Thursday, 10 December 2015

Lewes Castle

We stayed a night in Lewis, visiting a friend who has moved there from Maidenhead.  I liked Lewes; to start with, it has a brewery, and even better, a castle as well.  Plus, as well as the usual range of chain stores, it has plenty of little artisan shops where people sell things they are enthusiastic about, and where they do their best to enthuse you about them too.

The castle costs money to enter, but is well-signposted and the gardens generally well-managed.  It was built in the time of William the Conk, so there's not too much left of it, but it commands a spectacular view from the tops of the towers that you can climb.  The spiral stairs all go anticlockwise (looking down from the top), to give (right-handed) defenders the advantage.  You could never get away with that these days, of course: the lefties would complain about being "excluded" and demand that a stair of opposite spiral be built.  That this would lead to the defeat of the castle and ruination of the local peasantry would matter not a jot.

I liked this trompe l'oeil painting of spears in one of the castle rooms.  I went in the room and thought "that's a bit daft, leaving metal-tipped spears where schoolkids can get at them", and it wasn't until I was a foot or so away that I spotted my mistake.  The lack of shadow on the leaning spear gives it away to sharper minds than mine.

1 comment:

Tim Trent said...

Never forget the Lewes Avalanche of 1836, the reason behind the name of the Snowdrop Inn.

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