Wall at Lewes Castle collapses

A portion of the medieval wall at Lewes Castle in southern England collapses on Monday, damaging another building but with no casualties reported.

Reports arrived just after noon local time that a 10 metre by 10 metre section of the curtain wall, weighing an estimated 600 tonnes, had collapsed onto an adjacent commercial building known as the Old Coach House. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service arrived on the scene and spent several hours searching the debris. No casualties have been found.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Incident Commander Matt Lloyd commented, “This has been a very complex and unusual situation which has required co-operation and assistance from a significant number of our partners. We would like to thank all those involved in this incident, and the public for their patience.”

Structural engineers are now on the scene to examine the section, but no cause has been established for the collapse.

The Sussex Archaeological Society, which owns the castle, released this statement:

The sad incident on 11th November of the collapse of a privately owned section of Lewes Castle’s curtain wall has led to the decision to close the Castle on 11th November whilst an inspection of all the walls is carried out. This part of the wall is a separate piece away from main castle structure and is precautionary measure due to the recent incident and adverse weather conditions. The museum remains open and the castle is expected to reopen on 12th November. The parts of the castle owned and cared for by The Sussex Archaeological Society are annually inspected by a third party expert and regularly by staff to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and members of the public.

The first castle was built at Lewes shortly after the Norman Conquest, and the present structure was constructed in thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. For the latest updates, please visit the Sussex Archaeological Society website.

Top Image: Photo of Lewes Castle by Arild Vågen / Wikimedia Commons

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