The Battle of Lewes Story: Bringing 1264 to Life

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Visit Lewes Castle in May and discover what happened at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, plus some of the ways it has been understood in the past. Highlight of the month will be a programme of special talks and discussions.



Daily throughout May.

Activities, trails, displays and exhibitions including the Battle of Lewes Tapestry (May 14 onwards), a battle diorama, battlefield archaeology, photographs and documents. Plus the story of the battle re-told in graphic panels and a chance to examine a garment made using medieval techniques.

Barbican House Museum. 10.00 – 5.30 pm (11.00 – 5.30 pm Suns and Mons).



Sunday May 11 – Thursday May 15.

Drop in for a chat about 1264 with some of our resident experts. Learn about heraldry and discover who fought at the battle. There may even be a chance to try on some armour. Admission to the marquee is free but does not include entry to the rest of the castle site.

Gun Garden, 12 – 4 pm daily.



A series of free lunchtime talks on medieval life. Picnics welcome. Limited places. Booking essential. Tickets will be available after April 1 from or Lewes Castle.

Medieval Marquee, Gun Garden, 1.15 – 1.45 pm

Sunday May 11: The Knights of 1264. With the castle’s Knight in Residence Jon Gunson.

Monday May 12: Lewes  in 1264. With John Bleach. What did the High Street look like in 1264?

Tuesday May 13: Dresses, Decoration and Democracy. With Joanna Wilkins. Life in 13th century England.

Wednesday May 14: Medieval Women. With Louise Wilkinson.

This talk will be by invitation only. Includes a chance to be present at the unveiling of the Battle of Lewes Tapestry and to meet the embroiderers afterwards. Includes cake. Finish time: 3.30 pm.

Thursday May 15: The Victorians and the Battle of Lewes. With Michael Chartier. How have attitudes to the battle changed?


MEDIEVAL NIGHTS in the Medieval Marquee

Includes a series of talks by experts in their field. Limited places. Booking essential. Tickets will be available from or Lewes Castle. Call 01273 486290 for more information.

Monday May 12: The Battle of Lewes: the Context and the Event.

A talk by Professor David Carpenter, a leading expert on the battle. Refreshments available. 7 – 8.30 pm

Buy tickets.

Tuesday May 13: Landport Bottom.

Finds Liaison Officer Stephanie Smith tells the story of Landport Bottom and reveals the results of the recent archaeological survey. 6 – 7.30 pm.

Buy tickets.

Wednesday May 14: Late Night Opening at the Castle.

Soak up the atmosphere on the anniversary of the battle with a twilight view from the keep.Drinks available. Normal admission price. Until 8 pm.

Thursday May 15: Death in Lewes. A Medieval Mystery Solved?

Experts come together to discuss the site of the battle’s epicentre. They will also reveal surprise news about a skeleton uncovered at the site of the medieval hospital of St Nicholas in 1994. 6.30 – 8.30 pm.

Buy tickets



Saturday May 17: The Day of the Battle. Open-air mystery play.

Gun Garden, 10.30 – 11 am.  Free.

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