Saturday Talk - 11th September: History of Fitzroy House & Library


Doors open at 7pm for a 7:30pm start.


Places are limited. Reserve your seat here.


Refreshments will be available at the bar.


This is a fundraiser even to begin much needed repairs and work to create the Arts Hub for Fitzroy House, one in which it expands to become a place to tell stories through paintings, ceramics, poetry and spoken word,music, film, performing arts and theatre, and collaborations of mixed media.


In the Lewes House Library Story, Anthea Arnold will give an account of how the library came to be built and how the Lewes Library Society became a key part of the Fitzroy story. Anthea already knew Alison Grant when she came to live in Lewes three years ago. She was keen to find out as much as she could about its life when it was a library: the funding by Hannah Rothschild; the building by George Gilbert Scott; the original use of it by the Library Society of Lewes and its life as a public library. The talk covers all these from its donation to the council in 1862 until 1956 when it ceased to be a library.


In Fitzroy House, Rescue and Restoration, Eleanor Austin will take a pictorial 'before and after' look at the restoration and transformation from public library to family home; a first hand account of the rescue of the building by the Franks family.


Fitzroy Memorial Library had been left semi derelict for several years when Jim Franks was commissioned to survey it. One thing led to another and eventually Jim took ownership and the family restoration project began. It took three years to make it habitable, involved family and friends with thousands of hours and became a very special, albeit unusual, family home for 40 years.