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Law Courts

A Grade II* Listed Building in Lewes, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8732 / 50°52'23"N

Longitude: 0.0098 / 0°0'35"E

OS Eastings: 541502

OS Northings: 110114

OS Grid: TQ415101

Mapcode National: GBR KQ2.39R

Mapcode Global: FRA B6XS.MM1

Plus Code: 9F22V2F5+7W

Entry Name: Law Courts

Listing Date: 25 February 1952

Last Amended: 29 October 1985

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1043780

English Heritage Legacy ID: 293225

Location: Lewes, East Sussex, BN7

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes

Civil Parish: Lewes

Built-Up Area: Lewes

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: St John sub-Castro, Lewes

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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

HIGH STREET(north side)
Law Courts

(formerly listed as County Hall)


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

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