The Tom Paine Printing Press & Press Gallery

151 High Street Lewes East Sussex BN7 1XU

Part gallery, part shop, part slice of history, the Tom Paine Printing Press & Press Gallery is centred around a replica eighteenth-century-style printing press, which was assembled in Lewes in 2009 to mark the bicentenary of the writer and revolutionary Tom Paine, “Father of the American Revolution”. Paine lived opposite the Tom Paine Press, at Bull House, for six years before moving to America to make his name, and his revolutionary pamphlets would have been printed on a press very like the one here. It’s fascinating to see the press close-up, surrounded by cases of type, frames and other printing paraphernalia; demonstrations can be arranged by appointment. The rest of the tiny room is given up to a great array of striking hand-printed posters (everything from Shakespearean sonnets to a poster proclaiming “Lewes is the Centre of the Cosmos”), pamphlets, cards, Tom Paine mugs, prints from local contemporary printmakers and books about typography.

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