Adventures in Sussex: Lewes Castle

England expat life travels

Friday found Jon and I both with the day off, so in the interest of doing things that aren’t just eating, we decided to spend our day in Lewes! Lewes is a really adorably quaint town not far from here, home of a Norman castle, the house of one of Henry VIII’s wives (Anne of Cleves), and the famous Harvey’s Brewery. The sun was out, and the wind was crazy, but we were on a mission. Lewes, ahoy!

The castle was originally built in 1066, which just kills me. So old! It was built on an artificial mound at the highest point in Lewes. It’s not as imposing as some castles I’ve seen (like those in the Loire Valley of France), but I think that adds to its charm. Really it’s some not-completely-ruined ruins. But. It’s so much older than most castles. Mind-blowing. I can’t imagine having this in my backyard!

Here we are!

Tiny, winding corridors and the narrowest of steps…

Gorgeous views from the top.

And this is a view of where the Battle of Lewes took place in 1264, right in the middle of the village.

Also, did I mention how windy it was? Because it was intense. Hence this crazy face after my dress flew up for the millionth time. Would have been embarassing if anyone had seen, but thankfully, they did not.

And there are stocks for fun picture-taking opportunities. I also learned that the film trope of people throwing rotten tomatoes at those in the stocks is a false one, as tomatoes didn’t exist in England until a far later time. The more you know!


It’s always nice to add a little fun dress-up to any castle visit.

A good little castle, just 20 minutes from home. Lucky.


For those planning on visiting any time soon, you can get combined tickets for the castle and Anne of Cleves’ House for £9 per person (which also gets you into the little museum next to the castle. And wear comfy shoes-Lewes is on the hilly side! I’ll definitely be going back with some of my summertime visitors in the coming months.

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Sussex: Lewes Castle”

  1. I thought about it, but i didn’t want to give away the surprise when you get to the top of the tower and read it on a plaque!

    1. So that the person defending the castle would be in a position of strength with their right sword-fighting arm available to fight anyone trying to come up the stairs (with the assumption that everyone was right handed). Cool, huh?

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