East Sussex
Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

From the heathlands of Ashdown Forest to the rolling hills of the South Downs, East Sussex contains much of archaeological value. Its treasures range from Bronze Age burial mounds and Iron Age hillforts to the Long Man of Wilmington – the origins of which remain an open question. Located near continental Europe, the beaches of East Sussex were always open to attack; the Romano-Britons created their Pevensey fortifications to dissuade raiders, while it was also to East Sussex that William of Normandy led his invasion force in 1066. William subsequently marked the location of the Battle of Hastings with Battle Abbey. Other medieval structures in East Sussex include castles at Hastings, Lewes, and – most impressive of all – Bodiam. The county’s younger heritage sites sometimes bear associations with prominent writers; Bateman’s was the home of Rudyard Kipling, while Lamb House was the residence of both Henry James and E. F. Benson.

Archaeology & History Sites in East Sussex

1066 Battle of Hastings Abbey and Battlefield

The Battle of Hastings was a turning point in English history. The rule by Anglo-Saxon kings was brought to an end as the Norman invader William the Conqueror killed Harold II and seized the throne. William then marked the site of his victory by erecting Battle Abbey, a Benedictine settlement, in part as penance for the slaughter generated by his invasion. The abbey closed during the dissolution of the monasteries. Many of its buildings were either destroyed or converted into a country house. Now owned by English Heritage, both the abbey and battlefield are visitors’ attractions.

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Museums & Art Galleries in East Sussex

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