Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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330                                 WILLIAM'S LANDING                            chap.
and the other "eyes" on the level, being then islands, as their termination suggests.
There is now no doubt but that Pevensey was the Anderida of the Romans, a city on the borders of the great forest of Anderida that covered the Weald of Sussex—Andreas Weald as it was called by the Saxons. But before the Romans a British stronghold existed here. This, after the Romans left, was attacked by the Saxons, who slew every Briton that they found therein. The Saxons in their turn being discomfited, the Normans built a new castle within the old walls, with Robert de Moreton, half brother of the Conqueror, for its lord. Thus the castle as it now stands is in its outer walls Roman, in its inner, Norman.
Unlike certain other Sussex fortresses, Pevensey has seen work. Of its Roman career we know nothing, except that the inhabitants seem to have dropped a large number of coins, many of which have been dug up. The Saxons, as we have seen, massacred the Britons at Anderida very thoroughly. Later, in 1042, Swane, son of Earl Godwin, swooped on Pevensey's port in the Danish manner and carried off a number of ships. In 1049 Earl Godwin, and another son, Harold, made a second foray, carried off more ships, and fired the town. On September 28, 1066, Pevensey saw a more momentous landing, destined to be fatal to this marauding Harold; for on that day William, Duke of Normandy, soon to become William the Conqueror, alighted from his vessel, accompanied by several hundred Frenchmen in black chain armour. A representation of the landing is one of the designs in the Bayeux tapestry. The embroiderers take no count of William's fall as he stepped ashore, on ground now grazed upon by cattle, an accident deemed unlucky until his ready wit explained, as he rose with sanded fingers, " See, I have seized the land with my hands."
Pevensey's later history included sieges by William Rufus in 1088, when Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, supporter of Robert, was
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