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Lewes Castle

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The Castle

Lewes Castle, located in the south-eastern region of England, towers over the surrounding Saxon town of Lewes, the river Ouse, and the forest of East Sussex. It rests on an artificial mound with blocks of native chalk at its core and, like many castles in Britain, particularly those of motte of bailey construction, it dates back to the Norman Conquest of 1066. The original fortification was named Bray Castle.

Today, the oval shaped bailey has been partially built upon as town development encroaches the castle boundary and damage and decay over the centuries and looting of the castle for building material has left many of the original buildings in ruins. However, evidence does remain of the castle’s two mottes, quite unusual in England. In fact, the only one other example of a double-motte castle to be found in England is Lincoln Castle. The smaller motte, Brack’s Mount, is though to be the first constructed. It is at the northeast end of the bailey and only fragments remain. The larger, in the southwest, is mostly intact. The best-preserved part of the castle is the magnificent barbican, one of the best in England.

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