SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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all that remains of the city of Anderida, the headquarters of the Roman "Count of the Saxon Shore" and one of the last strongholds of Rome in Britain. The melancholy tale of the overthrow of ancient civilization in this corner of England by the barbarous Saxon invaders is summed up in the terse words of their own chronicle—"They slew all that dwelt therein, nor was there henceforth one Briton left." The name "Andredes Weald" is derived from the British—An tred—"No houses," and it correctly described the surrounding country at the time of the Roman occupation. The great Weald or forest actually extended from the coast to the Thames valley, broken only by the "Old Road" along the side of the North Downs, traversed by far-off ancestors of ours whose feelings as they gazed fearfully down into the depths of the primeval wood must have been on a plane with those of the earliest African explorers in the land of Pygmies. Here were the very real beginnings of those countless tales of Gnome and Fairy—ferocious tribe and gentle tribe—with which our folk-lore abounds.
As to the existence of a British town here before the coming of the Romans nothing is known, but that Pevensey Bay witnessed the landing of Julius Caesar is tolerably certain, and here the custodians of Britain erected a great stronghold of whose walls we shall see the remnants as we first enter the castle. In 490 Ella besieged the city and, as quoted above, put it to fire and sword in effectual fashion; from this period therefore must be dated the foundations of the South Saxon kingdom. After upwards of five hundred years another conqueror appeared on the old Roman wall. On the twenty-eighth September 1066 William I landed, stumbled and fell, and "clutched England with both hands." Pevensey (Peofn's Island) was given to Robert of Mortain, and he it was who built the massive castle of the "Eagle" which we see rising inside the Roman wall. This name arose from the title "Honour of the Eagle" which was given to de Aquila, holder of the fortress under Henry I. After many changes of owners who included Edward I,
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