Thursday 8 October 2020

The Scream

I rather think of this image as being akin to Edvard Munch's "The Scream" only in castle form. It's the  shot many visitors, including us, take of Pevensey Castle, but it is rather dramatic. The other images below show a much more standard view of this medieval castle. It started out as a late Roman fort and the remains can still be seen in the outer wall and it has continued to be used for defending our shores throughout the ensuing centuries. It was built by the Normans and then rebuilt during the 13th century in the form we see today.

Despite periods when it has been allowed to fall into a ruinous state it was repaired during WWII  as a viable base for defending the country against coastal invasion and repaired so that the soldiers could live in the towers. Many of the war related alterations were later removed leaving no trace, but the locals petitioned for some of the features like the pillboxes to be kept in memory of those who'd fought. The pillboxes [no photos as they're currently under scaffolding] were built to blend in and blend in they do. They are covered in stone and flint and if it wasn't for the gun slits you wouldn't notice them! 

As is oft the case at the moment not everywhere was open to us, but there was plenty to keep me happy. This is the remains of the chapel. Apparently castles would normally have a room set aside for this purpose, so having a separate building especially with associated burials is quite unusual. I would imagine that it's the broken font you can see in the middle.

Meanwhile this innocuous looking thing looked all the world to me like a well. Sadly it has a far darker history. It's a type of dungeon which could only be accessed from a hole in the roof and was known as an oubliette. My rusty school girl French remembered oublier as a verb meaning to forget and chillingly it met its brief. Once incarcerated down there you could be abandoned and left to die. 

Please forgive me for inflicting a photo of me scowling at the camera, but I was included to give an idea of the scale. These are trebuchet stones which were found in the moat. One of those could do a lot of damage!

Having thoroughly enjoyed our visit we spent the afternoon admiring the views out across to the Seven Sisters and then a very pleasant walk out along the Cuckmere Haven. I am embarrassed to admit that despite living in Sussex since I was young this is the first time I've spent any time round here. See what I've been missing! It was one of the last really warm afternoons we enjoyed last month.

This was the last bar one of our "holi"days. One final visit to write about will feature next week and then I will have to start scheming again. Hmmmm.......



  1. Ah, this is lovely to see! I do want to go to Pevensey castle- we went to Rye on Saturday and I saw Pevensey on the map. We walked by Camber Castle but it was dark!
    Oubliettes make me think of Labyrinth!

  2. I am trying to imagine the muscle that went in to loading the trebuchet. Those stones are huge!


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 đź’•Ah Tewkesburyđź’• Do you know what...I flipping love this town with all its curios and layers of history. It is entirely down to Mythago an...