November 2017


LATEST ON THE TIMELINE : From Bridge Farm to Westham, the untold story of Pevensey School

Fortress Pevensey

Tales from the Timeline
Peter Roper—Kingdom of Sussex Lost
Val Coppard—From Cattle to Cars, a short history of Pevensey Car Park
Carolyn Little—Crumbles Green Coat Murder
Peter Roper—Fortress Pevensey
Frances Brown—Elvers Under the Bridge


FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT : in a series of stories on the timeline, composed by villagers, we present various eye-witness style accounts of aspects of the history of Pevensey written from a contemporaneous point of view. Here, timeline graduate, Peter Roper, takes us back to the dark days of Pevensey in 1940…

Hitler Eyes Pevensey
With the dark and dire threat of invasion hanging over southern England and Germany’s rampant 9th Army waiting rapaciously just across the channel,

Pevensey Bay has been identified by a British Army report as being ‘exceptionally vulnerable’ following the fall of France and the miraculous rescue of our badly mauled expeditionary force from the beaches of Dunkirk.

But little Pevensey is standing defiant in the face of this menace and will not be taken without a fight this time!

The whole area, specifically Pevensey Castle has undergone extensive and complex defensive modifications to combat this first real threat of invasion since the Normans in 1066.

The Roman east gate of Anderida fort has now been completely closed by three great concrete walls, as has the west gate by two ‘baffle’ walls.

The main and postern gates of the inner bailey have also been blocked with concrete and brick transforming the ancient structure into a modern day defensive stronghold.

Forty-eight concrete anti-tank blocks have been placed about the castle’s weaker points, machine gun posts and an anti-tank gun emplacement have all been incorporated sympathetically into the fabric of the old castle walls which now also house a platoon-strength garrison formed by 219th Infantry Brigade of 45th Division and sixty-five men of the 21st Eastbourne Battalion of the Sussex Home Guard.

The area of Pevensey Bay, Pevensey village and Westham, Defence Area 66, has now been officially designated as a ‘fortress.

Pete Roper
Sources : John Goodall, Pevensey Castle (English Heritage Guidebook 1999)
Dot Meades, Pevensey Castle (A Handbook for Teachers, English Heritage 1991)