The Rainbow Inn (Listed Grade II) is an 18th Century Coaching Inn which sits at an old road crossing point at Cooksbridge, just north of Lewes, forming part of a small farmstead which used to refresh the needs of passing travellers on horseback or with horse drawn vehicles. There was also a Rainbow Tavern in High Street Lewes during 1947 (ref Reeves photograph). The adjacent Forge & Blacksmith’s buildings would deal with the normal service items of vehicles while The Rainbow supplied ales and drinks to tired drivers and their passengers.
Diversification is a key aspect of survival in an increasingly competitive market. It appears a key ingredient has been missing here, ie the provision of overnight accommodation, so that The Rainbow can position itself to make the best out of passing trade and accommodate the overflow from Lewes itself as it has done so since the 18th Century. Unfortunately the depressed economy, costs of travelling, reduced trade from drinking & driving has forced the closure of many similar establishments.
The scheme NDA designed was granted Full Listed Building & Planning Approval by Lewes DC providing 7 double bedroom units of Hotel Accommodation in the form of a new courtyard range plus the conversion of an old Stable, Forge & Cart Shed (which are curtilage listed) to 3 further units with associated car parking.