Built / Designed For: William de Warenne
House & Family History: Lewes Castle was built, circa 1080, by William de Warenne, one of William the Conqueror's followers. In the 14th century a barbican was added, which is today the best-preserved part of the Castle. Lewses is one of only two castles in England with two mottes. John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey, died in 1347 without a legitimate heir; thus, the Castle passed to the earls of Arundel. In 1382 a serious riot damaged much of the Castle; most of what remained was stolen as a source of building material. In 1620 the remaining parts of the Castle were demolished and sold. Thomas Friend was granted the Castle in 1733. In 1774 the keep was converted into a summer house. Lewes became the property of the Sussex Archeological Society in the 20th century.
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat of: William de Warenne, 11th century; John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey, 14th century. Richard FitzAlan, 4th Earl of Arundel and 8th Earl of Surrey, 14th century. Thomas Friend, 18th century.
Current Ownership Type: Charity / Nonprofit
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
Ownership Details: Owned by The Sussex Archaelogical Society.