Lewes Crescent Tunnel and Lodges

If it was good enough for Lewis Carroll to write about then it’s good enough for me; for legend has it that the Lewes Crescent tunnel inspired the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.

Around 1830, a passageway was excavated under the road from the private gardens of the bright white crescent to the esplanade below. A pair of absolutely intriguing two storey Grade II Listed cottages nestle below the pavement on the seafront end of the tunnel. It is in fact possible to see their chimneys as raised sections on the sea wall dead centre of the crescent. The original occupants of the buildings were the estate gardener and the local bobby. A surviving sign on the passageway wall reads, “…it is the duty of the constable to keep the place free from the intrusion of all persons whose appearance seems to justify their exclusion…”. If you’re thinking of having a peek yourself you’re best advised to dress smart!

Two years ago, I was offered the cottages at a fantastic price but was half-way through another project so not able to do anything about it; a typical example of being in the right place at the wrong time and something that I’ll regret for years to come no doubt. The first floors were missing on each one though and from the ground floor it was possible to see the steel supports that hold in place the overhead busy road, Marine Parade. The windows are currently bricked-up but soon won’t be. Planning permission was won in July last year and building work is due to commence – his’n’hers houses perhaps?

The lodges will undoubtedly become the most unusual dwellings in the city. Through the looking-glass, it is hard to imagine what they’ll be like. I’ll see what Alice has to say!