Fitzroy House

+44 (0)1273 476499

inside Fitzroy House

Fitzroy House

Sitting in a prime location in the heart of the County Town of Lewes in East Sussex, Fitzroy House is a beautiful rather forbidding Victorian building abutting the pedestrian shopping precinct. The Tardis from Doctor Who comes to mind; as you walk through the beautiful double oak doors you step into the world of neo-Gothic architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott with an entrance hall full of curved arches and stone pillars, turquoise ceiling and an oak bannistered stairway with Fleur de Lis iron railings. The original tiled floor leads you through double doors into a domed glass-roofed octagonal space with a balcony full of cascading flowers around the entire perimeter, reminiscent of the Globe Theatre or Spanish hacienda piazza if the fountain is in use.

Fitzroy House was built in 1862 on the former site of a large mansion called The Friars on the instruction of Hannah Fitzroy (nee Rothschild) as a Memorial Library in honour of her deceased husband the Right Honourable Sir Henry Fitzroy, a long time MP for Lewes. Hannah commissioned Queen Victoria's favourite architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, (who created the Albert Memorial in London) to design what has been described as “one of the best small Gothic buildings in the country”

In 1897 it was adopted by the town of Lewes as the first public library and remained so until 1956. It was said to have been frequented by Virginia Woolf herself!

After that time it became offices but as gothic buildings fell out of fashion and the country was in recession, it was suggested that the building be demolished as so many around it were. Demolition began but the building was saved and restored by the vision and hard work of the Franks family and friends and the Friends of Lewes.

It became their family home for the next 40 years and in that time a railway via-duct was removed next door, a by-pass for Lewes was built and the road outside Fitzroy was pedestrianised which is now teeming with the life of markets, craft sales, street performers and social gathering.

Now on to the next chapter in the life of this illustrious and gracious gem of a building.......

Fitzroy House - beautiful rather forbidding Victorian building in the heart of the County Town of Lewes in East Sussex

Fitzroy House - beautiful rather forbidding Victorian building in the heart of the County Town of Lewes in East Sussex

Alison Grant Fitzroy House
an event at Fitzroy House

Events at Fitzroy House

We hold many varied and interesting events at Fitzroy House from.....

A Lewes Life
Mrs Dudeney's Diary

Sat 14th September 2019 - starts at 7pm, £12.50
Sun 15th September 2019 - starts at 3pm, £7.00

A play reading by local actors of Mike Turner's dramatization of Mrs Dudeney's Diary from 1916 to 1944, edited by Diana Crook and produced by Alison Grant.

Sat 14th is our Gala performance in aid of the Fitzroy House restoration, which includes a glass of wine.

Contact us for tickets.

event poster
Alison Grant Fitzroy House

How to get to Fitzroy House

By car

From the A27 take the Lewes, East Grinstead, Tunbridge Wells exit onto the A26 at the Southerham Roundabout. Go through the Cuilfail Tunnel and take the first exit left at the roundabout after the tunnel onto Malling Street/A2029. Continue over next roundabout onto Phoenix Causeway and at the traffic lights continue onto Friars Walk B2193. Fitzroy House will be on the left hand side, on the edge of the pedestrianised street and opposite Costa. Short term parking can be found behind Fitzroy House or long stay on North Street.

By Bus

Lewes is well connected to Brighton and Tunbridge Wells by the frequent 28 and 29 bus services. Other local bus services operate to plan your journey visit Traveline website

By train

Lewes is linked by services from London Victoria & London Bridge, Southampton, Ashford and Brighton with connecting services to London Gatwick and Newhaven Port. Fitzroy House is a 0.5 mile walk from the train station. National Rail Enquiries Tel: 08457 48 49 50 (local call rate)

Alison Grant

+44 (0)1273 476499

Fitzroy House

Fitzroy House,Cultural Venues
10 High Street,
Lewes, East Sussex.
United Kingdom, BN7 2AD.

...a beautiful rather forbidding Victorian building
...with amazing architecture
...offering a place to relax and enjoy some culture