Pevensey Roman Fort

Anderida

Quick Facts

3128 tower at southwest gateWhere

Pevensey, East Sussex

MapWebsite

When

  • Largest of Saxon Shore Forts built around AD 290.
  • Possibly built by Allectus, who declared himself emperor of Britain in AD 293 after assasinating another usurper, Carausius.
  • Emperor Constantius invaded Britain in AD 296 and put an end to Allectus and the revolt, bringing Britannia back into the empire.
  • Part of the chain of Roman forts along the southeast coast that kept out raiding Saxons, Jutes and Angles.
  • After Romans left in early 5th century, a community continued to live here until AD 491 when they were slaughtered by Saxons.
  • William the Conqueror landed here in 1066 and afterwards the Roman fort, which was still intact, became a stronghold for Norman rulers who built a castle within the walls.
  • Elizabeth the First added defences to the castle during the Spanish Armada.
  • Pillboxes were built into the Norman keep ruins during WWII.

What Remains

  • Two-thirds of the fort walls remain at their original height of 30 feet, and enclose 10 acres, making it the largest of the Saxon Shore forts.
  • The fort was unusual because it was more of an oval shape than the usual rectangle. This was probably due to the shape of the raised land it was built upon.
  • D-shaped towers project from the walls at regular intervals. These are a feature of later Roman forts.
  • There are two gates – a large West Gate which was the main entrance, and a smaller arched East Gate.
  • Large Norman Keep and medieval walls within the fort.

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