KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

An illustrated descriptive guide, to the places mentioned in
the writings of Rudyard Kipling.

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112                   KIPLING'S SUSSEX
and is easily accessible from either town. The whole parish, there is no doubt, was at one time covered with water. In addition to Pevensey being considered the famed Roman Station, it also claimed for its historic importance that it was here William from Normandy landed. The first mention of Pevensey occurs in 792, when, with Hastings and Rotherfield, it was handed over to the Abbey of St. Denis at Paris. Here it was that, some twenty years before the Norman Conquest, Sweyn, the son of the famous Godwin, came to meet his father, and entrapped and murdered his cousin Beorn. It was from Pevensey that William embarked a few months after the invasion to revisit his dominions in Normandy. The Castle was bestowed on the half-brother of William, Robert, Earl of Moreton Cornwall, and he, it is believed, repaired the fortress, and added the Norman buildings. In 1088, William II. besieged the Castle for six weeks, Bishop Odo having taken refuge therein.
Gilbert de Aquila (see Kipling's " Young Men at the Manor ") held the Castle under Henry I., while in 1144 King Stephen laid siege to it, but found it was too strong to be taken by storm. The Castle was also attacked by the young Simon de Montfort, in 1265, and in 1399 it was bravely
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