Music

The Lewes Breviary Project

Of the two thousand books that were once kept in the Priory only one survives. The others were ripped apart and destroyed on the orders of Henry VIII when the Priory was destroyed in 1537. The book that survived is known as the Lewes Breviary. It is a working document and contains all the services and music from the Priory. It is unclear how it escaped the destruction of the 1530s but it turns up in France in 1589, perhaps taken by one of the monks who returned to the Abbey in Cluny after the destruction of the Priory. In the 1930s the book came up for auction in Paris and was bought by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge where it remains to this day.

Lewes Priory Trust worked on an innovative project with the Brighton Early Music Festival Community Choir to bring the Breviary to life and perform the music that had not been heard for nearly 600 years.  The music has been arranged for performance by Resonet (Medieval ensemble from Santiago de Compostela, Spain).