LOOKING BACK: Delving into history at Eastbourne pub

Picturesque - The Lamb in the snow
Picturesque - The Lamb in the snow

This week Looking Back takes a wander down Memory Lane along the many photographs that adorn the walls of one of the country’s oldest pubs here in Eastbourne, The Lamb.

The Old Town hostelry is steeped in history and cellars and a crypt beneath the public bar dates back to 1180.

A van was also involved in the crash

A van was also involved in the crash

Downstairs at the Lamb is what is left of the monastic house, a Norman vaulted chamber together with some tunnels leading from the Lamb to the Parsonage by the side of St Mary’s Church.

Keen historian Adrian Carter said, “The Lamb was built as a clergy house as part of the development of the church then called St Michael’s and would have housed the clergy.

“In its early life in 1180/1190 through into the 13th century, it was an almonry, part of a cell which may or may not have been part of the Cluniac Priory of St Pancras.

“Six to 12 monks or clergymen would have 
lived here providing alms to the poor people of Eastbourne who came for handouts.

The day a bus crashed into the historic building

The day a bus crashed into the historic building

“Providing alms meant quite a lot of thronging out on the street and because the monks presumably wanted a safe conduct from their home to the parsonage, tunnels were built which are sadly now collapsed and you can no longer get through. The entrance to the tunnel can be seen.

“And visitors can also see in perfect form the monastic vault, also known as a Norman or Plantagenet vault which is a beautiful thing with stone beams going up to a point with boss work at the very apex which suggests to me a dedication to the family of Curthose, a family of Norman knights who arrived with William the Conqueror in 1066 and were given considerable land in this area.”

The photographs shows the vault as well as the day a bus careered into the pub.

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Natalie Lennol, General Manager, in the vaulted chamber

Natalie Lennol, General Manager, in the vaulted chamber

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The tunnel from the pub leading to the Parsonage by St Mary's Church

The tunnel from the pub leading to the Parsonage by St Mary's Church

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