An ancient site

The Black Lion pub

The Black Lion pub looks ancient, but is in fact a reconstruction of part of one of the oldest brewery buildings in the world. Tradition has it that the Black Lion brewery was established in 1546 by Deryk Carver, a Flemish immigrant. Deryk Carver was the first Protestant to be martyred under Mary I. He was burnt in a barrel outside the Star Inn at Lewes in 1555, flinging his Bible into the crowd in defiance.

The brewery, with its 54 foot well, was used by various brewers during the nineteenth and twentieth century, but fell into disuse in 1968 and was demolished. The current pub was built in 1974 as a replica of part of the brewery using many original flints and slates.

Comments about this page

  • I happened upon this pub recently and was looking for a bite to eat. I have to say, the new chef has blown me away – it can’t be easy to be so very very good looking and so really really good at cooking.

    By Rebecca Simpson (15/11/2007)
  • Snuggled between the old Brewery that originally stood here and the building which is now The Cricketers was once a pub called The Brewery Shades, which was owned by my mum and dad, Joyce and Alfred Miller, in the early 60’s.

    By Jelli (18/07/2009)
  • My Great Aunt Mabel Phillips was married to Willie Legendre of Brighton. Willie Legendre ran The Brewery Shades Pub in Black Lion Street sometime around the 1930s. We would love to know more about The Brewery Shades pub and what it looked like. Does anyone have a photo, or heard of Wllie Legendre?

    By Judy Fleming (07/01/2011)
  • The Brewery Shades pub was where the TSB is now. I met my wife there I am pleased to say.

    By Dave (24/03/2011)
  • Thanks very much for the links to the excellent photos of the Brewery Shades Pub in Black Lion Street, Brighton. We really appreciated them, and forwarded them on to our cousins whose Atkins and Philips ancestors lived in Brighton from at least 1844-1907. One of my great aunts was married to Willie Legendre who worked at this pub.

    By Judy Fleming (10/01/2016)
  • Unless Wikipedia be much mistaken (which, I grant, can sometimes happen), Deryk Carver was not by a fairly long chalk the first Protestant burnt under Queen Mary. That dubious honour fell to a clergyman called John Rogers. In a year of intense burning action, Carver apparently came in at no.35.

    By Robert Cohen (11/04/2018)
  • Wasn’t the Black Lion originally called the Deryk Carver? It seems a shame that pubs are frequently renamed, especially when they have an historical significance.

    By Geoffrey Stoner (07/01/2021)
  • What is now the Black Lion pub was the brewery office for the Black Lion Brewery [later Fremlins] which was south of the present pub. The Brewery Shades pub was at 12/13 south of that. Opposite the present pub was the Black Lion malthouse and just down the road was the Thatched House Inn towards the seafront.

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (08/01/2021)

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