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Tony Grist

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Pevensey Castle [Mar. 30th, 2016|10:31 am]
Tony Grist
Pevensey is one of many formerly important south coast towns that have been abandoned by the sea. Originally placed on a spur of land with the waves lapping against its walls, Pevensey Castle commanded a natural harbour of interest to would-be invaders. The Romans built a huge fortification here, the Normans- who landed nearby- reused the site- and their castle was added to throughout the Middle Ages. The Saxons massacred a British population gathered within the Roman Walls in 471 AD and there were sieges in 1088, 1174, 1264-5 and 1399. Few English castles have seen quite so much action. As the sea retreated and the inlet turned into what are now the Pevensey Levels the Castle fell into disuse- and the Civil war passed it by.  In the 1940s it  had an anti-tank blockhouse added to its defences, was mounted with machine guns and successively garrisoned by British, Canadian and US troops. Had Hitler ever invaded Southern England Pevensey would have punched back.





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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2016-03-30 10:30 am (UTC)
Is this one still considered motte-and-bailey construction? Fits the plan, but the motte seems a bit lower than some others.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-03-30 10:42 am (UTC)
I'm glad you asked me that.

Pevensey is one of the few Norman castles that wasn't built on the motte and bailey plan. The site was strong enough- built on a peninsula with existing Roman walls- that they didn't need to throw up an artificial mound.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2016-03-30 03:08 pm (UTC)
I'm most glad to receive your reply! I stared at Google satellite imagery and your photos, but feared that maybe I just hadn't looked at enough castles to know how variable they could be. Thanks.

I like this one. There's so much of it still standing.
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2016-03-30 10:36 am (UTC)
Know it very well. Been round the grounds too.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-03-30 10:44 am (UTC)
We had a look inside on this visit. I haven't posted any pictures of the interior because the outside is more photogenic.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2016-03-30 11:46 am (UTC)
Beautiful photos.

So green and peaceful now, after, what, six hundred years...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-03-30 05:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

600 years? I think it's more like 700 since it last saw any serious violence.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2016-03-30 02:04 pm (UTC)
I do love exploring amongst old stones. This one has a long history of use...and it is interesting that they might have used it as recently as WWII if necessary.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-03-30 05:13 pm (UTC)
Pevensey is one of the great sites of English history- and now a backwater. I like that combination of a busy past and peaceful present.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-03-30 05:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2016-03-30 06:41 pm (UTC)
Few English castles have seen quite so much action.

And apparently I am incapable of reading its name without thinking of Kipling.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-03-30 06:59 pm (UTC)
That's not altogether surprising.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2016-03-30 10:32 pm (UTC)
C. S. Lewis, in my case, though the spelling's different.
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