Law Courts


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Law Courts, High Street


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Statutory Address:
Law Courts, High Street

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Sussex
Lewes (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
TQ 41502 10114


TQ 4110 SW and TQ 4110 SE 9/243 and 10/243

LEWES HIGH STREET(north side) Law Courts

(formerly listed as County Hall)


GV II* County Hall, now law courts. 1808-1812 by John Johnson, extended and converted into courts in later C19. Portland stone with slate roof. Main block framed by slightly projecting wings with recessed wing to right.

Two storeys with mezzanine over first floor. Tall plinth to rusticated ground floor. Deep platband over ground floor. Bracketted cornice to roof with central dormer masked by frame carrying Royal Arms. Seven windows in one-three-one-two rhythm, the two bays to the right a later C19 extension in similar style but set back from the main front. Casement windows in outer bays of main block on second floor, in raised and moulded square surrounds. Three panels in centre with Coade stone plaques of Wisdom, Justice and Mercy, designed by Johnson.

Tall transom and mullion wood-framed windows on first floors in raised and moulded surrounds, those in outer bays with triangular pediments, those in the central three bays with cornice hoods on small brackets over entablatures with rosette decoration. Blank balustraded panels in platband under first floor windows. Single glazing bar sashes with rusticated gauged heads in outer bays. Five bay Doric columnar screen on ground floor of recess, the-central three bays recessed behind, the outer built forward to screen with rusticated walling and single glazing bar sashes on each side.

Three arched doorways to rear in centre with doubled half-glazed doors and large radiating fanlights, separated by attached half-columns. Iron spearhead gates to the three bays of the screen. Steps up to screen from street and also to the doorways behind. Large square glazed lantern hanging from central intercolumniation of screen.

Interior: hall; two large Doric columns supporting entablature acting as screen. Staircase behind hall; single flight stair with cast-iron baluster and wooden rail. Court rooms Nos 1 and 2: basically identical. Mid-late C19 interiors top-lit with coved ceilings and large rectangular area above, all with Italianate decoration. Gallery with balustrade on deep volute brackets. French-influenced back to bench with coved hood to Judge's seat.

See R.F. Dell, The Building of the County Hall, Sussex Archaeological Collections, c, 1962.

Listing NGR: TQ4150210114


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 30 Aug 2006
Reference: IOE01/14648/04
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Michael Parry. Source Historic England Archive
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