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The remains of a Saxon Shore fort, Norman defences, enclosure castle, 16th century gun emplacement, and World War II defences. Pre-fort occupation was limited in the 1st to 2nd centuries AD, and the stone fort was built in circa 293-300 AD, with military occupation at least until the end of the 4th century. Occupation continued in some form until it was sacked in circa 470 AD by the Saxons. A hiatus of some 100 years appears to have followed, although by the mid 7th century occupation had been re-established within the walls. Covering almost 4ha, the fort survives in the form of substantial ruins and buried remains. It is enclosed by a massive defensive wall which was strengthened by irregularly-spaced, externally projecting semicircular bastions. The Middle and Late Saxon occupation includes a possible royal palace, hinted at by a number of luxury objects found on the site. By the mid 9th century it had become a small fishing port and a centre of salt production. William the Conquerer landed at Pevensey in 1066, and the Norman army are believed to have made use of the Roman fort as one of their first armed camps. After Pevensey was granted to William's half-brother Robert, Count of Mortain, the medieval defences went through 300 years of development and several sieges, culminating in the construction of a stone built enclosure castle within the largely intact walls of the Roman fort. In 1372 the castle was given to John of Gaunt, and was used to imprison James I, King of Scotland. By 1300, the sea had gradually begun to recede from the castle and its military importance declined as a result. It became a Royal gaol but by 1500 the castle fell into disrepair. The threat of the Spanish Armada led to two demi-culverins, or heavy guns, being housed there in 1587. At the outbreak of World War II, after standing as a ruin and robbed for stone, the castle was refortified in May 1940 as an observation and command post. It is now in the care of English Heritage.

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