Posted On 1 October 2014
Pevensey, United Kingdom
Pevensey, United Kingdom
FIrst up this morning we spent some time exploring the Eastbourne Pier, which is one of Eastbourne’s most famous sights. It was built in the 1860s and 70s, and the sightseeing tour commentary said it was built so people could go out to sea without getting their feet wet.
It’s about 300 metres long and houses a number of shops and attractions. Sadly the old building closest to the beach was destroyed by a fire a couple of months ago, but they managed to save the rest of the pier and it was reopened last weekend, so we were lucky to be able to see it.
Once we’d looked around the pier, we got on the Hop on Hop off bus to finish off our tour of Eastbourne – today we went east of the pier and back into town again.
Then it was time to continue the family history trail.
Our Dad was a draughtsman in the Royal Engineers Corps, but this wasn’t something I knew growing up. I knew he was good at drawing, a skill that bypassed me, but I didn’t know the use he had put this skill to.
He left a folio of his drawings, which included some drawings of Pevensey Castle near Eastbourne. So we thought it would be nice to go and see the castle for ourselves. We mentioned this to our Aunt yesterday. She’d seen the drawing, and thought it was a good idea, but she did say she didn’t think Dad had ever been there.
No matter, we were going.
Pevensey is a very small town a short bus ride out of Eastbourne. We successfully caught our first English bus.
The castle was originally a Roman fort built in about 290AD and was used by the Normans in around 1066 and they added to the original Roman structure. We heard stories about the castle coming under siege several times, and it was abandoned in the 16th century and fell into disrepair. Its most recent use was in World War II, when the surrounding area was considered to be a potential target area for a German invasion.
One of the pictures that Dad drew was dated 1957, so we think it’s possible he did go to the castle, because he left England for New Zealand in 1957. He could have gone there before he left and done the drawings – or maybe he did them on the boat journey. I guess it doesn’t really matter – we’ve seen the original now, and the drawings are pretty good.
We tried to work out where they might have been done, and take the same photo. We got close but it wasn’t an easy thing to figure out.