Parks and Open Spaces
Lewes Town Council owns and manages various parks and open spaces around the town of Lewes.
We own the site of the Priory of St Pancras (Lewes Priory) which has the remains of part of a Cluniac monastery built in the 11 century. The site is leased to Lewes Priory Trust who manage the land and the upstanding remains as both public parkland and an internationally-important historic site. There is a recreation of a monastic herb and kitchen garden within the site and a small orchard comprising rare Sussex varieties. Access to the site is free and it is open all year round. More information is available on the Lewes Priory Trust website.
Lewes Town Council owns the 43 hectares of downland known as Landport Bottom, which is managed under the Environmental Stewardship Scheme.
It is registered with the Battlefield Trust as the site of the Battle of Lewes (1264) and also contains three bronze age tumuli which are a scheduled ancient monument. There is a walking trail documenting key locations from the battle with films accessible via QR codes signposted around the site, or online.
The management of the land is guided by the Landport Bottom Management Plan. There are regular volunteer opportunities to assist with the practical management of the land.
Since the land came into the council’s ownership in 1993, the site is being slowly restored to natural chalk grassland, assisted in season by grazing sheep from nearby Plumpton College. If there is an emergency issue relating to livestock on the site the public need to report, details are as follows:
- Farm manager: Ian Salmon 07917 276321 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shepherd: Paul Coburn 07999 403045
Lewes Town Council is the sole trustee of the Town Brook Trust, which owns the Pells Recreation Ground and Pells Pool. We own the lake and surrounding parkland in our own right and issue annual fishing permits for the lake from the Town Hall.
The Pells Pool is the oldest documented freshwater outdoor lido in the UK and is managed on our behalf by the Pells Pool Community Association. It is open to the public from May to November.
We also own the small woodland area on the bank to the south of Love Lane and various small public assets including some benches, bins, bus shelters, statues and clocks. We work with the Friends of Lewes to manage the many informative plaques attached to buildings or places of interest around the town.
Our Town Ranger is often to be seen out and about in the town, inspecting and otherwise generally looking after these features, and will happily try to answer any questions if you bump into him