Sunday, March 31, 2019


The Queens Head, Icklesham

The village of Icklesham  is situated on the A259 between Hastings and Rye in East Sussex. This historic village stretches along the main road and is bordered by beautiful countryside. The 17th century Queens Head public house overlooks the picturesque Brede Valley and not far away on Hogs Hill is a an old smock windmill used by Sir Paul McCartney as a recording studio. Just a few miles away is the ancient town of Winchelsea and the unspoilt Winchelse Beach. Icklesham is an excellent place to walk and explore the local area with many picturesque walks in the Brede Valley or along peaceful country lanes to Winchelsea and the sea.The 1066 walk from Pevensey to Rye runs through the village. 

Icklesham village was originally called Icoleshamme and was mentioned in 772 AD in a land charter signed by King Offa of Mercia. The Queens Head built in 1632 was originally two dwelling houses for farm workers but it was not until 1831 that ale was sold for the first time. This popular pub has a lovely garden overlooking the Brede Valley and serves excellent food. The attractive 12th century church of St Nicholas sits peacefully a little way from the main road surrounded by trees. 

View from the Queens Head

St Nicholas Church

Windmill on Hogs Hill


Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle is a 14th century moated castle situated in the village of Bodiam near Robertsbridge in East Sussex. This magnificent castle sits peacefully besides the River Rother and is popular with tourists. 

The castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, once a knight of Edward III to defend the area by a possible invasion by the French during the Hundred Years Wars. Sir Edward also used the castle as his family home with inner courts, chambers and toilets. The castle remained in the Dalygrigge family and by marriage the Lewknor family until the 16th century. In 1641, at the start of the English Civil War the castle was sold by Lord Thanet, a descendant of the Lewknor family to pay for fines that were brought against him by the Parliament.

The castle was dismantled and left in ruin until 1829 when it was purchased by John Fuller. John and the two subsequent owners, George Cubitt and Lord Curzon restored the castle reflecting its former glory. In 1925 the castle was donated to the National Trust by Lord Curzon and opened to the public. 

This magnificent castle and grounds is a wonderful place to visit immersing yourself in the history and beauty  of this wonderful place.


Ye Olde Pumphouse, Hastings Old Town

Hastings is a seaside town and fishing port in East Sussex a few miles from Bexhill-on Sea. The town was one of the medieval cinque ports and in the 19th centre became a poplar seaside resort. Today the town is still popular with holiday makers and day-trippers. On a hill above the town centre stands the few remains of Hastings castle and overlooking the Old Town and the fishing boats is the scenic Hastings Country Park.

Hastings from Hastings Country Park


Hastings was originally known as Hastingas and evidence of Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements have been found on both East Hill and West Hill. The Romans began to exploit the iron found in the rocks and shipped it out by boat. The mine at "Beauport Park" was the third largest mine in the Roman Empire. In 771 AD King Offa of Mercia invaded Southern England and gained control of Hastings. After the Norman Conquest a new town developed in the valley and a castle was built on the hill. 

During the Middle Ages Hastings became one of the Cinque Ports. In the 13th and 14th centuries the town suffered greatly. In 1287 half of the castle and much of the town was washed way in the South England Flood and in 1339 and again in 1377 the town was attacked and raided by the French. The town fell into decline and ceased to be a port. Smuggling became popular until after the Napoleonic Wars when the town began to proper and grow becoming one of the most fashionable resorts in Britain. Development took pace to the west of the Old Town and slowly the new town grew and expanded linking with nearby St Leonards-on-Sea. 

During the Victorian era the arrival of the railway and the growth in seaside holidays saw an increase in the population of the town. In the 1930's the town underwent rejuvenation when the promenade and a large swimming pool was built. Today Hastings remain a popular seaside destination with many events  such as "Jack in the Green" and "Hastings Old Town Week" attracting many visitors. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019



Bexhill-on-Sea is a quiet seaside resort in East Sussex between Eastbourne and Hastings. The town is littered with Edwardian and Victorian buildings both in the town and lining the promenade. The De La Warr Pavilion on the seafront was constructed in 1935 and is a centre for contemporary art. it also has an auditorium and has hosted a number of popular music artists. 

Bexhill was originally known as Bexelei and was in a charter granted by King Offa of Mercia in 772 AD. In 771 AD King Offa had defeated the men of :Hastings" and had established a church and religious community in Bexhill. During the Norman Conquest a large amount of Bexhill was destroyed and he manor was given to Robert, Count of Eu by William the Conqueror. The manor was given back to the bishops of Chichester in 1148 and it is thought that at the same time the bishops built the first Manor House. This was replaced in 1250 and fortified in 1447, the remains of which can be seen in the Old Town today. In 1296 a large part of Bexhill became a park for hunting. 

In 1561 Queen Elizabeth I took possession of Bexhill Manor and subsequently gave it to Sir Thomas Sackville, Earl of Dorset. The manor was owned by the Earls of Dorset until the mid 19th century. In 1865 the manor was inherited by Elizabeth Sackville and her husband the 5th Earl De La Warr. Bexhill remained a small rural village until the late 19th century when the 7th Earl De La Warr decided to transform it into an exclusive seaside resort. During the following decades the promenade was constructed and hotels built. Bexhill was transformed into a small seaside town and became a popular holiday destination. The building of the De La Warr Pavilion was championed by Herbrand Edward Dundinald Brassey Sackville, the 9th Earl De La Warr and was opened in 1935. 

This quiet seaside resort is a popular holiday destination and is well known as an attractive retirement town.


Brighton Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion is a magnificent palace in the City of Brighton, East Sussex. The Pavilion was built in 1787 for George, the Prince of Wales as a seaside retreat. The Pavilion was built in the Indo-Saracenic style and extended in 1815. In 1850 Queen Victoria sold the Pavilion to the town and in 1860 the stables were converted into a concert hall. The Pavilion is now a popular tourist attraction and a delight to visit. 

In the mid 1780's George, on the advice of this physicians rented a small lodging house overlooking the sea. The life in Brighton suited George so much that he hired the architect Henry Holland to transform his lodging house into a modest villa, which became known as the Marine Pavilion. In 811 when George became Prince Regent he realised that the Marine Pavilion was not suitable for his style of lavish entertaining. In 1815 he commissioned John Nash to transform the villa into a magnificent oriental palace. George became King  in 1820 and the palace was eventually completed in 1823. Unfortunately he made only two more visits to the Pavilion before his death in 1830.

After the death of George IV  his younger brother William IV and his wife continued to stay at the Pavilion, building more rooms to accommodate their extensive household. William died in 1837 and was succeeded by his niece Victoria. Although Queen Victoria stayed at the Place it did not suit the needs of her and her family and in 1850 she sold the Pavilion to the town. Within a year the Pavilion was open to the public. In 1860 the stables were converted to a concert hall which is now known at the popular Brighton Dome. 

During World War I the Pavilion was used as a hospital for Indian soldiers, becoming damaged and neglected. In 1920 restoration work began which continues until the present day. 

Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavilion


Brighton Seafront

The city of Brighton in East Sussex is a seaside resort on the south coast. This colourful and  vibrant city is packed with narrow lanes and quaint shops and restaurants The seafront stretches along the coast with landmarks such as the marina, the Palace Pier and remains of the West Pier. Set back from the seafront is the impressive Royal Pavilion, built in 1787 as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales who later became the The Prince Regent and king George IV. Neighbouring Hove is the home of Sussex County Cricket Club and Brighton and Hove Albion football club is situated on the outskirts of the city in Falmer. Sitting on the edge of the South Downs Brighton is a popular tourist destination and is the perfect place to explore the surrounding countryside, visit the shops in the lanes and stroll along the beach. 

Settlements have existed in the area dating back to the Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. The ancient settlement of Brighthelmstone was recorded in the Domesday Book. During the Middle Ages the town developed and grew in importance and during the Georgian period became a fashionable seaside resort. The Royal Pavilion was built in the Regency era and the town's popularity continued to grow. During the Victorian era both the West Pier and Brighton Palace pier were built and tourism steadily grew. Today this bustling city by the sea is packed full of things to see and places to visit .

Palace Pier

Friday, March 29, 2019


Anne of Cleeves House

Anne of Cleeves House in Lewes, East Sussex is a 15th century timber-framed Wealden hall house. Although she never visited the property this historic, atmospheric house was part of Anne of Cleeve's annulment settlement from King Henry VIII.

The house is owned by the Sussex Archeological Society and operates as a museum. Many of the rooms have been furnished to resemble  their appearance a the time of Anne's ownership. 


Lewes Priory

Lewes Priory is situated in the county town of Lewes in East Sussex. The priory was founded  between 1078 and 1082 by William de Warenne and his wife Gundrada. The priory, dedicated to St Pancras was built on the site of a Saxon church, also dedicated to St Pancras. The priory belonged to the reformed Benedictine Order of Cluny, based in France and became one of the wealthiest monasteries in England. In 1264 during the Battle of Lewes the priory was occupied by the troops of King Henry III.In 1537 the monastery was dissolved and demolished. Only a small portion remains today.