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Friday 24 June 2016

Pevensey Castle, Voices and Roots.

It's a rather strange day, historically, one where my voice could not be heard, my vote could not given.  So, by way of distraction please join me on a recent trip through historical times.

The remains of Pevensey Castle lie on the East Sussex coast.  In 1066 the Normans, led by William the Conqueror, landed here in Pevensey.  A wooden camp/castle was quickly established around the remains of a Roman stone-built fort.  Three weeks after landing, the Normans marched eastwards and fought the English at the Battle of Hastings, won the battle and the rest is history.  Quite literally.


The Normans built a stone castle on this site after the victory.

More has been added to the castle over the centuries, like the rounded buildings in the castle's keep built in Tudor times.
The castle continued to have many uses over the centuries, including during the Napoleonic wars and during WWII.

Restoration work is being carried out but this Tudor canon is left on view.

In the pathway under the window area is a grille door to an underground Oubliette ("a little forgotten"?!), where prestigious prisoners were held to ransom. 

Here is one of the remaining entrance walls built in Roman times.  Pretty amazing, huh?  A marriage of flint, brick and stone. 

I learned how the original Roman fort was established to repel landing Saxon pirates.
At that time, the fort lay next to the sea.  Over time the sea has receded in the area.

Here's more of the Roman site.  The fort covered a much larger area than the Norman castle.
With apologies for my messy-tourist look, BTW, I was reahlly suffering badly from pollen that day and had lost the will :-(.

Taking in all this information, of Roman occupation, Saxon pirates, Norman conquerers, adding Vikings to the mix and the "ethnic" Picts, Celts and Angles, I stood in the castle grounds and thought of "who I think I am".  Genealogy is only as good as the records that are written, and in the greater scheme of things I had to reply "I haven't a clue".  Pretty humbling.
So maybe in the greater scheme of things, history tells me that who I am is really about where I am right now.

And that was where I left those thoughts, that day, in that ruined castle, on a piece of land we now call England.
The thoughts of a pensioner who just wanted to flop out on a sofa, with a box of tissues, indoors away from the pollen, and close her burning, streaming eyes!

A la perchoine.

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