East Sussex
S side of: Meridian Road
Distance (S) from Greenwich
OS map detailsOS Explorer: 122
OS grid refTQ 40683.10798
WGS84 lat/long50.879559, -0.001620
Marking date1938
Greenwich Meridian Marker; England; East Sussex; Lewes


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08 Nov 1938

Designed by the Borough Architect, Mr CT Butler, this obelisk was erected on the Meridian in October 1938, at the spot indentified by Commander Davenport who had been instrumental in the building of the nearby obelisk on the Meridian at Peacehaven some two years earlier. The bronze inscription tablet along with the armillary sphere that topped the obelisk, were donated by Mr John H Every. The obelisk was unveiled on 8 November 1938 by the Mayor, alderman Ernest T Hall, who, after reading a letter from the Astronomer Royal, Harold Spencer Jones, lowered the Union Jack which had been covering it. He and Councillor Baker, along with Messrs Butler and Stevenson then each placed a screw in position to secure the tablet.

Writing in 1953, GEW Gosnell stated that the bronze tablet at the base was missing. He made no reference to the armillary sphere, but stated instead that there was ‘a metal spike on the top inclined to the true north’. It is not known if the tablet and armillary sphere had been stolen or removed for some other reason. They were clearly replaced either with the originals or replicas. These however were stolen around the end of 2007. In their hurry, the thieves appear to have dislodged the stone onto which the armillary sphere was bolted and sheared one of the bolts holding the tablet. A campaign was organised to replace them. A new 'bronze effect' plaque in plastic (with the same wording), together with a globe in lieu of the armillary sphere were put in place in early 2011. The globe appears to have been modelled on the one on the obelisk at Peacehaven (itself a replacement).

Gosnell, G.E.W. Greenwich Prime Meridian Marks, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 63, pp.104-118 (1953)