Pevensey and Pevensey BayPevensey in East Sussex is a place where some of the most dramatic events in English history have taken place.
The Romans landed here and later built a fort at Pevensey. This was overthrown by the Saxons. Later still Pevensey Bay was where William the Conqueror landed his troops prior to the Battle of Hastings.
And the Normans in their turn built a strikingly impressive castle at Pevensey to protect their gains.
Pevensey villageThe village of Pevensey still bears many of the signs of its historic past. As well as the various castle ruins, Pevensey contains many fine medieval buildings.
These hint at the wealth and importance of Pevensey as one of the medieval Cinque Ports.
Pevensey Roman FortThe Romans built a Fort at Pevensey in the third century AD to protect Britain from the threat posed by Saxon invaders. They called it Anderitum. Despite its impressive ruins, Pevensey Fort failed to keep the Saxons at bay - it was overthrown and all its occupants butchered.
Pevensey CastleAfter the Norman invasion, Robert, Count of Mortain built a new castle on the site of the Roman fort. You can see the ruins of this Castle today, albeit with some unusual modern modifications.
During the second world war cunningly disguised pill boxes were built into the castle. So Pevensey has been at the frontline of national defence for two thousand years.
The Pevensey LevelsOnce tidal flats washed by the sea each day and exploited by man as salt pans, the levels are now a huge area of reclaimed agricultural land.
Pevensey was built an a spur of higher land which jutted out into the marshy Levels, making the village a virtual island at high tides.
Eventually the Levels were cut off from the sea by the shingle bank which the sea built up along the length of Pevensey Bay, leaving Pevensey high and dry and severely curtailing its maritime activities - except smuggling of course, which continued uninterrupted.
Places of interest around Pevensey BayOther interesting places in and around Pevensey Bay include:
- The Mint House where coins were minted - a sure sign of Pevensey's importance;
- Pevensey Court House and Jail is now a museum which makes the most of its reputation for being haunted;
- St Nicholas Church, Pevensey is an attractive large Norman church. Pevensey Church's size reflects the high status of the borough of Pevensey before it was cut off from the sea;
- The Martello Towers along the coast of Pevensey Bay protecting the East Sussex coast from Napoleonic France;
- The 1066 Country Walk loops through Pevensey.
Pevensey Bay travel notesPevensey has two railway stations called 'Pevensey and Westham' and 'Pevensey Bay'.
By road the A259 connects Pevensey to Bexhill and the northern outskirts of Eastbourne which is the nearest large town.
© East Sussex.org 2008-10.
Sunday January 17