Priory Park Project

The works to re-open the 11th century remains of Lewes Priory were completed on 26 November 2010

Tracy Anderson

The buildings are no longer locked away behind safety fencing, and there are now pathways, seats, and interpretation boards explaining the rich history of the Priory and its part in Lewes life over the centuries. This is all supported by a carefully-planned education programme for schools and others, allowing access for everyone.

The Heritage Lottery Fund  granted £545,000 and English Heritage £95,000 which, with matching funding, covered the total project cost of over £809,000.

Contractors Kier Longley took control of the site on 7 June 2010. During the works it was closed to public access but visits to see progress were arranged for many of those with a keen interest in the Priory. Among these were the County Archaeologist, representatives of Sussex Past and members of Lewes Archaeological Group. The work was the subject of a watching brief by Archaeology South East and regular inspections were made by English Heritage. The project was handed it back to Lewes Priory Trust on 26 November 2010 on time and on budget. None of this would have been possible without the leadership and tireless efforts over many years of our President (then chairman) Dr John Lawrence MBE. 

The new guide book 'The Priory of St Pancras Lewes - Priory Park' was published in May 2011 together with leaflets on Priory Park and the Herb Garden. Copies are available from Barbican House MuseumAnne of Cleves House, 52 Southover High Street, Lewes and Tourist Information Centre by Lewes Town Hall.