Blaker's Tower

The Priory Tower

The small round tower at the western end of the site was built by John Blaker who lived at 7 Priory Crescent. He owned much of the site south of the railway and in 1847 purchased the Priory site north of the tracks. He built the tower in 1855 and it is shown for the first time on the 1873 Ordnance Survey map. The structure was likely to have been a prospect tower - a popular Victorian landscape feature. In 1860 Blaker obtained permission to construct a tunnel under the railway connecting his land on both sides.

Blaker, who became Town Clerk of the Borough of Lewes, was the son of a Lewes draper. In about 1830 he founded the firm of solicitors which practised at 211 High Street and was later known as Blaker Son & Young. John Blaker retired in 1859. His brother Edgar was also a partner as were Edgar's sons Montague & Reginald. The Sussex Express recorded Blaker's death to have been on 8 April 1864 'after many years of severe suffering'. The note of probate describes him as 'gentleman' and states that his effects were valued at under £1,500.

In front of the tower is new seating for school parties visiting the Priory.

John Lawrence

The Round Tower is included on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest Grade II.

There is a description of the carved stones from the Priory re-used in the tower to be found on the website of the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland.