Friends of Lewes Projects

The Society carries out projects which help achieve our aims to maintain, preserve and enhance the Lewes townscape. Our current projects are listed below. If you would like more information on any of them, please contact

  • The “Magic Circle” above Castle Ditch Lane – Plans have been prepared for the restoration of this space which was once part of the ornamental garden of Castlegate House, and  included a fountain and stone seating. The Society has succeeded in having the footpath linking Castlegate with Castle Ditch Lane through the Magic Circle formally designated as a right of way, and at a public meeting in September 2017 it shared its plan to reinstate the area  as a place to pause and reflect in pleasant surroundings. Friends of Lewes Statement (Aug 2017). Report of 14.9.17 meeting on Facebook.
  • Historical plaques – six more plaques marking historic features in Lewes were put up by the Town Council in September 2012. The Society has researched and suggested wording for a further five or six which were installed in 2014 by the Town Ranger.  A comprehensive survey of the plaques in Lewes was completed by The Society in June 2013, and updated in June 2017. [pdf, 9.4Mb]. A competition for school children featuring these plaques  ran through the Summer holidays in 2014.
  • Heritage Open Days – The Society has played a key part in ensuring the success of the Heritage Open Days each September, taking on the lead role in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and planning to do the same in 2016.
  • Offham Chalk Pits heritage interpretation board – funded by FoL for the South Downs National Park Authority to celebrate a rare feature of the industrial history and heritage of the Lewes area. The board was unveiled on May 28th 2015 by the CEO of the SDNPA, Trevor Beattie, opposite the Chalk Pit Inn near Offham. More information.
  • Lewes Arboretum – The Society is working to generate a new, sustainable and growing resource for leisure, education and tourism by developing an urban, or town-wide arboretum. More information.
  • Battle of Lewes 750th anniversary – The society contributed £1,000 to the initiative by the Priory Trust to restore the memorial helmet sculpture in the Priory Park, which had been put there 50 years ago. It also contributed £300 to the banners on approach roads in the town to mark the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes in May.  They were created by prisoners in Lewes prison and are shown below in the prison on their completion, but before installation.  This project involved working with several other groups, including Bonfire Societies and, despite difficulties with planning permissions, there is every prospect of the banners returning, hopefully in increased numbers, next year.
    Lewes 750 banners at Lewes Prison 1 Lewes 750 banners at Lewes Prison 2