Castles and palacesSights and activitiesPevensey Castle

Price £6.90

The ancient Pevensey Castle is one of the oldest castles in the United Kingdom as it incorporates fortifications from the Roman, Norman and medieval periods.

The castle was built by the Romans (who called it Anderitum) around 290 AD but it fell into ruin shortly after the end of Roman occupation. Pevensey is the spot where the Normans first landed on 28 September 1066 before heading to Hastings and the castle was re-occupied by the Normans in 1066 during the Norman Conquest.

After the Norman Conquest, the Normans divided the old Roman fort into a castle with two fortified enclosures (the inner and outer baileys).

The wall around the outer bailey was built by the Romans and the inner bailey was originally built by the Normans, although what you see today dates mostly from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Pevensey Castle remained occupied up until the 16th century but fell into ruin again until 1925 when it was acquired by the government. It was used in a defensive role again during the Second World War when machine-gun posts were built into the Roman and medieval walls to protect against the threat of a German invasion.

The castle is enclosed by large curtain walls that stand up to 8.2m (27 ft) and are believed to have been 9.5m (31 ft) high when built. The curtain wall is supported by 10 remaining towers and the northern, eastern and western sections of the wall are mostly intact and clearly visible when travelling on the B2191 between Westham and Pevensey.

It is the largest of the nine Saxon shore forts and its walls and towers are the largest of any Roman fort in the region.

Plan on Pevensey Castle in Pevensey, East Sussex
Pevensey Castle in Pevensey, East Sussex

What to see at Pevensey Castle

Although Pevensey Castle is in ruins, it features a new museum and it is an important historical site that is worth visiting for anyone with an interest in British history.

The castle covers quite a large area and you can walk around the site and explore both the inner and outer bailey. The inner bailey is the more interesting part of the castle as the interior of the outer bailey is mostly grass.

The curtain wall and the moat of the inner bailey at Pevensey Castle in Pevensey, East Sussex. (Photo: Prioryman [CC BY 3.0])
The curtain wall and the moat of the inner bailey at Pevensey Castle in Pevensey, East Sussex. (Photo: Prioryman [CC BY 3.0])
The castle dungeon is now home to a museum that has exhibits showing artefacts that have been discovered at the castle. The museum tells the story of the castle’s fascinating history from its beginnings as a Roman Saxon Shore fort to its role in the Second World War.

Visiting Pevensey Castle

Pevensey Castle lies between the villages of Pevensey and Westham. Stagecoach Bus routes 55 and 99 run to Pevensey from Eastbourne (of these two bus routes, bus 55 stops closest to the castle) and both Pevensey & Westham and Pevensey Bay railway stations are within walking distance to the castle (Pevensey Bay is the closer of the two but only by a few minutes’ walk).

Parking is available at a pay and display carpark. Parking costs £2 but you can stay all day.

The admission charge is a little expensive but it does include an audio tour. A children’s version of the audio tour is also available.

The castle is a lovely spot for a picnic and there are several places to eat and drink nearby including the Castle Cottage tea rooms and the Royal Oak & Castle Inn.

As the castle is mostly in ruins, there is not a lot to see here and you can be in and out in half an hour, although you can spend up to two hours here particularly if you follow along with the full audio tour.

Free entry to Pevensey Castle with the English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass

The English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass gives you free entry to Pevensey Castle and over 100 other historic buildings and monuments in England.

We may earn a small commission if you purchase an English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass after clicking this link.

Amenities
  • Parking (paid)
  • Free audio tour
  • Gift shop

There are no comments yet.

Submit your review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Plan your next trip to England with us

Planning a trip to England? englandrover.com is your independent source of travel information with information about how to get around, what to see and do and where to stay on your next trip to England.

Plan your next trip to England with us

Planning a trip to England? englandrover.com is your independent source of travel information with information about how to get around, what to see and do and where to stay on your next trip to England.

The South

The Midlands

The North

Back to England Rover home

Copyright 2018–2022 by BUG Travel Publishing Ltd.

Back to England Rover home

Copyright 2018–2022 BUG Travel Publishing Ltd

Login

Register

Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy.

Already have account?

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.