50.8738888888890.0088888888888889Koordinaten: 50 ° 52 'N, 0 ° 1' O

Lewes [ luɪs ] is a city in the county of East Sussex in England. The city is the administrative seat of both the county and the district Lewes and has about 16,000 inhabitants.


Lewes is located in the South Downs on the River Ouse 80 km south of London. East of the city, the Downs rise to a large chalk - high bank, which is still recognizable from a distance. The corresponding area is Cliffe, the southern part of the city is called Southover.


The name Lewes comes from the Anglo-Saxon word " Hlew " which means mountain. The city is actually on a big hill. But even at the time of the Romans was here a fortification. 1148 received Lewes King Stephen's Charter of Independence.

In 1246 the Battle of Lewes was Lewes place, in which Simon de Montfort V. King Henry III. and his son, the future King Edward I defeated.

One of the " founding fathers" of the United States, Thomas Paine, was from 1768 tax - collectors in Lewes and lived there at the Bull House from the 15th century. He wrote several petitions to enforce a better payment of the tax - collectors and therefore was removed from his post. In 1774 he emigrated to America and became quickly one of the representatives of the American independence movement.

On December 27, 1836 in Lewes went down an avalanche, when a large snow accumulation triggered at the nearby high bank and rolled down on a number of smaller houses. By this until today heaviest avalanche of England, 15 people were buried, of whom eight died. Today, a pub called The Snowdrop commemorates the event.

The municipality has issued their own banknotes Lewes in September 2008 to strengthen the local economy. The project will run until August 2009 and is the way to make a contribution to climate protection because the Lewes pound could be used only to purchase locally produced products. In the British town of Totnes (Devon) Since March 2008, runs a similar project already.


The Lewes Castle was built soon after the Norman invasion in 1066 under William the Conqueror William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey.

1077 William de Warenne and founded his wife Gundrada the monastery of Lewes. It was the first monastery of Cluny in England. 1537 was Henry VIII destroy the monastery; the ruins can still be seen today.

The Anne of Cleves House is a building that Anne of Cleves was given as part of their divorce settlement in 1540 by Henry VIII. However, it was never inhabited by it. Today it houses a museum dedicated to the history of Lewes ' since the 16th century.

Lewes is especially known for its annual Guy Fawkes Night on November 5. With the celebrations of the discovery of the plot is not meant only to 1605, but also the combustion 17 Protestant martyrs during the persecution of Protestants by Queen Mary I ( 1555-1557 ). Every year on this day several torchlight processions through the city. They are of the so-called Bonfire societies organized ( bonfire is a large outdoor fires ). In Lewes there are six of these companies, each performing its own torchlight. Each of these companies has their own traditional costumes ( from the Tudor dress to Mongol warriors to ). It will always be puppets of Guy Fawkes and Pope Paul V, who was in 1605 head of the Roman Catholic Church, carried through the streets. In addition, each of the Bonfire societies own doll has on a particular topic. 2001 saw a doll that Osama bin Laden should represent, for particular attention to the event in the press. To commemorate the 17 martyrs 17 burning crosses are carried through the town; also finds a wreath at the war memorial in the city center instead. The festivities culminate in five different major fires, in which the puppets are destroyed by firework and flame. Up to 80,000 people find themselves up for the local event.


For the constituency of Lewes Liberal Democrat Norman Baker MP in the House of Commons. He won the seat in the 1997 elections by Conservative Tim Rathbone, who had held it since 1974. In the County Council, the Liberal Democrats also have the majority, the same applies to the advice of the district and the city council.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Gideon Mantell, physician, geologist and paleontologist
  • Virginia Woolf, British novelist and publisher


Lewes is twinned with Blois, France and Waldshut -Tiengen, Baden- Württemberg.