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Victorian railway line discovered



A little piece of Lewes’s industrial past was discovered when a team of workman unearthed a stretch of Victorian railway line.

It is believed to be a service line running to and from the town’s once bustling port and busy warehouses. On the Victorian ordinance survey maps the track is shown to be a branch from Lewes Station. The track then leads to a turntable before splitting into four separate lines which run towards the town’s warehouses where the trains would have likely filled their wagons with goods. The line is believed to have been closed as part of the notorious Beeching cuts.

Expert Jim Webster from CBAS,was on site to help analyse the unearthed piece of history. Chris Butler, who runs CBAS, said: “I would have thought they would have been coming to pick up whatever had been dropped off by boats coming up the river. Lewes was always a major trading port going back hundreds of years with boats coming up from Newhaven unloading supplies.I am quite surprised the actual rails are still there. In places where we have done similar surveys you sometimes get the wooden sleepers but the metalwork tends to have been lifted. I suspect it might have been left here because the line was in private ownership.” The track will be removed from the site and recycled to make way for the ongoing Falcon Wharf development.

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© CHRIS BUTLER ARCHAELOGICAL SERVICES LIMITED LAST UPDATED June 26, 2020