Southdown House, 44 St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes was the family home of the young writer Daisy Ashford from 1889 to 1896. It was built in the early 1870s by Edward Chatfield and was originally called Belle Vue House. The family rented the house and gardens for £80 a year.
Daisy and her sisters had their day nursery in the southwest room on the first floor. They would put on plays here for the family and this was also the room where Daisy wrote ‘The Young Visiters’. They lived at Southdown House until 1896 when they moved to the Wallands, Lewes. There is a plaque beside the front door to commemorate her residence there, which was unveiled by her daughter Mrs Margaret Steel in 1986.
In 1903 Southdown House was purchased by the County Council and was used as premises for the School of Domestic Economy. Later in 1927 it became the County Library Headquarters; the room in which Daisy wrote ‘The Young Visiters’ became the County Librarian’s office. The Library Service moved out in 2002 and Southdown House has since been converted into flats.
Lewes Library has a special collection of Daisy Ashford memorabilia.
Bing maps; Southdown House
Return to; the Daisy Ashford Culture Trail Page
Photo © Dovetail Homes
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