Monday, 25 August 2008


The old town of Lewes in East Sussex has long been dear to us, and is a lovely place for a stroll. Most of the buildings are of brick, including many of black glazed brick like the house in the middle of the row, which gives a smart elegant look.
One of the oldest buildings is a half-timbered bookshop, scene of many hours of happy browsing. One of the window displays currently shows a set of Ronald Searle books, including the original Down With Skool -a joy to those of us of a certain age. Searle also created the St Trinians girls.
Back in the eighties, there was a series of TV programmes on town architecture by the venerable Alec Clifton-Taylor, and Lewes was one of his favourites [brief pause to find if the series is available on DVD - no, there's not, but I've ordered the book]

Bull House proclaims that it was one of the homes of Thomas Paine, the radical writer who wrote Rights of Man and contributed to the American and French Revolutions. The town's brewery sells a bottled ale named after him - what greater accolade....?
In disappointing weather I walked over the South Downs, looking for Red Star Thistles. I failed, but was pleased to find a few Clustered Bellflowers, just an inch or so high in the turf, although they can grow higher in more forgiving sites.

Long-Stalked(?) Cranesbill

Precious few butterflies about, but there were about 10 Speckled Woods in the lee of a stand of trees,
and the season of fungi is upon us.


Mary said...

Love this post! English towns just look so "English"....sorry, but that is the best way I can say it :-) I like the quaint upright buildings and would love to see the upstairs and look out the windows. The bookshop really draws me! I always look for used bookstores anywhere I go. On our one trip to England, I brought back a whole backpack full of books that I can't find here :-) The Thomas Paine connection is interesting....I remember writing a report about him when I was in school. My husband would love to sample the ale and would agree that was the best tribute of all :-) Then you add all these great nature photos, too! Love the fungi...what variety! And the caterpillar! What a nice fuzzy one.

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Enjoyed reading your blog , a place I've been meaning to see , but never have .
Re.Long Stalked Cranesbill , very likely from here , latin name Geranium columbinum , and the flower head looks similar to a columbine flower .
Re. fungi - if any help , would make Inocybe fastigiata and 3rd. Coprinus niveus .

Kingsdowner said...

Thank for the comments - Lewes repays a visit (as indeed do most secondhand bookshops).

Harveys is one of our favourite beers, by the way.

Greenie, thanks for the ID - for my own memory, these translate as Split Fibrecap and Snowy Inkcap.