107.—Walls and Gate, Pevensey.details

[Picture: 107.—Walls and Gate, Pevensey.]
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107.—Walls and Gate, Pevensey.

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Here, as at Richborough, have the Roman galleys anchored; sheltered by the bold promontory of Beachy Head from the south-west gales, and secured from the attacks of pirates by the garrison who guarded those walls. We ascend the cliff from the village, and enter the area within the walls at the opening on the east (Plan 106). The external appearance of the gate by which we enter is shown in Fig. 107. This is held to have been the Prætorian Gate. The external architecture of the gate and of the walls has evidently undergone great alteration since the Roman period. In some parts we have the herring-bone work of the Saxon, and the arch of the Norman; but the Roman has left his mark indelibly on the whole of these external walls, in the regular courses of brick which form the bond of the stone and rubble, which chiefly constitute the mighty mass. The external towers, which are indicated on the plan, are quite solid; some of these have been undermined and have fallen, but others have been carefully buttressed and otherwise repaired in very modern times (Fig. 108). Having passed into the area by the east gate, we cross in the direction of the dotted line to the south-western or Decuman Gate. This is very perfect, having a tower on each side. Going without the walls at this point, and scrambling beneath them to the south, we can well understand how the fort stood proudly above the low shore when the sea almost washed its walls. The ruin on this side is highly picturesque, large masses of the original wall having fallen (Fig. 105). On the north side was a few years since a fragment of a supposed Saxon keep, held to be an addition to the original Roman Castrum (Fig. 109). But the most important and interesting adaptation to another period of the Roman Pevensey is the Norman keep, the form of which is indicated on the Plan 106, at the south-east, and which was evidently fitted upon the original Roman wall so as to form the coast defence on that side. (p. 35)

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