Medieval crypt, Church Street
List Entry Summary
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Name: Medieval crypt, Church Street
List entry Number: 1002289
The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: East Sussex
District Type: District Authority
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first scheduled: 23-Jun-1939
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
Legacy System Information
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
UID: ES 111
This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.
List entry Description
Summary of Monument
Medieval undercroft below Crypt Gallery on the east side of Church Street.
Reasons for Designation
A domestic undercroft of the medieval period might comprise three, four or more vaulted bays depending upon the wealth of the owner. They were constructed of stone, fireproof and used for the storage of provisions or items of special value. Placed beneath a house they could thus be kept under close supervision. Although undercrofts are sometimes referred to as cellars, they were not necessarily built entirely below ground level, but, where they are sunken into the ground this can aid their preservation when the house either falls into disuse or is replaced by a later structure, such is the case with the undercroft below The Crypt Gallery. All domestic undercrofts of the medieval period with significant surviving archaeological remains are considered worthy of protection.
The undercroft below The Crypt Gallery, Lewes survives well with some impressive medieval architectural details. It provides an important testament to the early history of Lewes. The monument has high amenity value, as a recreational and educational resource within the town, which adds to its value and importance.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 November 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a medieval undercroft, or vaulted chamber, believed to date to the mid 13th century. It is traditionally known as ‘The Crypt’ and is situated below a modern building called ‘The Crypt Gallery’ on the east side of Church Street, near to a car park. The undercroft is constructed of at least two bays with a vaulted roof with Early English bosses. It is flint-walled and is approximately 8.2m long, 4m wide and 1.7m high. The undercroft is approached by an original stair on the east side with a corbelled roof and there are blocked pointed arches in the north and west walls. It is formerly thought to have been sited below a medieval merchant house or court house. It was originally approached by a painted arch and flight of steps on the north side and a flight of steps in the east wall. An area near the undercroft was excavated in 1993, which recorded the remains of three or four tenements.
East Sussex HER MES1692. NMR TV49NE6. PastScape 469825.
National Grid Reference: TV 48234 98922
The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1002289 .pdf
The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.
This copy shows the entry on 20-Aug-2018 at 07:33:56.
End of official listing