the custodian, Marcus Taylor, will give the background, show photographs of this unique Victorian tribute in stone and explain links to other Cluniac houses in England.
Judy Mackerras: The Turkish Baths
Judy Mackerras has researched the Turkish Baths on Friars Walk and tells its story from 1863 when it was built by subscription to provide public bathing in an age when most homes had no bathrooms nor piped hot water.
However, after only 19 years the baths and subsequently the building has changed hands several times, serving as a second-hand furniture shop, a printing works (twice), part of Clothkits and now, in its latest iteration, a well-being and arts centre.
John Downie: Lewes Clocks
After an introduction to Lewes’ town clocks, including what they were for and why communities paid for these machines, John Downie will focus on Lewes’ older examples, St Thomas a Becket, Cliffe and the Market tower. He will also talk about the range of inner workings.
John says, “Although some of the movements have been replaced by auto rewinding gear, or even by electronics, a few are still wound manually, like the late 19th century clock on St John the Baptist in Southover and the 17th century clock on St Thomas.”
Turkish Baths, Gundrada’s Chapel (image © Trinity Church, Southover), Lewes Clocks
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.