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Visiting the Railroad Station at Lewes, East Sussex, England: ornate structure dating from 1857
Syrian arching complements iron canopy pillars
This ornate structure in Lewes, in England's East Sussex, dates from 1857.
The current, multi-coloured brick building replaced a previous edifice built in 1846, which originally opened to serve the London-Brighton route. This building was thoroughly built in 1889, but retains a sense of a Swiss Chalet, which strongly characterized the 1857 structure.
Lines to Eastbourne and Hastings have also been served by the station for many decades, although the extent of the railroad network with which the facility was formerly linked did not survive cutbacks.
Other features include its enclosed courtyard, with a canopy supported by iron pillars, and a turret-like skylight. Over windows, frequent Syrian arching is evident both in the interior and exterior of the building.
Subjectively, the profusion of sandy yellow brick and the interior which is well lit by natural light cause the building to effuse a certain warmness. It is undoubtedly a building which most visitors travel through, rather than to; but the structure's qualities are surely meritorious in their own right! In some ways, this Lewes building is almost an archetypical Victorian railroad station.
Numerous railroad companies, including those influenced by the politically symbiotic waves of nationalization and privatization, have in turn been responsible for the station; naming them all would be a chore! (1) The lesson — if there is one — of the history of this station is maybe: management changes; railroad real estate endures.
February 8, 2013
(1) Or a bore; I am not sure which; I do know that when I would formerly travel regularly through this station, it was hard to keep abreast of the latest management changes, which, however, proved to be profoundly unmemorable as one innovation was seemingly soon swept away by another.
Also worth seeing
In Lewes itself, visitor attractions include its nearly 1000-year old Castle and a number of other old buildings, including churches; Anne of Cleves House, recalling one of Henry VIII's Queens Consort; the town has an annual bonfire festival, against the historical background to the burning at the stake of 17 Protestants during the reign of Mary I, in the 16th century.
Newhaven (distance: 12 kilometres) the Canadian Memorial — which bring remembrance of the disastrous Dieppe Raid in 1942 — in the Downtown area, and Newhaven Fort are visitor attractions at this English Channel ferry port.
How to get there: United Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. (Distance from London Heathrow to Lewes : 111 kilometres.) For access by road, take M23/A23/A27. There are rail links to Lewes from London Victoria railroad station. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada
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