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Ruins of the Priory of Lewes.


In the foreground are the remains of Lewes Priory, Southover, seen here from the south. Most of the buildings including the Great Church were demolished during the dissolution of the monasteries and what is seen here are the remains. In the 1840s the new railway (seen here with the Brighton train in the middle ground)  cut through the great church dividing the original monastic site into two.  In the background is the town of Lewes dominated by its castle. 


The inscription on the plate reads: "Ruins of the Priory of Lewes..where the remains of Gundrada, daughter of William the Conqueror and her Husband, William de Warren were discovered while digging for the Railway through the Ruins on 28th October 1845." 


Although we now know Gundrada was not the daughter of William the Conqueror as was believed when this print was published, she and her husband,  the Norman baron William de Warenne were co-founders of The Priory of St Pancas, Lewes,  a  Priory of the Order of Cluny. The Priory was  established shortly after the Norman Conquest. In 1085 Gundrada died in childbirth at Castle Acre Priory in Norfolk. Her body was brought back to Lewes and she was buried in the Chapter House of the existing Priory. When a new, larger Priory replaced the older one, her bones were placed in a lead cist under a marble tombstone. The lead cists were dug up when the railway was constructed and funds were raised by committee to build a chapel to house the cists. The chapel at St John the Baptist, Southover can be visited by appointment. 









Ruins of the Priory at Lewes, W. Page - Framed Antique Print

SKU: 1165
  • Image Numbers: 1165
    Title: Ruins of the Priory at Lewes....

    Date: 1846

    Artist: W. Page

    Printer: S. Straker

    Medium: Lithograph

    Framed size (h x w): 

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