SMHS walk - the Battle of Lewes

07 Apr 2013

The weekend of the 6th and 7th April was a busy weekend for SMHS. On the Saturday Peter Tyrrell and Stewart Angell were manning the SMHS Stall at the Shoreham Aeromart and on Sunday I was one of an enthusiastic group of walkers who set forth from Lewes Castle for a walk under the leadership of long time SMHS member Richard Shenton, themed on the Battle of Lewes.

Habitually early, I was lucky enough to have time to idle at the wall by the Barbican Gate and watch birds of prey being displayed in the Gun Garden, a treat before the main event.

The Battle of Lewes took place on May 14th 1264. Royalists under Henry III and his son Edward were met by disaffected Barons under Simon de Montfort. Richard's walk took us through modern Lewes and out onto the Downs, our attention was drawn to places and objects of interest, both related to the Battle and otherwise.

Jim, Stewart and David Harvey took some wonderful photos which we hope, in time to add to the website gallery.

Richard had prepared a presentation pack of maps, pictures and information which helped with the Order of Battle and tactics as the Battle unfolded.

I asked a few of my fellow-walkers to let me have a comment about the walk and this is what they had to say….

My wife and I were glad that we went on the walk as it was a good way to discover new places. Having a guide is an invaluable way of appreciating many small (and not so small) points of interest.”

David Harvey

I really enjoyed the afternoon; Richard's knowledge is excellent on the subject.”

Jim Whittington

Following a conversation with Richard at one of our monthly meetings I planted a seed of an idea that he ran with for many months. Richard went away and concentrated his research efforts, gathering enough detail to ensure his walkers would take more than just aching legs away with them by the end. From the start our walk was full of facts and explanation. Supported by carefully chosen maps, diagrams and pictures to ensure everyone got a better understanding of the subject matter. A good walk was had by all; with great company, excellent views and plenty of food for thought about the wealth of military history in Sussex.”

Stewart Angell

Richard gave a highly informative and well-researched view of the Battle. He moved easily between the political background and the action on the ground, thus ensuring a full picture of events. It was particularly interesting to hear what the area looked like at the time, and how de Montfort used the ground to gain advantage.”

Simon Bellamy

So there you have it - beautiful landscape, a charming town, a well-informed guide, some useful exercise, a bunch of really nice people and some true Sussex Military History!


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7.30pm for 8.00pm start
Function Room of the
Royal Oak Public House,
Station Street, Lewes,
East Sussex.

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