Respecting The Site’s History And Heritage
Lewes has a vast and fascinating history and respecting the heritage of the site is a key element of the North Street Quarter development. We have researched Lewes’s past to shape the future, studying both the existing built environment characteristics, as well as the social and cultural characteristics of the town, from Thomas Paine to the famous bonfire societies.
The Victorian Phoenix Ironworks has also been a key influence on the design of the site. What little remains of the old foundry, which was destroyed by fire several times, will be used in the new site and a permanent exhibition of the remaining artefacts will be on display at the busy health centre by the river.
Some parts of the industrial machinery remain in more recently reconstructed sheds on the estates, such as roof trusses and gantries used in the production of iron. It is intended that these can be retained and reside in public spaces as part of the new fabric, reminding future generations of what was once here, promoting understanding and respect for our social and cultural past.
Using public realm and landscape in a creative way that helps to reinforce this is key. Although they have long since gone, the street patterns which existed around the former ironworks have been re-created in the new designs and some of the intended buildings sited around the new Public Square have been designed to remind us of the past, whilst offering a useful future.