stands at the highest point of Lewes
, East Sussex
on an artificial mound constructed with chalk
blocks. It was originally called Bray Castle.
The first fortification on the site was a wooden keep, later converted to stone. It is unusual for a motte and bailey
construction in that it has two mottes. It is one of only two such remaining in the country, the other being Lincoln
. The Barbican
is a particularly fine example of its type.
It was built in 1069 by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey
, the brother-in-Law of William the Conqueror
. William de Warenne and his descendants also had estates and built castles in Reigate
) and in Yorkshire
and Conisbrough Castle
). When the last of the Warennes John, the 7th Earl
died without issue in 1347, he was buried in Lewes Priory
. His title passed to his nephew Richard Fitzalan
who was also Earl of Arundel.
The castle has been owned by Sussex Past, an operational name for the Sussex Archaeological Society
, since 1846. Tickets are sold from Barbican House which is just opposite the entrance gate, and include access to the Barbican House Museum
of Sussex archaeology and the Town Model, both located there. Barbican House also has a gift shop, bookshop and library for members of the archaeological society. Various events take place at the castle, including two plays annually, children's parties and weddings. It is a prominent feature of the town, situated... Read More