Pevensey Castle

evensey Castle is located on the south coast of England and had once been a Roman fort. It is where William the Conqueror landed in September 1066 when he invaded the country. Before marching to Hastings William repaired the castle so that it could be defended and used it as a base to regroup his invasion force. After the Conquest William granted the castle to his half-brother Robert, Count of Mortain. The shape of the castle is unlike other Roman forts which are mostly rectangular. Pevensey castle is oval in shape and the walls follow the contours of the high ground it sits upon. Robert built his castle in the south-east corner of the Roman fort and set about repairing the Roman walls which were 20 to 30 feet high and 10 feet in thickness. The castle was repaired and improved to such an extent that it proved to be hard to capture. It stood up to a siege in 1088 by William Rufus when Robert of Mortain and Odo rebelled against the English King and tried to put Rufus' brother Robert, Duke of Normandy on the throne. The castle only fell when the food ran out.

William, Count of Mortain, Robert of Mortain's son, took possession of the castle but when he rebelled against King Henry I he was stripped of the castle.

In 1147 King Stephen laid siege to teh castle when its owner rebelled. As before the castle walls could not be breached and it only fell to the King when the supplies ran out. Pevensey then became the property of the Crown.

Pevensey Castle Key Facts
CountyEast Sussex (7 castles)
DirectionsThe castle is within the village of Pevensey which is about five miles to the north-east of Eastbourne
CategoriesPre Medieval / Stone
RemainsSmall amount survives
Access to siteOnly open at certain times

1088 Apr  Pevensey Castle siege
 William Rufus lay siege to Pevensey Castle where Odo had taken shelter with Robert of Mortain. The siege lasted for six weeks. Robert, the Duke of Normandy, sent a force to support the rebels at Pevensey but they were unable to land because the King had made sure the ports were well guarded. Robert admitted defeat and withdrew his support for the rebels. Odo had little choice, other than that to starve, and surrendered to the King. Odo agreed to go to Rochester where he would convince the rebels to accept William Rufus as the rightful King of England. 
1147   Pevensey Castle siege
 King Stephen leys siege to Pevensey castle and has to wait for the castle's reserves to run out before the castle falls.

Episode: Civil War Stephen and Matilda  
1246   Peter de Savoy granted Pevensey Castle
 Henry III granted Pevensey castle to the Queen's uncle, Peter de Savoy, Earl of Richmond.  
1264   Pevensey Castle siege
 Following the defeat at the Battle of Lewes, Henry III's supporters fled and took refuge in Pevensey Castle. Simon de Montfort's son, laid siege to the castle, but could not take it.

Episode: The Second Barons' War  


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