Excavations at Pevensey Castle 1936 to 1964 9781407306292, 9781407321707

This report concentrates on the hitherto unpublished 1936-39 and 1964 excavations at Pevensey (southern England) with re

175 66 45MB

English Pages [173] Year 2009

Report DMCA / Copyright


Polecaj historie

Excavations at Pevensey Castle 1936 to 1964
 9781407306292, 9781407321707

Table of contents :
Front Cover
Title Page
List of Figures
Plates (pp. 145-156)
1. Introduction
2. The Excavations
3. The Landscape
4. The Roman Fortress
5. The Post-Roman Occupation
6. The Coins
7. The Small Finds
8. The Pottery

Citation preview

BAR 503 2009

Excavations at Pevensey Castle 1936 to 1964


Malcolm Lyne

BAR British Series 503 2009 B A R Lyne 503 cover.indd 1

11/12/2009 13:30:09

Excavations at Pevensey Castle 1936 to 1964

Malcolm Lyne

BAR British Series 503 2009

Published in 2016 by BAR Publishing, Oxford BAR British Series 503 Excavations at Pevensey Castle 1936 to 1964 © M Lyne and the Publisher 2009 The author's moral rights under the 1988 UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act are hereby expressly asserted. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied, reproduced, stored, sold, distributed, scanned, saved in any form of digital format or transmitted in any form digitally, without the written permission of the Publisher.

ISBN 9781407306292 paperback ISBN 9781407321707 e-format DOI https://doi.org/10.30861/9781407306292 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library BAR Publishing is the trading name of British Archaeological Reports (Oxford) Ltd. British Archaeological Reports was first incorporated in 1974 to publish the BAR Series, International and British. In 1992 Hadrian Books Ltd became part of the BAR group. This volume was originally published by Archaeopress in conjunction with British Archaeological Reports (Oxford) Ltd / Hadrian Books Ltd, the Series principal publisher, in 2009. This present volume is published by BAR Publishing, 2016.

BAR PUBLISHING BAR titles are available from: BAR Publishing 122 Banbury Rd, Oxford, OX2 7BP, UK E MAIL [email protected] P HONE +44 (0)1865 310431 F AX +44 (0)1865 316916 www.barpublishing.com

Contents Preface





2. 2.1. 2.2. 2.3.

The Excavations The Excavation Records The excavated areas The scheme of the report

2 2 2 4

3. 3.1. 3.2. 3.3.

The Landscape The Environment of the site in Roman times Roman finds from the neighbourhood of Pevensey Castle Communications

6 6 6 6

4. 4.1. 4.2. 4.3. 4.4. 4.5. 4.6.

The Roman Fortress The Documentary Evidence Phase 1. The Pre-Fortress occupation Phases 2, 3 and 4. The Fortress. Introduction The Fortifications Internal Features Discussion

8 8 8 8 9 27 36

5. 5.1. 5.2. 5.3. 5.4.

The Post-Roman Occupation Introduction The Fortifications The Interior of the fort Features post-dating the digging of the castle moat

41 41 43 56 61

6. 6.1. 6.2. 6.3. 6.4. 6.5. 6.6.

The Coins Introduction Method of study The Roman coinage The hoards New coin types Tables

63 63 63 63 65 65 66

7. 7.1. 7.2. 7.3. 7.4. 7.5. 7.6. 7.7. 7.8. 7.9. 7.10. 7.11. 7.12. 7.13.

The Small Finds Introduction Objects of Iron, Copper Alloy and Lead Glass Jet Shale objects Bone objects Slate Fired clay Graffiti Whetstones Querns Chalk spindle whorls Lead tokens

78 78 78 89 91 92 92 92 93 95 95 95 95 95

8. 8.1. 8.2. 8.3. 8.4. 8.5. 8.6.

The Pottery The state of the material Method of study The Roman Pottery The Earlier Saxon Pottery The Saxo-Norman Pottery The Later Medieval Pottery

96 96 96 96 122 124 135




157 i

List of Figures Fig.1: Plan of Pevensey. Fig.2A: The environment of Pevensey in Roman times showing the positions of later Saxon saltproduction mounds. 2B: Communications in Roman times. Fig.3A: Timber lacing emplacements in the top of the Roman wall foundation adjacent to the southwest corner of the medieval castle. 3B: Section through the Roman fort wall on the east side of Drain 3. 3C: Beam emplacements beneath Interval Tower 4. (After Bushe-Fox 1932A). 3D: Beam emplacements beneath Interval Tower 3. (After Salzmann 1907 and Bushe- Fox 1932A). 3E: North face of Interval Tower 11 with section through fort wall immediately adjacent. Fig.4A: Trench XIIIC. East section. 4B: Plan of Roman parapet walk east of Interval Tower 4. Fig.5A: Trenches I and IA. North section. 5B: Section through the Roman road inside the East Gate. 5C: Trench II South section. Fig.6A: Section AA through the Roman and outer medieval ditches south-west of the fort. 6B: Trench VII. Section through the medieval hornwork ditch cutting the Roman fort ditch. 6C: Section VIIIL,N made longitudinally along the Roman ditch and sectioning the stone causeway over its fill with the medieval roads above. 6D: Trench VIIIL. Partial section of Roman ditch, causeway and road at 90 degrees to C. 6E: Plan of Trench VIII complex outside the West Gate. Fig.7: Plan of West Gate showing Roman and later features and the positions of the sections in Trenches IV and V. Fig.8: Sections in Trenches IV and V through the gatehouse and adjacent areas. Fig.9: West Gate façade reconstruction. Fig.10A: Plan of East Gate showing sections through the Roman road. 10B: Internal elevation of the East Gate. 10C: External elevation of the East Gate. Fig.11A: Trench IA North extension. Plan of Phase 2 structures. 11B: “ “ “ “ Plan of Phase 3 structures 11C: “ “ “ “ Plan of Phase 4 structures. 11D: Trenches XIC and D. Plan of Roman structures and Norman ditch. Fig.12: Plan of Trench XIII showing pits and sections through them. Fig.13A: Section at west end of Trench XIII. 13B: Section through Pit 23. 13C: Section on east side of Trench XIIID. 13D: Plan of soakaway in Trench XIIID 13E: Elevation of inner end of Drain 2. Fig.14A: Section on east side of Trenches XA,B and C. 14B: Section on east side of Trench XD. 14C: Plan of Trench XD. Fig.15A: Section on north side of Trench III. 15B: Section on east side of Trench XIV. 15C: Section on north side of Trench IIG. 15D: Section on east side of Trench XE. Fig.16A: Trench VIIIJ. Plan and sections. 16B: Plan of stone causeway outside the West Gate. Fig.17A: Plan of Medieval features outside the West Gate. 17B: Plan of Medieval features inside the East Gate. Fig.18: Trench X. Plan and elevation of dam. Fig.19: Objects of iron, copper alloy and lead. Scale 1:2 except 11 (1:1). Fig.20: “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Fig.21: “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Fig.22: “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Fig.23: “ “ “ “ “ “ “ except 6 (1:1) Fig.24: Objects of glass, jet and shale. Scale 1:2. Fig.25: Objects of bone, slate and fired clay. Scale 1:2. Fig.26: Graffito, whetstones, chalk spindle whorls and cloth bale clips. ii

3 7

10 12 13

17 20 21 23 26

32 34

35 37

45 49 54 55 80 82 84 86 88 90 93 94

Fig.27: Fig.28: Fig.29: Fig.30: Fig.31: Fig.32: Fig.33: Fig.34: Fig.35: Fig.36: Fig.37: Fig.38:

Roman pottery. Groups 1 to 4. Scale 1:4. Roman pottery. Groups 5 to 6. “ Roman pottery. Groups 7 to 9A “ Roman pottery. Groups 9A to 11. Scale 1:4. Roman pottery trading patterns. Miscellaneous Roman pottery. Scale 1:4. Saxo-Norman pottery. Groups 12 to 19. Scale 1:4. Saxo-Norman pottery. Groups 20 to 23. “ Miscellaneous Saxo-Norman pottery “ Saxo-Norman imported wares and Medieval pottery group 24. Scale 1:4. Medieval pottery. Groups 24 to 26. Scale 1:4. Medieval pottery. Group 27 and miscellaneous. Scale 1:4.


104 107 112 114 117 118 128 131 133 139 141 143

Plates (pp. 145-156) Plate 1. Plate 2. Plate 3A. 3B. Plate 4. Plate 5. Plate 6. Plate 7. Plate 8. Plate 9. Plate 10. Plate 11. Plate 12.

Plate 13. Plate 14. Plate 15.

The interior face of the fort wall in Trench XIII. Parapet string-course on the east side of Interval Tower 2. The north side of Interval Tower 11 showing Roman work. Close-up of off-set on inner face of fort wall. View of the foundation of the West Gate gatehouse from the top of Interval Tower 8. Door threshold in rear face of Interval Tower 8 on the south side of the West Gate. View of the East Gate and Medieval road from the interior of the fort. Original Roman entrance facing blocks beneath 11th century refacing on the north side of the East Gate. The Roman fort wall on the south side of Interval Tower 11. Norman wall on the south side of the Roman fort in Trench XIV, overlaying the foundation of the Roman wall in the foreground. Herringbone work refacing on Interval Tower 1. Saxo-Norman occupation deposit over the ruined northern foundation of the Roman gatehouse. Northern half of the West Gate gatehouse foundation looking west towards the northern half of the Late Saxon blocking wall built up against the hollowed south face of the earlier Roman Interval Tower 7. The 13th c. siege pit (Pit 30) cuts the gatehouse foundation in the foreground. Two views of fully-exposed stone-block causeway across the Roman fort ditch fill. View of stone-block causeway showing re-used impost block from West Gate. Late Saxon plinth and quoins on the north side of the interior end of the East Gate.


Preface This report concentrates on the hitherto unpublished 1936-39 and 1964 excavations at Pevensey with re-assessments of some of the findings from earlier work there and could not have been produced without the help of a number of people and institutions. I would firstly like to thank the Sussex Archaeological Society, and in particular Miss Fiona Marsden and Christopher Whittick, for allowing me to write up this long-outstanding excavation report and affording access to many of the surviving finds. The Society also gave me working facilities at Barbican House, Lewes and afforded me every assistance in pursuing the project. I must also thank Professor Cunliffe for allowing me to borrow the bulk of the surviving archive and Professor Fulford for reading the first draft of the text as it was produced and making comments and suggestions for its improvement. English Heritage provided further fragments of archive and permitted me to survey the standing Roman walls of Pevensey. Hastings museum allowed me access to the large quantities of pottery and finds from Salzman’s 1906-08 excavations in their possession and David Gaimster of the British Museum let me work on material stored there from the 1936 and 1938 excavations. The Society of Antiquaries permitted me to examine Harold Sands’ day book from his unpublished 1910 excavations as well as other documents from his and Roach-Smith’s archives. Michael Rhodes kindly supplied me with a list of the locations of the surviving elements of Roach-Smith’s archive relating to Pevensey. Professors Evison, Fulford and Hubener, Joanna Bird, David Gaimster, Nigel MacPherson-Grant, Beth Richardson, Dr Martin Welch, Valerie Rigby, Catherine Johns, Don Bailey, Brenda Dickinson, Mark Redknap, Mark Wood and Blanche Ellis helped me in the identification of some of the more unusual items of pottery, glass and metalwork. I am grateful to these people and all others who gave assistance in the writing of this report. The production of this report was supported by a grant from the Sussex Archaeological Society’s Margary Fund and others from the Robert Kiln Charitable Trust, The Society of Antiquaries and English Heritage. Plates 1,2,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14 and 15 are reproduced with the permission of English Heritage and quotations taken from Harold Sands’ notebook with that of the Society of Antiquaries.




1 Introduction last siege, in 1399, as a semi-ruinous structure. The early 15th century saw the neglected building downgraded to serve as a royal gaol, housing a number of important prisoners (Salzmann 1906).With the advent of the Tudors, the castle was abandoned and plundered for building stone but in 1587, the threat from the Armada led to the throwing up of a breast-work on its south side and the installation of two demi-culverins. Plundering for building stone resumed once the threat had passed and continued well into the 18th century. In 1940, the defensive possibilities of the site were once again recognised and exploited by the installation of camouflaged gun emplacements amongst the ruins and of garrison accommodation in the more habitable portions of the Medieval castle.

Pevensey Castle lies near the eastern end of a long, low peninsula of clay extending deep into the now reclaimed marshlands of Pevensey Levels (TQ644048). The only land access was from the west and by a late Roman road; probably constructed at the same time as the fort (Margary 1948,186). Access by sea was somewhat easier: there were several harbours in the immediate vicinity, including Pevensey Haven immediately to the north and east of the fort (Fig.2A). The earliest substantial structure to be erected on the site, after some limited 1st and 2nd century occupation, was a stone-built coastal fort, occupied from the last years of the 3rd until the late 5th century. By the late 4th century, this fort formed part of the command of the Count of the Saxon Shore and was probably the Anderitum mentioned as being under that command in the Notitia Dignitatum. This document was drawn-up sometime after AD.395: existing 15th and 16th century copies are based on a Carolingian one, now lost. The same source mentions two other units named after Anderitum, which presumably had been transferred to Continental postings before the surviving version of the Notitia was compiled. These units include a Classis or fleet unit, which by AD.395 was based on the River Seine in Paris. It may have taken over part of the function of the Classis Britannica, disbanded during the mid-3rd century.

Antiquarian interest commenced in the mid-19th century with Charles Roach-Smith’s and M.A.Lower’s excavations in 1852 (Roach-Smith 1858). These concentrated on uncovering the West Gate and the North Postern, with a few small trial trenches opened up elsewhere. Louis Salzmann carried out further excavations between 1906 and 1908, putting down a number of long trenches and sondages in the north-west quarter of the fort and investigating the East Gate and North Postern (Salzmann 1907, 1908A, 1908B and 1909). All of this activity was concentrated in the Roman fortress but 1908 saw Harold Sands carrying out some clearance of the Medieval castle keep (Sands 1908). He carried out a further, more extensive, season of excavation in 1910 but the results were never published. The excavation notebook does, however, survive in the Society of Antiquaries’ collections (MS.725 16). When the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works took over responsibility for the site in 1926, they continued Sands’ clearance of the debris in the medieval castle and also removed much of the fill of the moat. Some trenching also took place along the south side of the Roman fortress in 1932 with the aim of plotting the line of a Norman defensive wall there.

Occupation within the fort up until the first years of the 5th century was of a military nature: after this, following on the Roman army’s withdrawal from the British provinces, the site served as a port and place of refuge for the sub-Roman inhabitants of the area. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the sack of Andredesceaster by Aelle’s South Saxons in AD.491 and the killing of all of its inhabitants. This event is now regarded as having taken place twenty years earlier (Morris 1973,40). There may have been a short hiatus in occupation following this event but a community had become re-established within the walls by the middle of the 7th century. There is considerable evidence for Middle and Late Saxon occupation, including imported pottery, glass and other items.

Frank Cottrill excavated for eight months in 1936 within the confines of the Roman fort (Cottrill 1937) and in 1937 Arthur Burgess, the custodian of the castle, scarped and consolidated Cottrill’s Trench XIII against the north wall of the Roman fort: he also carried out tidying-up operations inside the East Gate. B.W.Pearce undertook further excavation outside the West Gate in 1938 and cleared out the southern end of the medieval castle moat in the following year. Further activities were abruptly curtailed by the war and no further excavation, other than limited exploration in 1964 by Stuart Rigold, inside and outside the south-east postern of the medieval castle, took place until 1993-5 when Professor Michael Fulford and a University of Reading team carried out excavations within the medieval keep and on the east side of the Roman fortress (Fulford 1994, 1995).

Domesday Book indicates that Pevensey was a flourishing sea-port by the time of the Norman Conquest. It was the first place in England to be taken by William the Conqueror in 1066 and a castle was constructed immediately afterwards within, and making use of, the ancient walls: this was granted by William to his halfbrother Robert Count of Mortain. The castle was renowned for its great strength and withstood five sieges during the Middle Ages (Peers 1933). During the 14th century, the castle suffered from neglect and maladministration; so much so that it withstood its



2 The Excavations 2.1: The excavation records

Colin Grey, Mrs Mollie Cotton, Misses Margaret Whittey, Ruth Peacock and Delia Parker and Dr and Mrs Kreitmayer.

Of the four seasons of pre-war excavation covered by this report, the records from 1936 are by far the most comprehensive and of a quality exceptional for the period. This can be put down to Frank Cottrill’s singular powers of observation, his outstanding abilities as a draughtsman and his training by Wheeler, for whom he worked on several sites during the 1930s. There is no substitute for an archaeologist writing up his own excavation but, thanks to Cottrill’s record keeping, the present author has found his task somewhat easier than might have otherwise been the case.

Cottrill was set three main objectives: 1. Exposure of the two main gateways and other outstanding features of the Roman fort, with a view to making them permanently visible to the public. 2. Investigation of minor structural features of the Roman fort; of a few of its internal buildings and of subsequent alterations and repairs to them. 3. Determination of the date of the fort’s construction. In keeping with the archaeological practices then prevalent, there was a strong emphasis on long narrow trenches to secure good sections and numerous exploratory ‘key-hole’ sondages. In only five areas (EG, I, II, VIII and XIII) can area stripping be said to have been carried out. Very different methods were applied by B.W.Pearce in 1938-39. Then, the emphasis was much more on improving the appearance of the site to visitors. The area outside the West Gate was stripped and the Roman ditch emptied and consolidated: the fill of the southern part of the castle moat was also dug out.

All of the 1936 site notebooks survive and it seems that most, if not all, of the plans and sections do as well. We do, however, lack a comprehensive, contemporary list so it is uncertain as to whether the few deficiencies are the result of not drawing sections and plans at the time or of subsequent loss. A considerable collection of good quality black and white photographs also survives. Although his finds still exist, no records of any substance survive from Burgess’s tidying up of Cottrill’s excavations in 1937. His few finds were passed to Cottrill in the same year and remained with him until his death in 1984. The limited nature of Burgess’s activities means that the loss of records, assuming that they ever existed, is of no great importance.

Area 1. Inside the East Gate (Fig.1). A series of cuts (Trenches EG, I, IA, B, C, II, IIA, B and C) were made in 1936 immediately inside the gate in order to explore the Roman road leading into the fort and any structures flanking it. The area strip (EG) immediately inside the East Gate located two successive Roman roads overlain by late 4th to 5th century occupation, which was in turn overlain by a medieval cobbled road. Trenches I,IA,B and C to the north and Trenches II,IIA, B and C to the south of the road supplied sections through the primary sandy clay dump backing the fort wall. They also revealed Roman buildings flanking the road to the west of the dump: these buildings appear to have been rebuilt on several occasions.

The state of Pearce’s 1938-39 archive is somewhat more unfortunate: no notebooks or photographs survive, although all of his sections and a few poor quality plans still exist. The archive does, however, include copies of annotated manuscript reports for the 1938 and 1939 seasons, which help to make up for some of these deficiencies. It is clear, however, that the quality of excavation during these later seasons was somewhat inferior to that in 1936. The state of the surviving material from the excavations is dealt with in the introductions to the pottery, small finds and coins reports. Both the archive and finds are now held by English Heritage.

A number of Saxo-Norman rubbish pits were also located, cut through the Roman layers in Trenches I,IA and IC.

2.2: The excavated areas (Fig.1) Area 2. The West Gate. The 1936-39 excavations took place in ten separate areas, both inside and outside the Roman fortress. No further work was carried out inside the medieval castle as this had already been excavated by Harold Sands and the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works. The excavations of 1936 were conducted by Frank Cottrill, under the supervision of J.P.Bushe-Fox for the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works. J.H.Harvey acted as draughtsman and surveyor and C.Foveaux Hayter was responsible for identifying coins and cataloguing pottery and small finds. Excavation recording was carried out by Claude Burton,

This was first investigated by Charles Roach-Smith in 1852. His investigations were somewhat superficial and led to a misinterpretation of the gatehouse plan (RoachSmith 1858,16). The excavation was re-opened by Cottrill in 1936 and revealed the timber-laced gatehouse foundations for the first time, with extra constructional details concerning the internal gatehouse arrangements. The post-Roman defensive arrangements were also elucidated.


Fig.1 Plan of Pevensey.



MALCOLM LYNE Area 3. Outside the West Gate.

Area 7. South-west of the castle moat.

In 1936, a series of trenches were opened up in the area outside the West Gate and further to the south-east. Trenches VIIIA, VII and IX were dug as sections and revealed Roman and Medieval defensive ditch systems. A sequence of sub-Roman silting layers were found in the Roman ditch, overlain by a 5th century causeway constructed of stone blocks derived from the plinth of the Roman West Gate gatehouse. Trench VIIIA was sited in front of Tower 8 and a labyrinth of connecting cuts and sondages (VIII, VIIIB,C,D,G,K,L,N,O,P,Q and R) was opened up to its north-west to explore these ditches and expose the surfaces of a series of metalled roads. Other isolated trenches (VIIIH,J and M) were opened to the east of this complex: Trench VIIIJ located an early 14th century pottery production site.

Six trenches (X,XA,B,C,D and E) were put down for the purpose of exploring the Norman defensive system which replaced the collapsed Roman walling on the south side of the fort and sectioning the later castle moat. Trench X ran east-west across the latter and located the remains of a medieval dam. This was further explored by B.W.Pearce in 1939 when he cleaned out the whole of the southern end of the moat. Trenches XA, B and C to the west were linked together to give a partial section across a late 11th century turf rampart and associated defensive ditch. Trench XE, on the same line to the south, gave a further section across successive tip and slip-lines. Trench XD to the north-west of this line of trenches picked up the stone-revetted inner edge of the earth rampart, sealing 11th century ditches beneath it.

B.W.Pearce lowered the entire area to the south of the West Gate down to the Roman ground surface in 1938, emptying and turfing the sides of the Roman ditch in that area. Further excavation revealed an outer, second Medieval, defensive ditch.

Area 8. South-east of the West-Gate gatehouse. A small trench (XIV) with an extension (XIVA) to its north was dug in order to explore the junction of the broken east end of the collapsed Roman south wall of the fort with the western end of the replacement Norman one. In doing so, some important 5th century deposits were located.

Area 4. The Medieval Moat extension. Trench III, 10.80m. long and sited just north of the public footpath, was dug across the ditch running from the north-west corner of the medieval castle moat to the inner face of Interval Tower 3. It revealed the feature to be later in date than the mid-13th century.

Area 9. Behind Interval Tower 6. A small sondage (Trench XII) was dug against the inner face of the tower in order to obtain dating evidence for the medieval patching of the inner face of the fort wall. In this it was successful.

Area 5. The 11th century ditch. A series of sondages (Trenches IID,E,F and G) continued the line of Trench II to the west. The first three of these produced little of interest but IIG sectioned a small ditch running north-south and cut into the Roman layers. A series of trenches (XI,XIA,B,C, E,F and G) were then opened up along the line of this ditch, tracking it to its junction with the inner face of the Roman fort wall between Interval Towers 1 and 2. Trench X1C also located a Roman building and was enlarged and given an extension (Trench XID).

Area 10. Outside the fort near Interval Tower 4. Trench VI was dug in an abortive endeavour to locate the Roman defensive ditch on the north side of the fort. 2.3: The Scheme of the Report It was decided to arrange this report in a chronological framework according to the principal features encountered, such as defensive walls, ditches, internal occupation etc. rather than indulge in a trench by trench account of discoveries. The report proper commences with an account of the contemporary Roman landscape and comments on the environment of Pevensey in Roman times. This is followed by a list of finds of that period made in the immediate neighbourhood and a discussion of the road communications (Ch.3). After brief sections on documentary evidence and pre-fort occupation, the account of the late Roman fort (Ch.4) is divided into two parts: the fortifications and the internal features. The first part deals with the fort wall, fort ditch, interval towers and fort gates and the second with internal roads and buildings.

Area 6. Against the north wall of the fort. A large trench (XIII) measuring 13.20 by 4.95m. was put down against the inner face of the north wall of the fort between Interval Tower 3 and the collapsed section to its west. It revealed late 3rd to early 4th century occupation and a series of Middle Saxon and Saxo-Norman rubbish pits. This trench was further enlarged and consolidated during 1937 with a view to permanent exposure of the well-preserved lower portion of the inner wall face and is still open today. In the last weeks of the 1936 dig, four more trenches (XIIIA,B,C and D) were opened up over the face of the collapsed wall and running at right-angles to it. Trench XIIID located a stone box-drain (Drain 2) passing through the fort wall foundation.

This section is followed by one on the evidence for 5th century occupation, the Saxon town and the Medieval 4

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 castle (Ch.5). The fabric of the latter’s inner bailey and keep has already been dealt with adequately by Renn (1971) and others: because of this, it is not discussed in any detail. Detailed descriptions, however, have been included of the medieval repairs and modifications to the Roman fort in its new capacity as the outer castle bailey.The rest of the report comprises specialist reports covering coins, small finds and pottery. No environmental samples were taken during the pre-war excavations and very little bone appears to have been kept.

This author has written up new records incorporating information from the bags, sections and notebooks and has numbered layers, postholes, pits and gullies. Use has also been made of Harold Sands’ 1910 site notebook as well as the few records of pre-1936 Ministry of Public Buildings and Works activities, in so far as they relate to Roman discoveries. Opportunity has also been taken to re-assess some of Roach-Smith’s and Salzmann’s findings in the light of more recent advances in knowledge. Eight main phases of occupation have been distinguished, although further chronological subdivision has proved possible in certain trenches:

The bulk of the report is naturally based on the 1936-39 archive with minor modifications. Cottrill’s section drawings are of very fine quality but, because of a lack of a standard system for identifying different types of soil, there is a tendency for hatching methods to vary from drawing to drawing. The present author has traced all prewar plans and sections without alteration other than to rationalise the conventions. Cottrill, in common with most excavators of this period, used a non-numerical system of context recording, describing them on the paper bags containing their pottery content: numbering was restricted to pits.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.


Pre-fort occupation c.AD.43-293 Earliest fort occupation c.AD.293-300+ Early-to-Mid 4th c. fort occupation c.AD.300+-370 c.AD.370-400+ Late 4th c. fort occupation Sub-Roman occupation c.AD.400+-470 Saxo-Norman occupation c.AD.650-1150 Medieval occupation c.AD.1150-1254 Late Medieval occupation c.AD.1254-1500

3 The Landscape 3.1: The Environment of the Site in Roman times.

3.2: Roman finds from the neighbourhood of Pevensey Castle.

Pevensey lies near the eastern end of a long, low peninsula of ill-drained yellow Tunbridge Wells sand, overlain by a thin cap of mottled red Weald clay marking the base of that formation (Lake et al 1987). This peninsula is flanked on all sides, except the western approach, by the now reclaimed marshlands of Pevensey Levels (Fig.2A). The seaward areas of the levels were reclaimed from salt marshes during the medieval period but in Roman times were occupied by a lagoon sheltered behind a long shingle spit similar to Chesil Beach in Dorset and known today as the Crumbles (Fig.2A). This extends north-east from the direction of Eastbourne, becoming progressively attenuated towards Bexhill. Cottrill records a sestertius of Commodus from the beach near Pevensey Bay, suggesting that the feature already existed in some form during the Roman period.

A number of Roman finds have been found in the Pevensey area, indicating occupation both preceding the foundation of and contemporary with the Roman fort (Fig.2A). These are as follows: 1. AE3 coin of the House of Constantine from garden of Pevensey vicarage (Cottrill notebook). 2. AE3 coin of Theodora from garden north-east of Pevensey church (Cottrill notebook). 3. First century hearth found near north-east corner of new extension to Westham churchyard. This had associated potsherds, including an East Sussex Ware omphalos jar base; probably from a large pot of Asham type and a body sherd from a fine pale-grey ?beaker with combed decoration (Burton 1941). 4. First century sherds of East Sussex Ware from south of Gregory Lane, including an everted rim (Ibid.). 5. Sections made across an alleged Roman road by ditch digging between TQ63540460 and TQ63610454. In one place there was a single layer of flints and in another two layers with packing. The road cannot have been more than 2.40m. wide and was on the approximate line of a modern footpath. Traces of the same road were found in excavations in the orchard at TQ635045 in 1959 following on the discovery of two unstratified coins of Diocletian and Maximian at TQ63550460 in a small excavation by C.Burton carried out in 1939 (Sacret 1970). 6. Part of a Roman shale table-top found in1965 (Sacret 1970). 7. Sestertius of Commodus from the beach between Pevensey Bay and Norman’s Bay (Cottrill notebook).

Access to the lagoon by shipping was made through a breach in the shingle bar towards its eastern end. It was the steady eastwards lengthening of the Crumbles which finally blocked access to Pevensey during the 17th century and led to its demise as a port. Various small rivers discharged into the lagoon from the north, west and south-west. The largest of these was the now largely silted up Pevensey Haven which runs east along the north side of the Pevensey peninsula and originally discharged into the former lagoon immediately east of Pevensey village. The disposition of the various land reclamation embankments (Lake et al 1987, Fig.29) suggests that an arm of the lagoon extended along the south side of the Pevensey peninsula as far as Westham, passing close to the south wall of the Roman fort. Changes in sea-level during the post-Roman period may have led to the sea undermining that side of the fort.

3.3. Communications (Figs.2A and 2B). A road running east from Glynde to Pevensey was identified by Margary (1948,186). Lightly constructed, it consisted of a number of very short alignments and would appear from its relationship with other roads to be of late date and probably built to serve the fort. Margary has the road leaving the west gate of the fort on the line of the Sub-Roman causeway across the fort ditch and then by the southern edge of Westham churchyard to a point near the schoolhouse, where it passed along the side of an inlet before making a near 90 degree turn to the northwest (Margary 1948,189).

Inland from Pevensey, the lack of land reclamation embankments other than along the streams suggests that much of this inner portion of the levels had already silted up and become salt-marsh or dry land by natural means before the medieval period (Ibid.). Recent work, involving taking four alluvial cores along the east side of Pevensey Levels, supports this belief in showing no signs of estuarine deposits beneath those formed after inning in the later middle-ages (Moffat 1986). Instead, evidence for sedge/reed fen was found alternating with deposits of wood peat with alder pollen. There does not appear to have been open estuarine conditions since c.1800 BC in the two furthest inland cores and since c.800 BC in the outer two (Ibid.Fig.6). It would seem,therefore, that much of the silting up of the inner levels had taken place well before Roman times.

An un-numbered 1936 trench against the outer end of Tower 7, however, exposed the surface of a road leaving the west gate of the Roman fort with a central drainage gully turning along the line of the present road through Westham, indicating that this follows the Roman line before picking up Margary’s second road alignment in the middle of Westham. Margary’s first alignment west 6

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 of the Roman fort was based on incomplete knowledge of Cottrill’s discovery of the causeway across the Roman fort ditch and the assumption that it was on an earlier Roman road line. His first alignment may, however, be

that of an older trackway disrupted by the building of the fort and re-instated in Sub-Roman times. It was certainly significant in Saxon times and later.

Fig.2A The environment of Pevensey in Roman times showing the positions of later Saxon salt-production mounds. 2B Communications in Roman times.


4 The Roman Fortress Pevensey had formerly had either a split garrison combining a fleet with an army unit or two successive ones of different composition earlier in the 4th century. The naming of the units after the fort indicates that they had either been based there for a long time or had been raised from scratch or by secondment from other units specifically to man the fort.

4.1: The Documentary evidence The Roman fortress at Pevensey is slightly better documented than most other coastal forts in Britain. It is listed in two documents of late Roman date; the Notitia Dignitatum and the Ravenna Cosmography, and is referred to in the various manuscript versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

The transfer of these garrisons to the Continent must have taken place at some time during the mid-late 4th century but not necessarily simultaneously. The transfer of the army unit and its replacement by the Abulci may have taken place c.AD.355 after the suppression of Magnentius’s revolt while the fleet may have been moved to Paris c.AD.370 in the aftermath of the ‘Barbarian Conspiracy’. The evidence for this staged transfer is more fully discussed in the pottery report below (Page 122).

The only contemporary source is the Notitia Dignitatum or Register of Offices, a manuscript of which survived well into the 16th century in the form of a Carolingian copy in the cathedral library of Speyer in Germany. It was copied with various degrees of accuracy before its dismemberment and loss before the end of that century (Rivet and Smith 1979,216). The document is a survey of the administrative structure, both military and civil, of the late Empire and is believed to date from after AD.395. It lists, among other things, forts with garrisons under their respective military commands. Nine such garrisons are listed under the command of the Count of the Saxon Shore in Britain, including one, the Numerus Abulcorum, without an associated fort. One fort, Anderidos, appears as a heading to one of the schematised fort emblems making up the insignia of the Count but is not in the list. Because of this, the conclusion has been drawn that the Numerus Abulcorum was based in that fort, the name of which was omitted by a copyist’s error just as the fort and garrison at Walton in Suffolk was also omitted because it lay at the bottom of a page and was overlooked. This assumed garrison, the Abulci, is described elsewhere by Zosimus (II.54) as being a crack unit of the field army which fought at Mursa on the side of Magnentius: it may have been downgraded to limitanei and sent to Britain as punishment. The Notitia, however, lists a similarlynamed unit in the field army of Gaul (ND,Occ.VII,109).

4.2: Phase 1. The Pre-Fort Occupation In most of the 1936 trenches inside the fort, a pre-fort soil horizon was sealed beneath Phase 2 features such as the primary sandy-clay backing dump of the fort-wall and the earliest mortar floors of buildings. The soil contained abraded pot-sherds, probably from field marling, but there were also larger, fresher pieces. This pottery is dealt with in detail below (p.102). It is predominantly of 1st c. date and was fairly evenly distributed throughout the excavated trenches: no associated structures were encountered. It may be that the focus of occupation was associated with the hearth found in the Westham churchyard extension just west of the fort (Burton 1941). 4.3: Phases 2, 3 and 4. The Fortress: Introduction Pevensey differs from all other coastal forts in Britain in not being polygonal (Fig.1). The walls enclose a pearshaped area of 9.91 acres or 3.67 hectares, making it the largest coastal fort in south-east Britain with the possible exception of Lympne: this latter fort, however, has been much distorted by landslip (Cunliffe 1980). Pevensey’s plan was probably determined by the limited area and awkward shape of the dry and stable ground available (ref. p.38 for an alternative explanation).

There is a further, garbled, reference to an Anderelio in the Ravenna Cosmography; a list of place-names and geographical features compiled from lost Roman sources c.AD.700 by an anonymous cleric in that city for his colleague Odo (Rivet and Smith 1979,185, Richmond and Crawford 1949).

Only one main gate, the West Gate, is known although there is a possibility that another may be encased in medieval masonry on the south-east side of the fort (p.27). The west gate is on the landward side and with its flanking solid U plan towers and deeply-recessed gatehouse is the most formidable and best-designed example surviving from any coastal fort. One major postern gate, the East Gate, and a minor one, the North Postern, are also known. In 1910, Harold Sands trenched for a south postern, recorded by Roach-Smith as being in the fallen south wall of the fort, and disproved its existence.

Anderidos or its more correct form Anderitum is believed, from an Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reference to Andredesceaster, to have been the Roman name for the fort at Pevensey and means the ‘broad ford’. This is an appropriate name for a place situated near the extremity of a long, low peninsula of dry land extending into an area of marshes and lagoons. The Notitia also records a Militum Anderetianorum at Vico Julio (Germersheim in Germany) and a Classis Anderetianorum at Paris. This suggests that the fort at 8

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 The walls were originally reinforced with twelve solid projecting U-plan interval towers and one ?rectangular example. The U-plan towers are clustered at the rounded ends of the fort, with six at each end. Eleven of these towers survive to a greater or lesser degree and a shapeless piece of masonry from the ?rectangular one lies at the foot of the slope on the east side of the medieval castle.

credence to this notion in that such tile was not manufactured after the early 3rd century (Cleere and Crossley 1985,84). Close examination has also shown that a considerable variety of tile types were used in the wall string courses at Pevensey, including some which are clearly unsuitable for such usage. These include tegulae with the flanges removed but are mainly of Pedalis type measuring 0.27 x 0.27 x 0.04m. A few of approximately Lydion size (0.31 x 0.38 x 0.04m.) are present south of Interval Tower 11 and in Interval Tower 3 and there are thick ?Bipedalis tiles (0.54 x 0.065m.) between Interval Towers 8 and 9 and in Interval Tower 3: some Sesquipedalis tiles are also incorporated in the string coursing on the west side of and adjacent to Interval Tower 3 and between Interval Towers 8 and 9. Both Bipedalis and Sesquipedalis tiles were designed for use in hypocausts, to bridge the gaps between and to support the pilae respectively.

The West Gate on the landward side of the Roman fortress was further defended by a V-section ditch, which may have extended around the north and east sides of the castrum but not the south; which was adequately protected by the sea-shore. 4.4: The Fortifications 4.4.1: The Building Materials.

The ceramic tile is in at least two fabrics. The bulk of it, including all of the recognised types listed above, is well fired and oxidised red: the other fabric is badly underfired, with soft black coring and brown surfaces, and has coarse grog filler with occasional crushed cockle shells. Tiles in this fabric are considerably rarer than in the other and restricted to one string course in any section of the fort wall.

These come from a variety of local sources. Fragments of Lower Chalk and quarried flint nodules are used in the wall core and foundation and beach pebbles mixed in its mortar to create a concrete aggregate. The most common stone employed for masonry is Upper Greensand malmstone, almost certainly from the Eastbourne quarries eight kilometres to the south (Stevens 1980,17). It is cut into square or rectangular blocks; small for wall facing and large for that of the plinth: large thin rectangular slab are used in string-courses. Brown ferruginous sandstone blocks are also employed in wall facing and combined with the grey-green Upper Greensand blocks to create a patterned effect. This ferruginous sandstone was recognised by Mantell as being identical to that exposed in a Tunbridge Wells Sand outcrop at Chilley on a small island in the levels just north of Pevensey (Mantell 1833). A similar sandstone used to be quarried at Lusteds (TQ6138041) and south of Westham at TQ63860409 (Lake et al 1987).

This underfired tile looks very much like an emergency stop-gap measure to overcome a hold-up in supply of the more orthodox tile and may all have been produced over a very short period. The string courses made up of it occur at varying heights around the fort perimeter and suggest that the east and south walls of the fort were near completion at the time of its supply, with Interval Tower 11 being particularly well advanced. Construction of the towers flanking the West Gate had progressed little above foundation level and the wall to the north of it as far as and including Tower 4 had not even been started. There is very little tile at all in this stretch of wall and its construction probably belongs to a time when supplies had largely dried up.

Wall-face patterning had a long history in the Western Roman Empire: the Augustan walls of Cologne have particularly complex geometric designs. The practice was revived in the later empire, with the walls of Le Mans exhibiting a particularly-fine example of such decoration on one of its surviving interval towers (Johnson 1979, Fig.65). Designs at Pevensey, as at Richborough, are simple and almost entirely restricted to alternating green and brown sandstone bands or crude chequer-board effects. The most elaborate design is found on the southeast side of the fort to the south of Interval Tower 11, where chocolate-brown clay-ironstone from the Wadhurst and Weald Clays is used in combination with the other stones and tile string-coursing (Plate 8).

4.4.2: The Walls (Fig.1). The Roman fort wall, originally c.800m. long, is still largely intact on the north, west and east sides of the fort. A section on the north side was overthrown during the siege of 1265 and part on the east side of the medieval castle has collapsed since the early 18th century. The wall on the south side is almost entirely missing or displaced due to landslip and the plundering of stone from its remnants for castle repairs during the 14th century (Salzmann 1906).

Late Roman fortifications on the Continent are frequently characterised by the re-use of sculptured architectural fragments from earlier buildings. This practice also occurs in Britain and it is possible that some, if not most, of the tile used in the string courses at Pevensey was salvaged from older buildings, such as the Eastbourne villa. The discovery by Salzmann of a tile fragment bearing a Classis Britannica stamp (1909,87) lends

Salzmann cut right through the wall foundation on the north side of the fort where the superstructure had collapsed (Salzmann 1907,18). He revealed a trench cut 4.20m. wide and 1.50m. deep into the natural mottled yellow clay, with stakes driven vertically into its base. The 1.05m. long stakes were left projecting 0.60m. and



Fig.3A Timber lacing emplacements in the top of the Roman wall foundation adjacent to the south-west corner of the medieval castle. 3B Section through the Roman fort wall on the east side of Drain 3. 3C Beam emplacements beneath Interval Tower 4. (After Bushe-Fox 1932A). 3D Beam emplacements beneath Interval Tower 3. (After Salzmann 1907 and Bushe- Fox 1932A). 3E North face of Interval Tower 11 with section through fort wall immediately adjacent.

then packed around with compact red puddled clay up-to a level flush with their upper ends (Fig.3B).

The stone foundation above the piles consisted of 0.68m. of flints set in puddled chalk in Salzmann’s north wall section,, overlain by 0.22m. of flints set in mortar filling the construction trench to its very top. Although not noted in this section, due to its narrowness and disturbance by the wall collapse, the upper portion of the puddled chalk and flint layer elsewhere had a horizontal framework of timber baulks embedded in it. During the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works excavations in 1932, the voided emplacements for this long-decayed framework were explored at two widely separated points on the wallline. The first of these was on the north wall between Interval Towers 2 and 3 and the second on the west side of the south wall of the medieval castle (Fig.3A). In both places the framework was of identical type, consisting of timber baulks laid in two lines parallel with and set in from the inner and outer wall faces. These rows of baulks were linked by transverse timbers at intervals of 2.80m., creating square compartments diagonally cross-braced with further beams. This arrangement was intended to tie together the wall foundation in a coherent mass, preventing it from buckling and cracking in the soft, clayey subsoil under the very considerable weight of the

An earlier author, Charles Roach-Smith, refers to a cut made through the foundation of the Roman fort wall during the early 18th century at the east end of the medieval castle moat for the purpose of supplying Pevensey village with water. ‘It was found that the wall ten feet in thickness, rested upon a foundation of wooden piles covered with planks of extraordinary substance. These timbers exhibited no signs of decay, and even the leaves of some brushwood which had been thrown in, are said to have been equally well preserved’ (Roach-Smith 1858,22). The unusual state of preservation was due to the moat being fed by a spring, which must have kept the foundation totally waterlogged at this point. The horizontal planking may well have originally covered the piles in Salzmann’s trench but, due to its slightly higher level, had decayed. Vertical piles were also found by Salzmann in a shaft sunk against the outer face of the north wall adjacent to the east side of Interval Tower 3 (Salzmann 1907,20).


EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 wall above. Such timber framing was frequently employed beneath late Roman defensive walls and is also recorded at Portchester and elsewhere (Cunliffe 1975,17).

usually survive above the present ground surface. The build-up of dumped clay in Trench XIII protected it better than in most areas however (Plate 1). Here, the two massive greensand block courses of the plinth are overlain by 20 courses of small, squared, brown sandstone blocks to a height of 2.48m. At this point there is an offset topped by longer rectangular sandstone blocks, reducing the wall thickness to 3.40m. Higher than this are three further courses of sandstone block facing, above which the inner wall face has been destroyed.

The two courses of flints set in mortar over the timber frame constitute the top of the wall foundation and are overlain by a flint and rubble concrete wall plinth, averaging 4.50m. wide at its base and usually faced on both sides by two courses of large squared-greensand blocks. The internal plinth facing is fairly variable in character and was recorded in a number of the 1936 trenches. On the inside of the north wall, in Trenches XIII (Fig.12) and XIIIC, the upper and lower plinth blocks are stepped out from the face of the wall above: the lower course by a mere 0.04m. and the upper one by 0.30m. On the west side of the fort flanking the West Gate, Trenches IV and V revealed that the lower course of blocks projects 0.28m. and the higher has its face flush with that of the wall above. To the south-east of the West Gate in Trench XIV (Fig.16B), the lower blocks project similarly but there is no second course above. Trenches I and II, flanking the East Gate (Figs.5A and C) display yet another arrangement with the plinth virtually absent or reduced to a single course of small 0.10m. thick blocks projecting 0.17m. from the inner wall face where the latter does not rest directly on the surface of the wide, projecting foundation.

Pevensey is unique amongst the British Saxon Shore forts in that its wall is preserved up to parapet-walk height and higher for a short stretch between 15.90m. and 33.20m. east of Interval Tower 4 (Fig.4B). The height of the parapet-walk here is 7.20m. above the base of the plinth and is marked externally by a slightly-projecting greensand slab string-course with bevelled underside. This compares with an approximate parapet height of 9.00m. at Richborough (Cunliffe 1968,245), 6.10m. at Portchester (Cunliffe 1975,13) and 4.57m. at Burgh Castle (Johnson 1983B,10). The wall is also preserved up to parapet and walk-way level on the north side of Interval Tower 11 and has its inner face preserved in section to its complete height, although there is no parapet string-course of greensand slabs. This part of the wall owes its preservation to being re-used as the east wall of the early 12th century Norman castle and having its inner face protected from erosion by the addition of a masonry skin in order to thicken it. This has preserved the full 3.08m. upper thickness of the Roman wall in its surviving 11th century state (Fig.3E, Plate 3A).

The plinth facing on the external face of the fort wall is more consistent in character and takes the form of two stepped courses of large blocks. This arrangement may be due to the fact that the feature was always visible above ground level, whereas the internal plinth was usually masked by the sand and clay from the wall foundation trench thrown up against the back of the wall.

The lower portion of the wall at this point is obscured by debris but there is an internal offset of 0.15m. width at 3.00m. below the parapet (Plate 3B). Assuming these offsets to have maintained a fairly constant height around the wall circuit, there would have been two of them fairly close together at 2.88 and 4.20m. above the base of the plinth near the mid point of the wall’s height; collectively reducing its thickness from 3.70 to 3.08m. (Fig.3B).

The main body of the wall above its plinth (Fig.3B) averages 3.70m. thick at its base. The core consists of a continuation of the flint and chalk rubble set in pebbly white mortar and is faced externally by courses of small, rectangular greensand, brown sandstone and ironstone blocks set in hard weather-resistant pink mortar containing crushed tile. There are horizontal stringcourses of laid tile, greensand slabs or Horsham stone at intervals up the outer face of the fort wall. These penetrate deeper into the wall, binding the core and facing together and acting as levelling courses.

The fort walls were built by construction gangs working on sections of varying length. Some of the boundaries between these lengths are revealed by vertical subsidence cracks and can be seen on the plan (Fig.1). Others are revealed by abrupt changes in materials used for stringcoursing and facing blocks, but by and large the division boundaries are not obtrusive. There are, however, two glaring exceptions to this rule. The first of these is on the east side of Interval Tower 4, where the construction techniques and materials used in the first two gang sections are greatly at variance with those of their neighbours. Interval Tower 4 is not bonded into the wall on its east and this latter employs very large and thin Horsham stone sheets for string-coursing. Such material is not found anywhere else on the wall circuit except in the section immediately to the east, where it crops up near the top below the parapet.

The wall was raised a course at a time by laying the facing blocks first, creating a trough in the middle. This was then filled with loose rubble, which had liquid mortar poured over it to create the concrete core of the wall. The top was then levelled off and the process repeated over and over until the desired wall height was reached. This construction method created a weakness in the finished structure in that there was a tendency for it to shear along the bedding-planes formed between the various layers of concrete core. The fallen part of the north wall provides a graphic example of this phenomenon (Fig.1). The interior face of the wall has suffered far more from the ravages of time than the external one and does not 11


Fig.4A Trench XIIIC. East section. 4B Plan of Roman parapet walk east of Interval Tower 4.

The more westerly of these two anomalous gang sections is separated from its neighbour on the east by a rather ragged vertical crack with Drain 3 on its west side: some of the stone blocks on the east side of this crack are broken off. It would appear that that the two anomalous gang sections are a later Roman plugging of a breach in the fort wall accompanied by repairs to the upper portion of the gang section on the east. The evidence from Salzmann’s excavation at the inner end of Drain 3 suggests a Constantinian date for this activity (Page 150).

The surviving length of parapet walk on the north wall of the fortress coincides with that of the easternmost of the two anomalous stretches of fort walling east of Interval Tower 4 and was surveyed in plan by Cottrill in 1936 (Fig.4B). The lower part of the parapet wall, 0.60m. thick, survives for the full length of the work gang section but has been almost entirely re-faced with coursed flint rubble. On the interior facing of this wall and in the surface of the surviving narrow strip of parapet walk are signs of the former existence of 0.55m. wide transverse walls dividing the walk into a series of at least four compartments, each of which would originally have had an internal width of 1.95m.

The second anomalous length of walling lies on the north-west side of Interval Tower 1. There is a ragged vertical subsidence crack 2.00m. out from the interval tower but the true work-gang boundary lies 4.00m. further on. At this point, three tile string-courses come to an abrupt end but, whereas in other sectors of the wall they would be replaced by long greensand slab equivalents, here they actually terminate. The new greensand slab string-courses are at different levels and only two in number. The uppermost one is unusual in that, after two initial greensand slabs, it consists entirely of blocks of friable black shale of uncertain origin: there are other slabs and blocks of the same material employed decoratively in the face of the wall at a lower level. At the junction of this wall section with Interval Tower 2 there is a vertical crack with no attempt to bond in the two.

The interior surface of the parapet wall of these compartments or cells is faced with coursed small flints in a manner similar to that of the external face at this height. The cross walls seem to have been deliberately removed at some time and their scars roughly covered up with larger, more irregular flintwork. These structures on top of the parapet walk were clearly constructed before the massive erosion of the interior face of the fort wall took place. It is known from Trench XII (p.44) that the eroded inner face of the fort wall was re-faced with flint before or at the beginning of the 12th century. This suggests that we may be dealing with a removed Roman feature. It may be that what we have here is the foundation of a short length of arcaded gallery; in effect an elongated interval tower inserted into the wall line 12

Fig.5A Trenches I and IA. North section. 5B Section through the Roman road inside the East Gate. 5C Trench II South section.



MALCOLM LYNE during the early 4th century at the same time as the length of wall below. Such a gallery, on a much larger scale, was added by Maxentius to the walls of Rome west of the Porta Appia in c.AD.310-12 and provided flanking cover for that gate through a series of large window openings; one to each section of the arcade (Baatz 1983, Fig.123).

This was almost certainly derived from fort-ditch digging and gave the internal bank a total height of 1.20+m. and a width of 9.00m. in Trench II (Figs.5A and C). What this indicates is that the fort ditch or ditches were dug at the same time as the fort was constructed and not added later. Portchester was surrounded by a double ditch system and the sections through the bank backing on to its wall suggest that it was added piecemeal at a later date. This Portchester bank was divided by the excavator into lower, middle and upper clay banks separated by layers of occupation (Cunliffe 1975,38-48). The excavator thought that the lower bank was derived from the wall foundation trench: this suggests that the upper two bank deposits were derived from the digging of the ditches: one in c.AD.325 and the other in c.AD.345. The homogenous nature of the clay dump behind the fort wall at Richborough (Cunliffe 1968,Fig.12) indicates that the ditches were a primary feature there, as at Pevensey.

An alternative and more likely explanation for these cross walls at Pevensey is that they are from ‘Gamma’ merlons (Bidwell et al. 1988, 204-7). Such merlons had return walls at one end, extending inwards part way across the parapet walk to give them an L plan. They were designed to protect the backs of defending soldiers and evidence for their use in Roman forts comes in the form of L shaped stone merlon caps from the German frontier forts of Weisbaden, Heddernheim, Stockstadt and LutzelWeisbelsbach (Ibid., Fig.7.17.1). 4.4.3: The Clay Dump backing the Fort Wall. Against the rear of the fort wall is a low sand and clay dump. This was sectioned at several points in 1936 and is similar to examples inside the walls of Portchester and Richborough. The only complete sections through this feature were made by Trenches I/IA and II (Figs.5A and C) north and south of the East Gate respectively. The stratification of the dump in both of these trenches was very similar although its relationship with the wall in Trench I had been largely destroyed by the digging of medieval Pit 3 and by Salzmann’s trench across the inside of the East Gate.

The situation was slightly different on the north side of the Pevensey fort. Because the fortress had been constructed on the top of a low east-west ridge, the wall on that side had been built running along the bottom of a gentle slope. Salzmann’s sections (1907,4) indicate that the dumped clay was used here to fill up the hollow formed between the hill slope and the rear face of the wall to provide a horizontal surface for the building of internal structures. A series of at least three box-drains were put through the wall plinth on this side to discharge water seeping along the line of the buried hill slope and ponding up against the inner face of the wall. Surface water was also discharged into these drains through soakaway pits.

A thin, discontinuous spread of dumped turf and top soil up-to 0.20m. thick lay on top of the pre-fort soil horizon in a ragged north-south strip between 3.50 and 6.00m. inside the wall-line (Layers I.7 and E.G.7). This appears to be material dumped when the wall construction trench was first marked out and topsoiled and was absent from Trench II. The layer contained a little comminuted and abraded Early Roman pottery.

The rampart bank was partially sectioned in 1936 at three points along the north side of the fort. In Trenches XIIIC and D, the wall-foundation trench was considerably wider internally than the wall itself; the inner edge projecting 1.05m. from the wall in XIIID and 0.90m. in XIIIC (Fig.4A). In both of these sections the rammed chalk wall foundation itself projected between 0.50 and 0.70m. from the wall plinth.

When the wall had reached a height of three or four courses on its interior face, the sub-soil removed when its foundation trench was dug, and which had been piled up on top of the dumped turf and topsoil, was pushed up against its face as a low bank. In Trench II (Fig.5C), this bank (Layer 10) was up to 0.70m. thick and 1.80m. wide. It was 2.40m. wide in Trench I (Layer 6) but here the disturbances referred to above had removed too much for its original thickness to be determined. This sandy-clay bank also existed in attenuated form as Layer E.G.5 beneath the east side of the road metalling occupying the bottom of the hollow-way passing through the dump immediately inside the East Gate and was up-to 0.10m. thick there (Fig.5B).

On the surface of the pre-fort soil horizon in Trench XIII (XIII.13) and a subsequent discontinuous trample of red clay (XIII.12) was a thin layer of greensand chips and mortar droppings (XIII.11). This was also present in Trenches XIIIC and D, over the inner edge of the puddled-chalk wall foundation in the bottom of its overwide construction trench. This building debris in all three trenches was then overlain by the lower dump of red and yellow sandy clay resting against the inner wall face. The clay was 0.78m. thick in Trench XIII, 0.38m. in XIIIC and 0.15m. in XIIID. The top of this clay in Trench XIII was level with the base of the sixth course of stone facing blocks above the plinth of the wall: above it was a thin deposit of building debris (XIII.9) from the construction of the upper part of the wall.

An 0.15m. thick layer of greensand chippings from the trimming of the wall facing blocks rested on top of the bank in Trenches I and II as Layers 5 and 9 respectively and was formed as the wall construction continued. Above this was dumped a much more massive deposit of clayey-sand (Trench I Layer 4 and Trench II Layer 6).

On top of this building debris was the main clay dump (XIII.8). This was of yellow sandy-clay of Tunbridge 14

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Wells Sands origin mottled with white and brown inclusions. For the reasons outlined above, its upper surface did not slope down from the inner wall face, although the lower dump’s surface did. As a result Layer 8 was only 0.30m. thick against the wall but 1.05m. thick 2.40m. away from it.

this paving, the clay of the lower part of the dump has slipped over it as a thin deposit a few cm. thick. The soakaway pit above this paving (Pit 35) was formed in the thickness of the fort wall backing dump. In its lower part, overlying the slab floor and the slipped clay, sandstone rubble was dumped (XIIID.14) to a maximum thickness of 0.50m. in the south-west corner of the feature. This pile thinned out to the east before reaching the other sides of the soakaway and was laterally replaced by mixed stones and earth (XIIID.13), overlain by fine grey sandy-silt with charcoal flecks. Above this and the pile of rubble, the soakaway was filled with dark stony soil (XIIID.12). Because of the primary nature of this soakaway, it contained no artefacts other than a barbarous radiate (R.303), in keeping with its presumed late 3rd c.date.

The dump was also sectioned on either side of the West Gate in Trenches IV and V but, as its deposition there is tied in with the gate’s construction, it is described under that heading (p.24). A further small partial section was made by Trench XIV south-east of the West Gate (Fig.15B). Here, the Roman wall had collapsed above its timber-laced foundation but behind where the inner face of the wall had been was the usual two-part clay backing dump, with the lower portion (XIV.18) being 0.40m. thick and separated from the 0.90m. thick upper dump (XIV.16) by a localised 0.30m. thick deposit of builders’ debris (XIV.17).

The upper part of the fort wall backing dump was absent in this trench and replaced by dark greenish earth. It is probable that the top of the soakaway, in the upper part of the clay dump, was more capacious than lower down, with its limits beyond the area excavated, and that this layer was its upper fill.

Further east along the line of the south fort wall, the clay backing dump may have been absent although land slippage along this section extends well back from the line of the Roman wall and has obliterated all coherent stratification. There were certainly no signs of the tail of the dump in the 1932 Trench 4 (Fig.1) or in the 1936 Trench X complex. Rigold’s description of his 1964 trenches put down inside the Norman castle postern suggests that Roman occupation lay on the natural ground surface without any intervening dumped clay (Rigold 1964).

Drain 3.This drain east of Interval Tower 4 was excavated by Salzmann and then re-examined and drawn in section by Cottrill (Fig.3B). It lies at the junction of the two anomalous wall sections east of Tower 4, with that junction forming its east side. The floor of the drain, 0.30m. wide, is constructed from greensand slabs with the lower block facing of the plinth, 0.25m. high, forming its sides and carried through the full thickness of the concrete wall core as lining for the feature. The top of the drain is formed from more greensand slabs at the level of the upper plinth course: that over the inner end of the drain is particularly massive (Salzmann 1909, Fig.2). Salzmann described the inner end of the drain as being loosely blocked with fragments of greensand and broken flint below which were a few cm. of black soil containing animal bones and pottery with a Constantinian coin. There was no trace of a paved soakaway base and the constructional quality of this drain, to judge from the published photographs, looks somewhat inferior to that of Drain 2. The presence of a 4th c. coin and occupation debris in a primary context below what sounds like the lower portion of the rubble fill of a soakaway suggests that this drain, along with the wall above it, is a secondary construction of early-to- mid 4th c. date. It is most unfortunate that the coin and pottery from this feature can no longer be identified amongst Salzmann’s surviving material.

4.4.4: The Box Drains. At least three box-drains are known to have been constructed through the base of the north wall at plinth level. From east to west, these are as follows: Drain 1. This is situated west of Interval Tower 3 and has never been excavated. Its outer, visible, end displays the same superior constructional techniques as are present with Drain 2 and it is clearly contemporary with the construction of the fort. Drain 2. Cottrill’s exploratory Trench XIIID west of Trench XIII (Fig.1) was put down through the foundation of the collapsed section of north fort wall. It revealed the inner end of a box drain, 0.33m. wide by 0.24m. high preserved in a surviving stump of inner wall facing and set at the level of and in the top sandstone block course of the plinth with its inner capstone still in situ. The lower arris of this capstone is worn away at its inner end to a rough chamfer; greatest in the middle and dying away at the sides (Fig.13E): this indicates considerable volumes of water passing through the drain over a long period of time. Set into the top of the over-wide fort-wall foundation trench at the inner end of the box drain and level with the tops of the stones forming the latter’s floor is the base of a soakaway measuring 1.02 by 0.67m. and paved by large rough sandstone slabs with occasional drops of mortar on them (Fig.13D). On the west side of

4.4.5: The Fort Ditch A single defensive ditch was sectioned in 1936 by Trench VIIIA and the linked up sondages VIII, VIIIC, L, O, P and Q to its north on the west side of the Roman fortress outside and to the south-west of the West Gate. It was found to be of flattened V section, 5.50m. wide and 1.40m. deep, with its inner lip 8.70m. south-west of the outer face of Interval Tower 8. There was no sign of a 15

MALCOLM LYNE breach in the ditch to take a road: a phenomenon also encountered at Richborough’s west gate, where the excavator postulated some kind of wooden bridge over the inner ditch (Bushe-Fox 1949, 66-68). No postholes or beam impressions for such a structure were located at Pevensey on the line of the later Sub-Roman causeway over the ditch-fill. It seems likely, however, that any such bridge was on the line of the present path to Westham; now known to be on that of the main Roman road west from the fort (p.6).

in situ. These latter average 5.30m. in both width and maximum projection and are concentrated in two groups on the tight curves at the east and west ends of the fort to project enfilading ballistra fire on hostile forces attacking the walls. The tower numbering system used here is a modified version of that formulated by Bushe-Fox and runs anti-clockwise from the East Gate (Bushe-Fox 1932). Only Interval Towers 3 and 4 on the north wall of the fort have had their foundations examined. The constructional technique is the same as that used for the fort walls, with a foundation pit containing a thick raft of puddled chalk and flints supported on groups of vertical wooden stakes embedded in the natural clay. Horizontal timber framing in the foundation’s upper surface is linked with that under the wall proper.

It is noteworthy that very little pottery attributable to the late 3rd or early 4th centuries came from either the ditch or the ground surface cut by it. The overwhelming bulk of the pottery from the ditch appears to be of late 4th c. date and indicates that the feature was either a late addition to the defensive scheme or kept clean until the end of the 4th century. The fills are discussed under Phase 5 (p.50-1). A reference to a number of Carausian coins being found at the bottom of the ditch (Wilson 1941,39) and re-quoted elsewhere (Welsby 1982,53) is erroneous. In fact there were no 3rd c coins from it but numerous Constantinian to Theodosian ones (p.53-4).

The foundation of Interval Tower 3 (Fig.3D) was first examined by Salzmann (1907) and again in the 1920s (Bushe-Fox 1932). Their plans of the beam chases are slightly at variance, with Salzmann depicting two important features which were omitted by Bushe-Fox from his plan.

In Trench VII, 11.40M. south-east of Trench VIIIA (Fig.6B), the northern edge of the ditch was cut away by a later Norman hornwork, preventing its width being measured. The depth of 1.35m. was, however, similar to that in Trench VIIIA. Trench AA cut between Trenches VII and IX in 1938 (Fig.6A), showed the ditch to be tapering and shallowing to the south-east, with it being a symmetrical shallow V in section 4.65m. wide and 1.05m. deep. Trench IX, 18.00m. south-east of Trench VII, was started in 1936 and completed in 1938. Here the ditch was only 2.70m. wide and 0.90m. deep: it was also more irregular in profile as if it were tapering out as it descended towards the then sea shore. When the whole ditch south of the path to Westham was eventually cleared out in 1938, this tapering-out was confirmed, although the actual end was truncated by the edge of the Norman outer ditch. The sea lapped close under the south wall of the castrum in Roman times making a ditch superfluous there.

This particular tower is curious in that its puddled-chalk foundation does not seem designed for it but is rectangular and only underlies the rear portion. The foundation also projects a short distance beyond the line of the east face of the tower (Salzmann 1907,16). Both sources agree that the timber framing within the foundation took the form of a simple rectangle of beams with St.Andrew’s cross bracing. The rounded front portion of the tower was constructed without any such support and Salzmann noted that it required underpinning in Norman times. It seems likely that the design of this tower was changed from rectangular to a U-plan, possibly, although not necessarily, during its construction. It is perhaps significant that, unlike the other U-plan towers, it is not situated on a pronounced curve in the fort wall. A Constantinian coin (R 274), dated AD.333-35, came from the front lateral beam chase under this tower and was used to argue a late date for the fort’s construction (Bushe-Fox 1932,67). The only contemporary account of the finding of the coin is in the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works finds list and states that ‘A man was cleaning out the (beam) hole with a long handled scraper and found the coin in the rubbish, which he drew out’. There is a small thumb-nail sketch indicating the beam emplacement in question. It may be that this coin was placed as a foundation deposit at the time of the alteration in design of and possible rebuilding of the tower. It is more plausible, however, that the coin found its way into

Trench VI on the northern side of the fortress was dug in order to pick up the line of the ditch but in the event was totally lacking in features and finds. Clay was, however, dumped behind the north wall of the fort, so the ditch may well exist under the line of the present road. 4.4.6: The Interval Towers (Fig.1). Originally, there were twelve solid projecting U-plan interval towers and one ?rectangular one on the outer face of the fort wall, of which ten of the U-plan ones survive

Fig.6A Section AA through the Roman and outer medieval ditches south-west of the fort. 6B Trench VII. Section through the medieval hornwork ditch cutting the Roman fort ditch. 6C Section VIIIL,N made longitudinally along the Roman ditch and sectioning the stone causeway over its fill with the medieval roads above. 6D Trench VIIIL. Partial section of Roman ditch, causeway and road at 90 degrees to C. 6E Plan of Trench VIII complex outside the West Gate.




MALCOLM LYNE the open end of the beam chase along with other debris by means of soil movement or animal activity. This interval tower does seem to be integral with the wall so it is unlikely, although not impossible, that an appreciable period of time elapsed between the abandonment of the rectangular tower design and the taking up of the U plan one.

This is the only interval tower, other than No.7 to have rows of open putlog holes. Tower 4 is located 176.60m. west of Tower 3: it is not bonded into the wall on its east but is integrated with that on its west. The upper part is badly eroded but was refaced with flint in medieval times. There is evidence for 56 courses of facing blocks in the surviving height, including three string-courses of greensand slabs.

The foundation beneath Tower 4 (Fig.3C) covers the same area as the superstructure above and was clearly designed with the existing tower in mind. The timber framing as plotted by Bushe-Fox is probably incomplete but suggests a polygonal frame following the perimeter of the tower and braced by timber spokes radiating from a central point.

Tower 5. This tower is located 26.60m. south-west of Tower 4 and is integrated with the fort wall on both sides. The upper portion is badly eroded but refaced with flint in medieval times. There is evidence for an earlier refacing of the upper part of the south side of the tower, in the form of nine courses of large, well-tooled rectangular facing-blocks of greensand neatly laid above the uppermost surviving Roman string-course. This may be a later Roman or medieval repair. There are 36 surviving courses of facing blocks below this repair, including three string-courses of greensand slabs.

Two Interval Towers (2 and 11) have unequivocal traces of their Roman superstructures above parapet level, while a third (Interval Tower 3) has part of its superstructure preserved to a higher level than the floor-joist mortices of its second storey: this superstructure is, however, entirely of late Saxon or medieval workmanship above Roman parapet-walk level.

Tower 6 is 21.70m. south of Tower 5 and integrated with the fort wall on both sides. Much of the facing is missing from the lower part of the tower and there is a small herringbone-masonry patch of probable 11th century date one third of the way up on the south-west side. A large portion of the upper part of the tower on its north-west side has sheared off and been refaced with flint. There are 57 surviving courses of facing blocks, including two string-courses of greensand slabs below one of doubled tile.

Tower 1. This is located 29.00m. north of the East Gate and 42.00m. north of Tower 13: it is bonded into the wall on each side, although the string-courses are staggered. The tower was heavily re-faced with herringbone masonry during the 11th century but is preserved to near parapet-walk height (Pl.10). There are three stringcourses of double tile thickness above one of long, thin, greensand blocks. Tower 2. is located 36.70m. north-west of Tower 1 and is not bonded into the wall on its south-east side: it is, however, integrated with that on its west. Much of the facing was replaced by flint-coursing in medieval times but a short section of two Roman parapet string-course moulded greensand slabs survives on the east side at the junction with the fort wall (Pl.2). A single course of superstructure wall-facing, consisting of five neatlysquared greensand blacks, also survives at the south-west corner of the tower. This is set back 0.60m. from the line of the fort wall outer face, facing south and is either part of the back wall of the superstructure or one side of a doorway leading from the parapet walk into it. There are 59 surviving courses of facing blocks, including three string-courses of greensand slabs above two of double tile.

Tower 7 is 26.00m. south of Tower 6 and is the north flanking tower of the West Gate: Tower 8 is the equivalent one on the south side of the entrance. These two towers are an integral part of the West Gate defences and are described under that heading (p.23-4). Tower 9 is situated 14.80m. south-east of Tower 8 and 28.80m. south-east of Tower 7. The front of the tower has sheared off so that little more than a scar remains on the face of the fort wall. This remnant is, however, preserved to a considerable height and is integrated with the fort wall on both sides. There are 54 surviving courses of facing blocks, including four string-courses of tile. Tower 10 has been undermined by landslip and moved a short distance downhill from its original position just west of the later medieval castle postern. Forty four courses of facing blocks are visible and include a stringcourse of greensand slabs below three of tile. The uppermost tile string-course is of single tile thickness and discontinuous.

Tower 3 is situated 46.20m. west of Tower 2 and is bonded into the fort wall on each side; although only the lowest string-course of tile is carried through. The Roman masonry facing is preserved up-to near parapet height with the flint coursing above being either a Late Saxon or Norman rebuild. There are 52 surviving courses of facing blocks, including three string-courses of double tile below two of greensand slabs. The front half of the lower string-course of greensand slabs on the curve of the tower is replaced by one of doubled tiles. This raises the possibility that the construction of the original rectangular tower was well advanced before alterations took place.

Tower 11 (Fig.3E, Plates 3A and B). This tower is very well preserved and formed the south-east corner of the early 12th century keep. It is integrated with the fort wall on both sides and has Roman facing blocks preserved up to five courses higher than the wall parapet string-course. The Roman wall core survives to an even greater height: it has a string-course of double tile thickness 1.00m. 18

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 higher than the parapet and a further one of thin greensand slabs 1.00m. higher still at the top of the surviving tower wall fragment. This latter may have tied in with the imposts of the arch of the window in the north side of the tower. The lower, mutilated and re-faced part of this window still survives: at some stage in medieval times, it appears to have been cut down to the level of the Roman parapet string-course and turned into a chute for dropping missiles on the heads of attackers.

other towers. A possible reason for this exceptional effort is discussed below (p.27). Tower 12. The Buck engraving of the east aspect of Pevensey castle made in 1737 shows a tower between Interval Towers 11 and 13. The Roman wall has now collapsed at this point and the north curtain wall of the medieval castle bailey breaks off abruptly at its east end. It would have been militarily unsound for there not to have been a tower at the north-east corner of the castle, whether it were re-used Roman or medieval in date. At the foot of the slope to the east of the putative site of this tower is a large detached fragment of Roman masonry laid almost horizontal. Although no original facing remains, the dimensions of 6.90 by 6.30m. are too great for it to have been part of the core of the fort wall alone and the remains are probably part of the missing interval tower. The engraving suggests a rectangular rather than U-plan tower with the original location being roughly equidistant between Towers 11 and 13 on a fairly straight section of wall. As with Tower 3 in its postulated original form, a U-plan tower would have been unnecessary at this point.

The lower part of a blocked doorway leading from the parapet walk into the first storey of the tower still survives. The stone facings of the two sides of this doorway are very different in character: that on the east is very neat and of Roman work to a height of 2.00m. whereas the stone facing on its west side is of much rougher nature and appears to be of Late Saxon or Norman workmanship. The doorway, measuring 0.84m. wide, is very narrow in proportion to its height: a characteristic of Late Saxon doorways (Taylor 1978,10). It is possible that the Roman interval tower did not span the parapet walk but was perched on the front of the fort wall so that the east jamb of this doorway originally formed its north corner, flush with the inner faces of the wall merlons. There are illustrations of towers of this type in the Peutinger Table and on coins of Constantine (Johnson 1983, Fig. 16A).

Tower 13. is of one construction with the fort wall on each side of it and, although preserved up-to near parapet height, has been heavily re-faced with flint on its upper portion. There are 45 surviving courses of facing blocks, including two string-courses of greensand slabs below and one above a double thickness tile example.

The stone facing of the tower incorporates six stringcourses up-to and including the parapet. These are spaced closer together as one ascends the tower, with the facing blocks being smaller and squarer in the coursing between the fifth and sixth string-courses and around the superstructure between the 6th and 7th ones. This may have been intended to create an illusion of a greater height for the tower than was the case. The bottom of the tower is obscured by an added medieval stone talus, topped by the lowest string-course of doubled tiles. It would appear that, due to the fort wall being set further down the hill-slope at this point on its perimeter, the height of the tower from base of plinth to parapet stringcourse may have been in excess of 8.00m.

4.4.7: The Gates The West Gate (Figs.7, 8 and 9, Plates 4 and 5) This is the most important surviving gate to the fort and was first excavated by Charles Roach-Smith in 1852 (Roach-Smith 1858). Finds from his rather superficial investigations included a number of roof ridge tile fragments and two column bases of soft whitish stone, now lost. The area of the gatehouse was re-examined more thoroughly by Cottrill, who stripped it completely with his Trenches IV and V and also explored the area between the two flanking U-plan towers.

An important feature of this tower is that, although a section through the Roman fort wall is preserved against its north side, there are no signs of a merlon being formerly bonded on to it. Even if there had not been a merlon at that point, one might expect to see at least a scar left from the lower part of the parapet wall: the tower facing blocks continue straight across the top surface of the parapet, suggesting that the embrasures between the merlons descended down to wall-walk level; perhaps with narrow merlons in the manner of a mosaic found near Orange illustrating the gate of a Roman town (Bidwell et al 1988, 2-12).

The Gatehouse Foundations (Pl.4). The two halves of the gatehouse foundation each measure 5.70 by 3.90 m. and flank a central roadway 2.74m. wide to give a total building area of 5.70 by 10.54m. The structure was set back on the inner face of the fort wall between two solid U-plan projecting towers (Towers 7 and 8). The northern foundation was cut into on its south-west corner by the later medieval Pit 30, which exposed a section through it (Pl.12). This section showed that the foundation was of a similar nature to that of the fort wall, indicating that a deep trench was dug for each side of the gatehouse and filled to a depth of 0.62m. with rammed flint in puddled chalk. The excavator was unable to see whether this material rested on top of vertical piles or not.

The quality of the stonework facing this tower and the fort wall immediately adjoining on its south is eminently superior to that elsewhere and the large quantities of tile used to tie Tower 11 into the wall are not repeated in the




Plan of West Gate showing Roman and later features and the positions of the sections in Trenches IV and V.

Laid in the surface of the puddled-chalk of each foundation was a horizontal framework of beams, similar to that previously located beneath the fort walls and consisting of a rectangular frame lap-jointed at the corners. Each frame was subdivided into two equal portions by a central transverse beam, with the two resulting compartments being braced by other beams in the manner of a St.Andrew’s cross. These frames were packed with further puddled chalk and flint, which was carried over the upper surfaces of the beams to a thickness of between 0.10 and 0.13m.

0.28 x 0.20m. and were similarly laid, but the lateral endbeams were 0.28m. square and projected higher than the rest. The Northern half of the Gatehouse. The mortar bedding for the brown sandstone block plinth measured 0.04 to 0.08m. thick over the north-east part of the puddled chalk foundation surface and was a slightly thicker 0.13m. at the south-west end. This mortar bedding would appear to have originally extended over the whole area of the foundation, implying along with the evidence from the surviving in situ plinth masonry that large plinth-size stone blocks originally covered its entire surface. They are now restricted to one surviving course, three blocks wide, along the north-east face of the foundation.

A fragment of puddled chalk from the south foundation bears the impression of straight-grained ?oak timber from such a beam and measurements taken from the cavities indicate that the main longitudinal timbers measured 0.40 x.0.20m. in cross-section and were laid flat. The central transverse beam and the diagonal cross braces measured 20



Sections in Trenches IV and V through the gatehouse and adjacent areas.


MALCOLM LYNE The third outer stone from the south on the north-east face is of a superior finish to the others. It was thought by Cottrill to be the threshold of a doorway 0.82m. wide: immediately inside it and on its south side was a fragment of mortared sandstone lump flooring, possibly indicating a small lobby. Beyond this area of flooring is a very large rectangular block measuring 1.15 x 0.55m. occupying a position midway between the north and south walls of the structure and looking suspiciously like the bottom tread of a staircase. All this could imply that the ground floor on this side of the gate-house was largely solid with a staircase in its core leading up to a first floor gallery over the gate.

leaf of the inner door. Presumably there was another such door at the outer face of the gatehouse but later disturbance has removed all evidence. The Gatehouse Superstructure (Fig.9). Clues as to the original appearance of the gate-house, upto second floor height, still survive in the form of fragments from its façade and north-west corner bonded into the inner corner of the back of Tower 7. These fragments also indicate the position and width of an offset on the walls of the gatehouse at a height of 1.98 m. above the top of the plinth. This offset coincides with the upper surface of a fragment from a large greensand block 0.30 m. thick but lacking its full width and length. It is capped by the end of a single tile course and appears to be the northern end of a decorative string-course running across the outer façade of the gate-house. The width of the gateway at the inner end of the gatehouse was 2.74 m. and it is probable that the width at the outer end was similar. The vertical height from the base of the fort wall plinth to the upper surface of the tile on top of the stringcourse block fragment is an almost identical 2.75 m. and suggests that the impost blocks of the gateway arch were part of this string-course.

The Southern Half of the Gatehouse. This differed from the northern half in that the 0.07m. thick mortar bedding for its better preserved plinth was confined to a strip two blocks wide around the periphery of the foundation. This indicates that there was a rectangular room measuring 1.43 x 3.00m. on this side of the central roadway, using the top of the rammed chalk foundation as its floor. The walls at the lower plinth level measured 1.20m. in thickness, with recessing of the foundation on its north-west side next to the roadway suggesting a doorway at that point.

We know something of the appearance of these arch impost blocks in that one of them was re-used in the subRoman causeway over the fort ditch (Pl.14). Its thickness is unknown but it was 0.73 m. long with an outer width of 0.52 m. and an inner one of 0.42 m. The narrow end had a projecting quarter-round moulding indicating that it jutted out into the entrance below the arch proper.

The lowest course of massive wall plinth blocks survives in its entirety along the north-east and south-east walls but is largely destroyed on the other two sides. At the south-west corner of the gatehouse by the fort wall, three courses of sandstone-blocks survive to a height of 0.85m. above the top of the pre-fort soil horizon: it is probable that this was the full height of the plinth (Fig.8 Section DC).

At a further height of 1.45 m. above the impost stringcourse is the base of a second one constructed from rectangular brown sandstone blocks 0.20 m. thick. This corresponds with the estimated top of the arch and probably with the floor level of the first floor gallery above. If this was the case, the floor level of the firstfloor gallery would have been at approximately 4.40 m. above the contemporary ground surface. The gallery itself would have had as many as five arched windows overlooking the gate approach: the two column bases found by Roach-Smith (1858,16), and now lost, may have supported columns separating them in the manner of those on a cu.alloy mount depicting a fort or city gate in the National Museum of Hungary (Bennett 1988, Fig.5.5).

These plinth blocks are mortared together with a hard pebbly mortar, with some of them having lewis holes to take vertical copper-alloy or iron rods to knit the structure together even more securely. One block has a rebate and another, in the second course on the south-east side, has a recess in its upper surface to receive another block. The lowest course, 0.30 m. thick, has its upper surface just above that of the pre-fort soil horizon and has unmortared sandstone rubble filling the narrow gap between it and the side of the slightly-oversized foundation trench. There is a slight, irregular offset of c.0.10 m. at the top of the lowest course of plinth blocks and an even narrower one of 0.05 m. between the second and third courses. At the north corner of the foundation, on what would have been the line of the inner gate, was a small rectangular projection measuring 0.45 x 0.30 m. and extending out into the roadway (Fig.7). The top of this projection was 0.13 m. below the surface of the adjoining first course plinth block and flush with the top of the prefort soil horizon. The feature was made up of unmortared sandstone flint and chalk and had the remains of a rough block of rotten light-green sandstone on its upper surface. The position of this projection suggests that the rotten sandstone block is all that remains of a pivot-stone for one

The tile above the lower façade string-course is doubled on the face of the north gate-house wall and is there laid above above greensand slabs forming the surface of an offset of 0.18 m. There was a lower offset of 0.22 m. on the same north wall at the top of the plinth and the two together reduced the wall’s thickness from1.17 to 0.77 m. Contemporary water-colours by W.H.Brooke of RoachSmith’s 1852 excavation at the West Gate in Lewes Museum show some large pieces of gate house superstructure wall fallen against the well preserved south wall plinth. They appear to have been faced with small 22



West Gate façade reconstruction.

coursed blocks or flint rubble but had been removed before the 1936 excavation.

best preserved of the two flanking towers and survives up to parapet string-course level 7.12 m. above the base of its plinth. Despite the fact that two of the Tower 7 tile string-courses terminate at its junction with the fort wall on its north, the tower appears to be of one build with it. There are 54 surviving courses of facing blocks, including three string-courses of double tile thickness. One of these tile string-courses is below a brown sandstone example and two are above it. Above these is a parapet string-course of greensand slabs.

The Flanking Towers (Fig.7). Two large U-plan towers (Towers 7 and 8), built in solid masonry up-to wall parapet height, flank the West Gate approach. The entrance between the towers is slightly splayed, producing a funnelled entrance 8.50 m. deep in front of the recessed gatehouse. These towers gave the gateway defences a greater depth than that of any other surviving in a coastal fort and provided considerable tactical strength.

Interval Tower 8 on the south side of the gate is less well preserved. It is not bonded into the fort wall on its south and there are changes in two of its string-courses half way along its north face. This suggests that the tower was additional to the original defensive scheme, although it

The tower on the north side of the entrance (Interval Tower 7) projects 4.95 m. and is of similar width. It is the


MALCOLM LYNE may well have been added soon after or even during the fort’s construction. Five string-courses are present: the lowest consists of a single tile-course on the inner half of the south face of the tower. The outer end of this course is obscured by a later rubble patch but it resumes beyond this with a double tile thickness. At the junction of this double tile course with the fort wall, it is replaced once more by a single one in the fort wall face. The third string-course, 3.60 m. up on the north face of the tower, consists of large greensand blocks. Half way along it, at a point corresponding with the line of the outer face of the fort wall on the far side of the tower, the blocks abruptly become a little thicker and look as if they are additional.

ridge-tiles in the gatehouse debris and the fact that illustrations of Saxon Shore forts in the surviving manuscript copy of the Notitia tend to show pitched roofs, the gatehouse façade reconstruction (Fig.9) is shown with one. The Constructional Sequence (Fig.8). To the south of the gatehouse, Section DC shows a thin layer of red and yellow clay (IV.7) deposited over the pre-fort soil horizon and probably derived from the foundation trenches of the gatehouse. On the surface of this layer was another of building debris (IV.6) derived from the construction of the gatehouse and apparently cut by the foundation trench for the fort wall in Section AB. Above this debris was the lower part of the clay dump backing the fort wall and presumably derived from its foundation trench (IV.5). Deposited on this was a further layer of greensand chippings and mortar droppings (IV.4) derived from the building of the fort wall. The upper clay dump (IV.3) succeeds this and can be subdivided into two parts; a lower layer (3A) of red and yellow redeposited Weald Clay and an upper portion of light-brown sandyclay (3B) derived from the Tunbridge Wells Sand formation, dumped in the order in which they were removed in excavating the fort ditch.

The low single tile string-course continues around the back of the tower. This is a most unusual feature, as string-courses are normally lacking along the inner face of the fort wall. The reason for this exception seems to be that the feature served as a levelling-course for the base of the threshold of a doorway 1.60 m. wide and 0.30 m. thick; constructed from greensand blocks capped by white pebbly mortar (Pl.5, Figs.7 and 9). Unlike the situation at Portchester, where direct access between the main gate gatehouses and the parapet walk was possible, the points of contact between the corners of the Pevensey gatehouse and the fort wall were so restricted that, unless there were overhanging machicolations, direct access between the two would have been very difficult, if not impossible. This threshold, close by the south wall of the gatehouse, may have been intended for a door to a staircase ascending to the parapet through the core of the tower. The position of the threshold 1.12 m. up the rear face of the tower can be explained by it being approached from the top of the clay bank backing the fort wall, now removed at this point by Roach-Smith. There is no sign of the doorway itself but the inner face of the wall at this point is concave and heavily refaced with medieval flintwork, obscuring any surviving traces.

On the north side of the gatehouse, Section IJ shows a single thick layer of red and yellow clay (IV.11) resting directly on the pre-fort soil horizon. This may well be the bulk of the material derived from the gatehouse foundation trenches and the equivalent of Layer IV.7. Above it is an abnormally thick (0.25 m.) deposit of building debris; perhaps representing the combined accumulation of stone-chippings and mortar from the construction of both the gatehouse and fort walls, without interruption by further clay dumping. Where the inner face of the fort wall came in contact with the timber raft in the northern gatehouse foundation, the wall-core mortar of the former bears the impression of the sawn-off east end of the longitudinal beam running under the north-west side of the gatehouse, indicating that the latter was there first (Pl.12). Furthermore, the lower internal corner plinth block of Interval Tower 7 rests on 0.32 m. of concrete, which in turn lies on the puddled chalk of the corner of the north gatehouse foundation extending beneath that of the later Tower 7. The internal stone-block plinth of the fort wall to the north of the gatehouse projects 0.34 m. from the wall face but ceases abruptly where it comes in contact with the already existing gatehouse foundation (Pl.12).

Surviving interval towers on the late Roman defences of Gallic towns often have two upper stories. It is quite possible that this also applied at Pevensey: Interval Tower 3 in its refurbished medieval state most certainly had two stories above parapet height. If the towers flanking the West Gate were double-storied above parapet walk height, it is unlikely that the gatehouse roof was lower. As that had its first storey below parapet height, it would thus be triple storied over the gate. If the parapet-level string-course on Tower 7 corresponded with the second-storey floor level in the gatehouse, that would make the height of the first storey c.2.60 m. allowing for floor thickness above it. Making the even greater assumption that the other two putative stories were of similar height, this makes the total original height of the gatehouse to the base of its roof about 12.50 m. Flat, crenellated and pitched gatehouse and tower roofs seem to have been equally common in forts during the later Roman period. On the strength, however, of Roach-Smith’s reference to the finding of

All of this evidence indicates that the gatehouse foundations were laid before that of the fort wall: much of the gatehouse superstructure is shown, by the incorporation of its north-west corner in the fabric of flanking Tower 7, to predate the fort wall as well. Towards the top of the surviving gatehouse corner, however, there is evidence that fort-wall construction had caught up with it.



The East Gate (Fig.10, Plates 6 and 7).

This was first excavated by Roach-Smith in 1852 (1858, 1920) and re-dug by Salzmann in 1907 (1907,22). It is of indirect approach type, set in the thickness of the fort wall and 2.10 m. wide at its inner end: it then executes a reverse S-bend whilst tapering to an exterior portal 1.37 m. wide. The wall foundation continues beneath it, providing a floor to the passage way.

This is a simple round-arched opening through the fort wall. In its present form it is 2.90 m. wide and 3.75 m. high but was heavily repaired in Late Saxon times. During the early 18th century it was further damaged by the insertion of a brick lining with external façade. When this was removed in the summer of 1936, the outline of part of the earlier arch became visible on the inside of the fort wall (Plate 6 and Fig.10). It was slightly wider and lower than the present one with the middle portion and all but the lowest voussoirs above the imposts destroyed by the 18th century work. In 1936, a few of the post-Roman greensand facing-blocks were removed from the base of the north side of the entrance. This later masonry was found to be backed by the original brown sandstone facing blocks of the Roman passage in good condition (Plate 7). The original arch may have been voussoired with mixed tile and stone slabs in the manner of the North Postern but nothing of its structure, other than part of its bare outline, survives.

Late Roman forts in Britain normally have simple directaccess postern gates but two other forts, Brough on Humber (Wacher 1969, Fig.20) and Richborough (BusheFox 1926, 33-4) also have indirect approach types. Both of these examples differ from that at Pevensey, however, in achieving the indirect approach effect by means of turning the exterior end of a simple, direct entrance passage along the outer face of the fort wall behind the façade of a projecting rectangular tower. The sinuous tapering Pevensey design, enabling two defenders to deal with one attacker at a time, is a considerable improvement on this arrangement and has not been found elsewhere.

Two string-courses of doubled tiles flank the arch on the outer face of the wall. The lower one, largely obliterated, projects a mere metre on each side of the arch but the upper one, immediately above the arch keystone, extends considerably further. Another such string-course, composed of underfired, black-cored, grog-tempered tile, passes over the top of the arch between Interval Towers 13 and 1. All of these string-courses are separated by courses of small greensand wall-facing blocks.

Salzman worked out from the surviving western part of the arch that the original height of the inner archway was about 3.00 m. The arch itself was voussoired with a mixture of tile, dark brown ironstone and greensand slabs. The west wall of the passage-way was faced with small greensand blocks and overlay a projecting doublecourse plinth of larger blocks, similar to and a continuation of those along both sides of the base of the fort wall. Fragments of a similar plinth survive on the other side of the passageway. Roach-Smith found a ‘door-stop’ in the form of a long, narrow block of stone 0.13 m. wide projecting from the west side of the postern to about one third of the way across the internal end of the gate. By the time that Salzmann came to carry out his re-excavation, the stone was gone, leaving only the raised strip of bedding mortar for it.

There is a line of spaced putlog holes overhung by slightly projecting brown sandstone blocks running horizontally seven facing-block courses above the highest tile string-course. One course down from this is a solitary brown sandstone block directly above the keystone of the gate arch. There were no traces of any gatehouse inside the fort, unless a partially excavated wooden structure immediately inside it on the south side with a north wall of earthfast ?stabbau construction, acted as a guard chamber. A rectangular post-built guard-house was present on the west side of the south postern at Portchester and was thought to have been built about AD.325 (Cunliffe 1975, Fig.208).

The external facing blocks of the fort wall, along with its plinth, stop at an abrupt fairly-vertical edge 1.70 m. west of the egress of the postern. This suggests the possibility of a destroyed projecting clavicula wall screening the postern exit as at Richborough and supporting a similarly-projecting rectangular tower. The presence of a single thickness string-course of tile just above the top of the arch on the inner face of the fort wall may be further evidence for this tower. It must be said, however, that there are no visible signs of a foundation for this postulated structure and the lowest string-course of long greensand slabs above the postern arch continues across the otherwise unfaced stretch of wall exterior. Salzmann was unable to excavate where such a tower foundation might be, being restricted to the east side of a field wall running diagonally from the west side of the postern exterior to the edge of a collapsed stretch of fort wall on its north-east (Salzmann 1907, 24).

There are fissures in the fort wall on each side of the archway which curve in towards its base and give the impression that the gate may have been inserted as an afterthought. The internal plinth of the fort wall ends short of the north side of the gate and is absent for a distance to the south of it. In contrast to the sides of the North Postern, the small exposed area of sandstone block facing on the north side of the gate showed the small blocks resting directly on the puddled chalk foundation without an intervening plinth. A ?South-east Gate. Attention has already been brought to the superior quality of the stone facing blocks and the profuse use of tile bonding in Interval Tower 11 (p.19), echoed by the 25


Fig.10A: Plan of East Gate showing sections through the Roman road. 10B Internal elevation of the East Gate. 10C External elevation of the East Gate.


EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 small patch of equally neat squared-block facing surviving high up on the fort wall immediately to the south (Pl.8). One reason for these localised superior building techniques may have been because there was an adjacent gateway; perhaps for the use of seaborne arrivals.

explain some of the reasons for this. There, the road metalling was very thin and ephemeral: roads were little more than dirt tracks with a thin spread of flints or greensand chips and the main north-south road there comprised a 0.07 m. thickness of beach pebbles laid directly on top of the pre-fort ground surface (Cunliffe 1975, 63). At Pevensey, the best known internal road is the main one running between the East and West Gates: this was excavated at both ends in 1936:

Tower 11 lies at the south-east corner of the early 12th century castle keep and was incorporated into its defences. Abutting the keep on its south is a solid rectangular raised platform incorporating the Roman fort wall on its east. This platform has a sloping stone ‘talus’ on its three free faces and was dated by both Peers (1933,9) and Renn (1971,62-4) to the time of Richard 1. Renn suggests that this platform might have been used for mounting a large mangonel or similar engine of war.

The East Gate road sections (Trench EG, Cuts 1 to 4, Figs.5B and 10). Phases 2 and 3. An area behind the gate, measuring 7.50 m. by 7.20 m., was stripped down to the surface of a higher, medieval road but, because of the problems encountered in maintaining a public right of way, exploration of the Roman road beneath had to be restricted to the cutting of four narrow transverse sections across it, with the addition of Trench IC further west.

Below the surviving strip of Roman wall-facing on the east side of this platform and above the obscuring stone block talus the wall was roughly refaced in medieval times with water-rolled flints. Interspersed amongst these and flush with the face of the wall are a few randomlyplaced massive greensand blocks, indicating that the lower part of the Roman wall had been considerably undercut and possibly has a blocked entrance through it. It is at least possible, therefore, that the superior Roman stone facing was associated with a gate immediately south of Tower 11. When the Normans created their first castle after the battle of Hastings, they may have found a stone gatehouse and converted it into a mangonel platform during the late 12th century by filling the structure with hardcore and refacing it.

The sandy-clay dump backing on to the wall inside the East Gate had been hollowed out to take the road into the interior of the fortress. The metalled road surface of greensand chips was 3.60 m. wide, the material of which (Layers EG 5A and IC 4) was probably derived from the working of the wall facing blocks on site and attained a maximum thickness of 0.15 m. Running down the centre of the road was a U-section drain 0.38 m. deep, 0.64 m. wide and probably planklined originally. There was also a slight drainage gully running along the south side of the road where it passed through the fort-wall backing dump. At one point, a very slight hollow linked this feature with the central drain.

4.5: Internal Features Because of the small sizes of most of the trenches put down inside the Roman fort, we only have small, rather incoherent building-plan fragments. Some of the trenches (IID, E, F, G, III, XI, XIA, B, F, G and XII) were entirely lacking in evidence for structures and either had a featureless general Roman layer or no such occupation at all. Other trenches did produce more positive evidence for Roman structures and in some cases (Trenches IA, II and XIII) yielded a stratified sequence within the period. From the coins and pottery assemblages associated with these sequences, it has proved possible to distinguish three main phases of Roman occupation: Phase 2 (c.AD.293-300+), Phase 3 (c.AD.300+-370) and Phase 4 (c.AD.370-400+). Phase 4 was largely absent from Trench XIII and Trench IA produced a pottery assemblage transitional in date between Phases 3 and 4 (c.AD.350-370).

Two coins, a barbarous radiate (R.59) dated c.AD.276-86 and a coin of Constantine I (R.285) of c.AD.330-37 were found embedded in the surface of the road metalling: a further coin (R.12) of AD.340-41 in virtually uncirculated condition lay on the road surface. Together, they suggest that this particular road remained open from the date of the fort’s construction until the 340s. The first two coins were the only artefacts of any description present in the road metalling and had probably been forced into it by traffic. Phases 3 – 4 Transition. c.AD.340-370. Upon the surface of the road was a layer of sand (EG.4) derived from the fort-wall backing dump and between 0.05 and 0.30 m. thick in the section (Fig.5B). Its greenish to grey-brown upper half was thoroughly mixed up with refuse, including mid-4th century pottery (Assemblage 8) and the following artefacts:

4.5.1: Roads Considering the number of trenches opened up at various times within the fort walls, internal roads have proved very elusive. Cunliffe’s excavations at Portchester may


MALCOLM LYNE Table 1. Coins Emperor


Constantine II Hse of Constantine “ Constans Hse of Constantine Constantinopolis Constans Constantius II

R.85 R.78 R.77 R.10 R.30 R.287 R.9 R.86

Table 4. Coins

Daterange 331 330-335 330-335 340-341 341-346 341-346 348-350 348-350


Emperor Constantine II Urbs Roma House of Constantine Constantine I House of Constantine “ “ “ “ Urbs Roma Magnentius Constantius II Valentinian I Gratian Gratian Honorius House of Theodosius

EF Very worn Burnt EF VF Missing EF EF

The very top of the layer yielded seven further coins. Urbs Roma Theodora House of Constantine Constantine II House of Constantine Barbarous Fel Temp Valentinian I

R.284 R.7 R.209 R.84 R.81 R.57 R.60

333-335 337-340 330-341 341-348 341-346 353-364 367-375

Missing VF Worn Worn VF VF EF

50 99 118 125 184 189

Description Cu-alloy three-strand armlet fragment. c.250-400 Cu-alloy netting needle fragment Cu-alloy chain link Cu-alloy bar Slate palette fragment Whetstone fragment

No 1 2

SF. No

45 46 48 51 74 111 114 123

BR.87 BR.83 BR.81 BR.61 S.32 S.13

125 137 147 148

Table 3. Non-illustrated Small Finds Cu-alloy rod Cu-alloy slag lump Glass fragment.

Date 330-331 330-337 330-337 330-335 337-340 340-341 341-346 341-346 350-353 355-360 367-375 367-375 367-375 390-403 388-403

Condition VF Missing Missing Corroded Corroded Worn VF Worn EF Worn VF Worn Missing Missing Very Worn

Table 5. Illustrated Small finds

Table 2. Illustrated Small Finds No.

S.F.No R.90 R.289 R.286 R.162 R.166 R.29 R.68 R.153 R.82 R.89 R.54 R.215 R.310 R.290 R.211

BR.82 BR.91


The sand acted as make-up for a second road surface, the metalling of which was dispersed by prolonged use and lack of repair. The central road drain appears to have been either maintained or recut but unfortunately none of the sections across it were drawn.

Description Cu.alloy belt-fitting of Hawkes and Dunning Type VI. c.375-425 Cu.alloy ring fragment from ?cingulum militaire. c.375-425 Cu.alloy ring with bezel. c.350-400+ Fragmentary cu.alloy ring. c.300-400+ Cu.alloy ear-ring of Allason-Jones Type 1 Fragment from cu.alloy armlet. c.250-400+ Small cu.alloy boss Cu.alloy binding Cu.alloy fitting Cu.alloy fragment from ?cheek piece of helmet Cu.alloy bar Glass bowl rim Neck of glass flask. c.300-400 Fragment of glass vessel of Isings form 106. c.300-400 Bone inlay

SF. No BR.46 BR.62 BR.74 BR.39 BR.65 BR.84 BR.42 BR.71/78 BR.70 BR.89 BR.61 G.6 G.9 G.5 O.8

Table 6. Non-illustrated Small-finds No. -

Phases 4 and 5. The road surface was neglected during the late 4th c. and rubbish was deposited over it in the form of a layer of black earth up to 0.45 m. thick (EG.3, IC.3 and IB.3). In the lower part of this layer were large quantities of late 4th to early 5th century pottery (Assemblage 9A) including two Early Saxon fragments. The presence of copper-alloy scrap in this deposit and slag in the layer beneath indicates metal-working in the vicinity during the mid-tolate 4th century.

Description Cu.alloy folded strip Iron ?horse bit 8 unclenched iron nails and 2 clenched Shale spindle whorl 12 fragments from glass beakers and bowls

SF.No BR.90 IR.50 IR.5 S.4 -

Differences between the pottery content of Assemblage 9B from the fill of the central drain and Assemblage 9A from the black earth over the road suggest that the former feature was kept clean into the 5th century and only allowed to fill up with rubbish then. Unfortunately, the only coin from the drain is a residual deified Claudius II issue of AD.270 (R.47). Table 7. Illustrated Small finds No. 124

Description 3 pieces of cu.alloy strip

SF.No. BR.34

Table 8. Non-illustrated Small-finds No. -


Description Fragments from cu.alloy pin 7 fragments of folded cu.alloy strip. Fragments of cu.alloy ring

SF.No BR.35 BR.36,75,76 and 91 BR.38

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Trenches IV and V at the West Gate (Fig.7).

however, section a layer of thin gravel and mortar metalling about 3.00 m. wide and 0.10 m. thick. A similar feature appears to have been sectioned further in by his Trenches III and II, giving a possible north-south road alignment running at right-angles to the line of the main east-west road and meeting the north wall of the fort on the west side of the postern (Salzman 1908, Plates 9 and 12). If this were the case, then the road was not a primary feature as it had black occupation soil beneath it.

Phases 2 and 3 Roman road metalling was virtually absent from the West Gate area. This is not surprising as the roadway appears to have remained in use right through the Saxon and Early Medieval periods, with no indication of repair. A central drain from the interior of the fort originally terminated in a small pit on the line of the inner door of the gatehouse. The pit is much too small to have been a soakaway and had a couple of stones in its fill (Fig.7). This may indicate that the internal door had two leaves which, when shut, were bolted down into a wooden block set in the pit.

4.5.2. Buildings and associated stratigraphy The 1936 excavations located fragmentary remains from a number of buildings. In no case do we have more than a small fragment of plan and any suggestion as to building function must be regarded as somewhat speculative.

A small area of road-metalling was sectioned after the 1936 excavation when digging a posthole for the wicket gate a short distance in from the gatehouse. This hole gave a sequence commencing with red and yellow clay 0.03 to 0.12 m. thick derived from the gatehouse foundations. This was followed by building debris 0.15 m. thick (IV.8) overlain by 0.15 m. of brown sand with greensand chippings; presumably the substratum of the road.

The East Gate. Trenches IA and II. Phase 2. c.AD.293-300+ The area against the fort wall covered by the clay and sand dump was left clear of buildings: these, however, were located on both sides of the road beyond the inner edge of the dump.

?Phase 4.

Building 1.

The central drain of the road was extended westwards through the gatehouse at some stage. This extension has the narrower width of 0.25 m. and contained a tiny amount of late 4th c. pottery and a couple of Late Saxon sherds. Because of the lack of later build-up over the Roman road, the latter could have been forced down into the softer drain fill by the activity of traffic at a later date. Central road drains are not characteristic of Late Saxon settlements. The plan of an un-numbered trench against the south wall of Tower 7 shows this drain extension curving slightly to the north on the line of the present track out of the West Gate; indicating that the Roman road left the fortress on the line of Westham High Street.

In Trench IA and its north extension, a mortar surface, interpreted as a floor (IA.12), was discovered resting directly on the pre-fort soil horizon. A strip of flint cobbles set in mortar (IA.16) and 3.30+ m. wide separated it from the tail of the clay dump: the eastern edge of these cobbles was 8.40 m. from the inner fort wall face. There is no mention of a wall being found between the mortar and cobble floors but their junction was heavily disturbed by Medieval Pits 6, 7 and 8. Mortar-floored structures with few traces of walling were found at Portchester and it was concluded that the buildings were of timber-framed construction with their sill beams set directly on the ground surface (Cunliffe 1975,65-6): the same probably applied at Pevensey.

Trench XIV (Fig.16B). The mortar floor had a considerable small pebble content and a maximum thickness of 0.08 m. Thanks to a surviving detailed plan (Fig.11A), internal partitions can be made out in the floor. These indicate a room in the north-east of the trench extension, aligned northeast/south-west with the floor hollowed out in its centre (‘Pit’ 26) and bounded by the stakeholes of a wattle partition. Portions of two other rooms can be made out on its west and south sides. The worn hollow (‘Pit’ 25) in the floor of the western room contained grey sandy soil with flecks of charcoal.

On the upper surface of the clay wall backing dump (Layer XIV 16) was a thin 0.04 m. thick layer of flint pebble metalling (Layer XIV 15) which may be a partial section across a road running along the inside of the fort wall (Fig.15B). Miscellaneous It would be logical for the soakaways feeding the three drains under the north wall to have been at the ends of drainage gullies associated with north-south streets crossing the interior of the fort, although no evidence for such was seen by either Salzmann or Cottrill. Salzmann also looked for a road leading south from the North Postern but his Trench IX in the vicinity of the gate yielded no trace of such a feature. Another trench (V) did,

A considerable accumulation of dark occupation soil to a depth of 0.15 m. took place on the mortar floor of the building and the cobbles to the east (IA.11C). This occupation deposit contained a quantity of pottery (Assemblage 4) and the following coins and small-finds:


MALCOLM LYNE Table 9. Coins Emperor


Victorinus Tetricus I Quintillus Carausius

R.38 R.36 R.279 R.43

Daterange 268-270 270-273 270 286-293

south edge of the hollow through the rampart dump. The full width was not excavated but the northern wall of the structure consisted of what Cottrill called a palisade trench (E.G.6) 0.45 m. deep and running east-west for at least 5.00 m. along the edge of the road (Figs.5B and 10A). In the third transverse section cut through the road, the length exposed of this feature had four closely-packed postholes in its fill: two more were exposed in the second transverse section. It is possible that what we have here is an early example of earth-fast ‘stabbau’ wall construction. The western end of this wall terminated with a posthole 0.25 x 0.15 m. and of unrecorded depth. The eastern end and its relationship with the fort wall had been destroyed by Salzmann’s trench but it is possible that this structure may have been a guard house by the gate. There were dark occupation deposits within the building but the associated pottery was amongst the material lost during the war.

Condition VF Corroded Missing VF

Table 10. Illustrated Small Finds No. 75 129 164

Description Cu alloy fitting in the form of a female head Fragment from lead ring Broken jet bead

S.F. No BR.29 S.35 J.2

Table 11. Non-illustrated Small Finds No.

Description Folded iron strip 2 nails Fragment of folded lead Fragment of folded lead

S.F. No IR.19 IR.43 S.6 S.27

Phase 3. c.AD.300-370 Building 1 on the north side of the road in Trench IA was demolished and the occupation within it covered by a dump of yellow-grey sandy soil (IA.11B). This was thin or intermittent over the occupation on the Phase 2 mortar floor, increased in thickness to 0.25 m. over the cobbled area to the east and may have been washed down from the top of the rampart dump during a period of neglect or even partial abandonment of this part of the fort in the early years of the 4th century.

Building 2. Trench II on the south side of the road sectioned part of another building (Fig.5C). This was represented by a surface consisting of a discontinuous scatter of small mortar patches bounded on the east by a massive strip of concrete 0.20 m. thick and 1.80 m. wide running northsouth along the back of the tail of the rampart dump, 7.80 m. from the inner face of the fort wall. The concrete strip carried a horizontal sill beam, the impression of which is clearly visible in the section (Fig.5C): it may be that this building had a raised wooden floor.

Building 1A was of an ephemeral nature and constructed on top of Layer 11B. The line of the north wall of one of its earth-floored rooms can be made out against the north side of the Trench I northern extension, where later mortar patchings of hollows in the floor (IA.7, 8 and 9) were carried round the west and south sides of a mortar pad for a post (Fig.11B). Further east, a square depression in the dumped sand may indicate the site of another such post. Where the mortar patches referred to above were laid to fill in hollows in the floor, dark occupation soil on the surface of Layer 11B was sealed beneath them (IA.11A). Elsewhere, such occupation was unsealed and merged with the dark earth of the overlying occupation (IA.6). Layer IA.11A contained pottery (Assemblage 5) as well as the following small finds:

The dark soil occupation deposit associated with this building (II.5) yielded a ceramic assemblage similar to but less well sealed than that in Trench IA. It was in turn sealed in part by a thick black burnt deposit, indicating that this particular building may have been destroyed by fire. Small finds from this occupation comprise the following: Table 12. Coins Emperor


Claudius II Barbarous Radiate “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Carausius “ “

R.4 R.3 R.18 R.19 R.288 R.5 R.16

Daterange 268-270 276-286 276-286 276-286 276-286 286-293 286-293

Condition Corroded Corroded Corroded Corroded Missing Corroded Corroded

Table 14. Coins

Table 13. Illustrated Small Finds No. 160

Description Hexagonal green glass bead. c.250400+

SF No S.2



Tetricus 1 Tetricus 1 Maximianus Constantine II House of Constantine

R.35 R.51 R.278 R.21 R.22

Daterange 270-273 270-273 294-305 341-346 341-346

Condition EF VF Missing VF EF

The last coin, a barbarous Gloria Exercitus issue, is in virtually uncirculated condition and was sealed under a mortar patch. Another coin (R.282) of Constantinopolis type dated AD.330-337 and unfortunately now missing came from off of the surface of one of these mortar patches.

Building 3. A third building lay close to the south side of the road immediately inside the East Gate, between it and the 30

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Table 15. Illustrated Small Finds No. 108 109 128 144 171

Description Cu.alloy clip Large clenched iron nail Lead wire Flame rounded glass beaker rim. c.280315 at Verulamium th Bone hair pin. 4 century

Very little pottery and no coins were found in the black occupation soil (Layer IA.5) immediately above IA.4 but further east, in the unsealed black earth (IA.13 and I.2), above the rampart dump behind the fort wall were fragments forming nearly all of a late-4th or early-5th c. convex-sided dish in buff, coarse-sanded fabric D2 and similar to Fig.31-26. The following coins were present in IA.13 and I.2:

SF No BR 49 IR 13 S 44 G 36 O.9

Table 16. Non-illustrated Small Finds No.

Description Fragments from cu.alloy pin 2 small clenched nails 15 unclenched nails Iron strip with rivets 2 unclenched nails 6 unclenched nails 2 clenched nails 3 boot studs Iron stylus 4 glass fragments

Table 17. Coins SF No BR 7 IR 13A IR 15A IR 43 IR 43 IR 61 IR 61 IR 61 IR 22

Emperor Licinius II Constantine I Constantine II Barbarous Fel Reparatio


SF No R.92 R.26 R.75 R.64

Daterange 321-323 333-334 330-335 353-364

Condition Worn VF VF VF

Trenches XIC and D In the course of following the line of the 11th c.ditch in Area 5, Trench XIC was put down and uncovered the mortar floor of a Roman building. This trench was enlarged to examine more of this floor and given an extension (XID) on its east (Fig.10D).

Layer 6 yielded a small pottery assemblage (Assemblage 7) dated c.AD.350-370 but no coins or other small finds. It would appear that occupation within the Phase 3 building ceased at about the same time that rubbish dumping on the churned up surface of the second road began in earnest.

Phases 2 and 3.

Building 2.

Building 4 (Fig.11D).

The section along the south side of Trench II (Fig.5C) indicates that burnt debris from the Phase 2 destruction level was piled up on top of the sandy-clay dump behind the fort wall in an area between 4.20 and 7.20 m. from it. There was a stakehole in the section on the east side of this pile; possibly from an associated structure. Dark occupation soil accumulated over the site of the Phase 2 building but there is nothing in any of the site records to indicate the presence of an associated structure. The intermediate Roman stratification in this trench, however, appears to have been over-simplified and all that can be said is that the associated pottery is of earlier, rather than later, 4th c.date. There were no coins associated with the occupation soil and only one small find, (BR.15) a copper alloy carding comb, was present. The Phase 2 building immediately south of the gate may have continued in use during this period. There are no later structures visible in the section above it.

A floor of white pebbly mortar 0.07 m. thick was laid over the top of the pre-fort soil horizon in Trench XIC with its eastern edge cut away by the Norman ditch. On the east side of that ditch in Trench XID was a shallow drainage gully running east from a circular hollow 0.30 m. in diameter cut into the pre-fort soil horizon. The gulley was 0.22 m. wide where it left the hollow but widened to 0.30 m. against the northern baulk of the trench. The feature was totally lacking in pottery and the depth was unfortunately not recorded. A north-south gully only 0.20 m. wide and 0.12 m. deep divided the mortar floor on the west side of the Norman ditch; turning west for a short distance against the north baulk of the trench before terminating. From the trench plan, it seems possible that this ‘gully’ was the seating for a timber partition set in the floor and removed when the building was demolished. The fill contained three large East Sussex Ware potsherds and a Pevensey ware bowl rim: the presence of the latter indicates a post-AD.350370 date for the demolition of the building. On top of the mortar floor and the other Roman features was 0.60 m. of black earth containing much Roman pottery mixed with Late Saxon and Early Medieval material at a higher level. This was part of the ubiquitous dark earth present over most, if not all, of the Roman occupation within the fortress.

Phase 4, c.AD.370-400+ Building 1B Occupation deposit IA.6 in Trench IA was overlain by patches of red-fired clay and sand (IA.4). One of these patches, in the north-west part of the trench extension, had a rectangular hearth of stones measuring 0.50 m. x 0.40 m. on its surface against the north-east corner of a large oval greyish-white stone which may have been a post base. The plan suggests that the Phase 3 building was replaced by another with its north wall foundation cut through layer IA.4 south of the hearth (Fig.11C).

Trench XIE (Fig.1). This was put down to the north-east of Trench XIC and revealed a gully 0.15 m. deep dug into the pre-fort soil 31


Fig.11A: Trench IA North extension. Plan of Phase 2 structures. 11B “ “ “ “ Plan of Phase 3 structures 11C “ “ “ “ Plan of Phase 4 structures. 11D: Trenches XIC and D. Plan of Roman structures and Norman ditch.


EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 because of lack of treatment. A Crossbow Brooch (BR.93, c.AD. 290-340) also came from Layer 6.

horizon, running east-west down the long axis of the trench and cut at right-angles by the Norman ditch. This gully turned south on the east side of that ditch before disappearing into the side of the trench and yielded a little non-descript 4th c. pottery. Overlying the feature and the pre-fort soil horizon elsewhere was the dark earth, which was 1.10 m. thick here and contained the usual pottery sequence.

Phase 3. c.AD.300+-370 Occupation layer XIII.6 was partially sealed by a thin 0.15 m. deposit of yellow sandy soil (XIII.5) with charcoal flecks over the western part of the trench. This may have been the floor of a new building but contained no artefacts. Above XIII.5 was a layer of dirty brown occupation soil (XIII.4) averaging 0.15 m. in thickness, extending over much of the trench and grading up into black earth (XIII.3) above. This dark earth was up to 0.75 m. thick and continued to accumulate from Roman times through to the mid-13th century. It was subdivided into five spits by the excavator, the lowest of which (XIII.3E) yielded predominantly Roman material. The overwhelming bulk of the pottery from XIII.4 and XIII.3E (Assemblage 6, p.106-9) is of early 4th c. date, although a few sherds of late 4th c. Alice Holt pottery are also present. The following coins and small finds came from XIII.4:

Trench XIII Phase 2. c.AD.293-300+ Building 5. (Fig.12) The level surface of the clay rampart dump behind the fort wall (XIII.8) took the floor of a building 0.30 m. thick of yellow and light-brown sandy clay with charcoal flecks and extending over the western three-quarters of the trench (XIII.7). There were no artefacts in it other than a coin of Gallienus (R.301) dated AD.260-268. Cut into the surface of XIII.7 was a circular post-pit (Pit 14A) 0.72 m. in diameter and 0.61 m. deep. Verticalsided and flat bottomed, it was packed with mixed clayey sand and dark earth grading up into mixed yellow sand and brown sandy clay. The latter was almost indistinguishable from the floor itself and it is probable that the pit was dug first and the post packed in before the floor was laid over it. A tiny amount of pottery came from the pit and is described as part of Assemblage 2 (p.102-3). The post itself measured a massive rectangular 0.52 x 0.28 m. in plan with its longest dimension aligned north-south. The hole left by its extraction, or more probably decay (Pit 14), was filled by a fine greyishgreen soil containing the small quantity of pottery included in Assemblage 3 (p.103-5).

Table 18. Coins. Emperor


Deified Claudius II Allectus Crispus

R.96 R.98 R.97

Daterange 270 293-296 324

Condition Worn VF EF

The last of these coins has little evidence for ever having been in circulation. Layer XIII.3E produced a further 16 coins:

The eastern edge of the floor was marked by an irregular chain of hollows (Pit 20) which could have been an eavesdrip gulley alongside the wall on that side. Its description was over-simplified but three sections were drawn across it (Fig.12). The pottery from the fill of mixed brown clay and greyish-brown soil with charcoal flecks is described as part of Assemblage 3 (p.103-5). No associated wall-line was noted but it is probable that the building was timberframed and its remains easily missed by the excavator. The plan of the trench (Fig.12) does show a small posthole on the postulated wall-line but there are no records in the notebooks as to its depth, diameter or relationship with other layers.



Marcus Aurelius Gallienus Gallienus Deified Claudius II Carausius rd Late 3 century “ “ “ “ Constantine I “ “ House of Constantine “ “ “ Constantine II copy House of Constantine Constantius II Barbarous Fel Temp Reparatio

R.49 R.99 R.100 R.48 R.105 R.107 R.108 R.109 R.95 R.300 R.74 R.79 R.106 R.13 R.104 R.61

Daterange 161-180 260-268 260-268 270 286-293

334-335 330-335 337-340 337-340 341-346 341-346 353-355 353-364

Condition Very worn Worn Worn VF VF Corroded Corroded Corroded VF Missing Worn Worn VF VF Worn EF

None of these coins need to have been deposited later than the 350s and support the independent dating of c.AD.300-350 arrived at for most of the pottery. The following small finds were also recovered from XIII.3E:

The floor of the building was covered by dark occupation soil with charcoal (XIII.6). This was up-to 0.15 m. thick (Fig.13A) and contained quantities of pottery (part of Assemblage 3) together with a fragmentary coin of Carausius (R.44) dated AD.286-293. When Trench XIII was enlarged by Burgess in 1937, prior to its sides being battered and turfed, a small seven coin hoard of 3rd c. coins, including one of Carausius, was found in this layer: the rest of these coins are now indecipherable

Table 19. Illustrated Small Finds No. 54 168 186


Description Cu.alloy penannular brooch Shale spindle whorl Samian counter

SF.No 1937 SH.2 S.37

Fig.12 Plan of Trench XIII showing pits and sections through them.




Fig.13A: Section at west end of Trench XIII. 13B Section through Pit 23. 13C Section on east side of Trench XIIID. 13D Plan of soakaway in Trench XIIID 13E Elevation of inner end of Drain 2.

Table 20. Non-illustrated Small Finds No.

Description Cu.alloy brooch pin Lead net weight

Building 6A. SF.No BR.97 S.33

Around and above the southern end of floor XA.10 were mixed polychrome sandy clays (XA.9) between 0.25 and 0.10 m. thick: these were overlain in turn by black greasy soil with charcoal (XA.8).

Trenches XA, B and C.

These last two layers formed a raised, flat-surfaced platform for a second building with a thin floor of whitish chalky clay or marl 0.03 m. thick (XA.6). At the junction of XA.8 and 9 was a shallow, circular pit 0.75 m. in diameter and 0.14 m. deep. It had a regular, concavesided section and was filled by a white clayey substance similar to that of the floor. The best interpretation of all this is that the clay layer XA.9 formed a foundation raft for a timber building (Building 6) with occupation

Phases ?2, 3 and 4. Building 6. A floor constructed from greensand lumps and flints set in soft pink plastery mortar (XA.10) was laid on the prefort soil horizon and sectioned in the eastern baulk of Trench XA (Fig.14A). It was 0.08 m. thick and extended 0.80 m. out from the section. 35

MALCOLM LYNE (XA.8) accumulating on its surface. At some later date, the floor for Building 6A was laid over this with its marl being mixed in the bottom of a pit dug through XA.8 into the top of XA.9. We know that the pit was originally dug from a higher level than the top of XA.9 because Cottrill stated in his notes that although it was mostly cut into that layer “c.one third of its rim on the north is cut in the lowest level of the black greasy soil for a maximum depth of 2”. Although none of the pottery associated with this sequence survives, notes of bag contents made at the time indicate that it was entirely Roman. No coins or other small finds were found.

Bradwell (OTHONA), Reculver (REGULBIUM), Richborough (RUTUPIAE), Dover (DUBRIS), Lympne (LEMANIS), Pevensey (ANDERITUM) and Portchester (PORTUS ARDAONI) (Rivet and Smith 1979).

Trench XD (Figs.14B and C).

The foundation of this new coastal defensive system has been attributed to various emperors in the past. White considered that the forts had been built by Carausius to defend the seceded provinces against recapture by the forces of the dyarchs (1961). Probus has since been put forward as a candidate on the strength of his recorded rebuilding and fortifying of the cities of Gaul after the barbarian incursions of AD.270 (Johnson 1983,114-5). Carinus, his successor, has also been suggested on the evidence of his assumption of the title Britannicus and a reference to a bello sub arcto by his panygyricist Nemesianus (P.J.Casey pers comm.).

Two of these forts, Brancaster and Reculver, have earlier origins than the others and were constructed at the beginning of the 3rd c. as part of a Severan system connected with the Classis Britannica. This earlier system also included forts at Dover and Lympne and a signal station at Richborough, replaced by new stone forts towards the end of the 3rd century.

Most of the Roman stratification in the area of this trench had been removed during the medieval period. Above the pre-fort soil horizon at the southern end of the trench, however, was a 0.10 m. thick deposit of mixed sandy clay (XD.17). This was only present on the west side of the trench near the south-west corner. Above it was a thick deposit of dark-grey greasy occupation soil (XD.15), which attained a maximum thickness of 0.52 m. at the extreme southern end of the trench and thinned out due to truncation 2.70 m. further north. This layer produced a coin of the House of Constantine (R.163) dated 330-335.

Until recently, Pevensey was regarded as the ‘odd man out’ in this defensive system and was generally thought to be a Constantinian addition. This conclusion was brought about by the recovery of the nummus dated c.333-335 from a dirt filled horizontal beam emplacement in the top of the foundation beneath Interval Tower 3 in 1926. It would have been possible for the coin to have entered the emplacement via animal activity but there is evidence for alterations to the tower during the early 4th century (p.16-7).

Building 7 (Fig.14C). Although the Roman stratification had been removed in the northern part of the trench, the bottom of a clay wall foundation trench (Gully 5) did survive. It ran diagonally across the trench and was cut through by two later 11th c. ditches. At the northern end of the foundation trench, where it passed under the baulk of the trench, the feature was 0.30 m. wide and of similar depth, with a partiallyflattened base rising up on its east to meet the side. To the north of the 11th c. Gully 3, the feature was 0.37 m. wide, 0.30 m. deep and of U section. Between Gullies 3 and 4, it was of similar width but only 0.20 m. deep before curving round and disappearing under the west baulk of the trench. The fill consisted of brown and red clay with a little admixture of dark soil, the content of which increased where the feature curved round. On the west, internal side of the clay-wall foundation trench was a 0.30 m. square posthole 0.38 m. deep, filled by brownishgrey clay (Pit 34). As with Trenches XA, B and C, no pottery from the Roman levels survives but contemporary records of bag contents indicate that the features described above are of that date.

Recent excavations by Fulford on the east side of Pevensey Castle have provided dendrochronological dates for piles beneath the Roman fortress wall and coins from the primary rampart dump (Fulford and Rippon 1994, 2-3): these indicate that Anderitum was built by Allectus c.AD.293 to defend Britannia after his loss of Boulogne and remaining territories in Northern Gaul (Lyne 2008). The other new stone forts may very well have been constructed at the same time. 4.6.2. Parallels. Pevensey differs from nearly all other coastal forts in both its non-polygonal plan and the advanced nature of its gate defences. In the past, these features were taken as further evidence for its later, Constantinian, date.

4.6: Discussion 4.6.1: The date of the fort.

The gates of late Roman forts in Britain show an almost infinite variety of plan; in marked contrast with those of 1st and 2nd c. date. The West Gate at Pevensey has perhaps the most sophisticated design of all. There are no exact parallels but the closest one is the north gate at Brough on Humber, which was reconstructed in stone c.270 with a gatehouse set in from the line of the fort wall across a simple opening (Wacher 1969, Fig.17). This

There are ten late Roman stone forts strung out along the coast of south-east Britain: during the late 4th c. these constituted the British section of the Saxon Shore command. Commencing with Brancaster (BRANODUNUM), guarding the entrance to the Wash, and working clockwise along the coast they are, or were, Burgh Castle (GARIANNONUM), Walton Castle, 36

Fig.14A: Section on east side of Trenches XA,B and C. 14B Section on east side of Trench XD. 14C: Plan of Trench XD.



MALCOLM LYNE gatehouse does however differ from that at Pevensey in that it was of integral build with the fort wall and had the ground-floor guard chamber straddling the central roadway as a single room. The thickness of the fort wall inturns also suggests that there was direct access between the upper floor of the gatehouse and the fort wall parapet; in the manner of the two main gates at Portchester (Cunliffe 1975,Fig.16).

beams resting directly on the ground-surface. As a result, these left no traces other than the occasional pressure indentation in the associated ground surface. Other buildings at Portchester had no mortar flooring at all; the only indications of their former presence being areas free of pits and gravel metalling. Buildings of this latter type would have normally remained undetected by the system of long, narrow trenches favoured by both Salzman and Cottrill at Pevensey.

There is a strong possibility that the Brough-on-Humber Phase VII gatehouse was never finished before being redesigned in Phase VIII. Towards the end of the 3rd or in the earliest years of the 4th c., two semi-circular towers were added, flanking the gate approach (Wacher 1969,Fig.18). The excavator thought that the gatehouse room straddling the roadway had been filled in with masonry when the structure was rebuilt but the evidence could equally-well be used for raised stone flooring. Thus, in its final form, the gate at Brough must have looked very similar to that at Pevensey, with any differences being due largely to the former’s piece-meal construction over two phases.

Salzman did, however, find traces of such earth-floored structures in the north-west quarter of the fort, immediately south of the North Postern. Here, he found a system of regularly placed tile hearths laid in both mortar and earth floors. His sections and descriptions suggest a series of chalet-type barracks terraced slightly into the gentle, north-facing slope and separated by shallow drainage gullies. The long axes of these buildings appear to have run from east to west. Fragments of burnt daub from both Salzman’s and Cottrill’s excavations bear the impressions of round sectioned ?hazel withies up to 0.02 m. in diameter woven around larger staves up-to 0.04 m. across. Much of this material is of 4th c. date but similar timber-framed wattleand-daub wall construction is suggested by the late 3rd c. building evidence described above.

It is interesting to note that Brough shares two other unusual features with Pevensey in that it also has an indirect-approach postern gate and a sub-rectangular plan. They may also share the distinction of being bases for naval units at some time during their histories. The Notitia gives a former garrison at Brough as the Numerus Supervenientum Petueriensium and it has been suggested that the name indicates that the unit was acting as army reinforcement for a naval force (Tomlin 1969). Using supervenio in the sense of coming upon or surprising, rather than reinforcing, it could alternatively be argued that we are dealing with a special camouflaged naval unit of the type described by Vegetius for hunting down Saxon pirates.

Despite the meagre nature of the archaeological evidence, we should not conclude that the buildings in the fort were of a flimsy nature. We may perhaps envisage a fort containing a principia, bath-house and one or two other structures built in stone but otherwise filled with wellconstructed timber-framed wattle-and-daub buildings with tiled or shingled roofs. One piece of daub from Salzman’s excavation has traces of whitewash on it and many of these buildings may have been similarly treated as protection against the elements. Such buildings can be remarkably durable and even today there are a considerable number of similarly constructed houses which remain habitable even after 600 years.

Pevensey and Brough may have been the southern and northern bases for such fleet units and owe their common peculiarities to design by a naval architect not versed in army fort planning. If so, Brough would appear to have had its fleet transferred to Malton on the River Derwent and Pevensey’s to Paris on the River Seine before the Notitia was compiled. The considerably greater size of Pevensey could be due its originally being designed to house joint army and naval units (p.18).

It has proved impossible to identify the functions of any of the excavated buildings with any certainty, other than the barracks buildings found by Salzman. It is possible that the building in Cottrill’s Trench IA was a workshop or fabrica and the drain associated with the building in Trench XIC could indicate a stable block. These identifications must, however, be regarded as extremely speculative.

4.6.3. The History of the Fort Phase 2. c.AD.293-300+

The evidence for the fort’s construction date has been dealt with above (p.36). That for the end of Phase 2 is less certain. The latest coins associated with Building 5 in Trench XIII were two of Carausius (p.37): the most recent from Building 2 in Trench II were two more of the same emperor (p.30). The situation in Trench IA is more complicated in that the earliest occupation deposit in Building I was not completely sealed. The latest coin from the sealed portion of the layer was also of Carausius (p.30), but the Phase 3 occupation above included more late 3rd c. coinage and a large nummus of Maximianus

This earliest phase of fort occupation is characterised by thin spreads of pebbly mortar flooring laid directly on the pre-fort ground surface. They were first noted by Salzman in the north-west quarter of the fort (1907) and were found by Cottrill in his trenches IA,II,XB,XIC and XIII: in all cases the wall-lines of the associated structures proved very elusive. This phenomenon was also encountered at Portchester (Cunliffe 1975, 65): the excavator there had great difficulty in identifying plans and came to the conclusion that the walls had timber sill38

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 dated 294-305, which could have been derived from the layer beneath.

seems at least possible that the Classis Anderetianorum at Pevensey was part of the old Classis Britannica and had assumed the responsibilities of the latter in the running of the Wealden imperial estate. Although Wealden iron production appears to have declined sharply after the mid-3rd century, it may still have been on a sufficiently large scale to cope with the military needs of the new coastal fort system.

Coinage of the period 296-310 is rare on sites: the large nummi of the new reformed coinage were less easily lost and, because of their superior quality and higher face value, tended to go straight into hoards. This factor suggests that the Phase 2 occupation may have lasted into the early years of the 4th century.

Phase 3. c.AD.300-370 At Dover, the excavator thought that the Classis Britannica fort had been abandoned when the fleet took up a supporting role for Severus’s campaigns in Scotland between 208 and 212 (Philp 1981, 115). If the Classis Anderetianorum was already at Pevensey by the beginning of the 4th c., it may be that it was required in a similar role for Constantius Chlorus’s campaign of 306.

This phase of occupation is less well defined than the previous one: it can be subdivided into Phases 3A and B with the division marked by rebuilding inside the fort and localised refurbishment of its defences during the 340s. It is probable that Pevensey was manned by the Classis Anderetianorum and Milites Anderetianorum during this period, either as a joint garrison or in succession.

The possible evidence for the destruction by fire of Building 2 in Trench II might argue a violent end to Phase 2 in 296 at the time of the overthrow of Allectus but it is unwise to regard the burning down of one building, possibly by accident, as evidence for a historical event.

The coin evidence (p.63) indicates that there was no major hiatus between Phases 2 and 3A. The original road surface inside the East Gate appears to have remained in use with only localised resurfacing at the most. The uncirculated coin dated to 341 from off the surface of this road and the presence of other scarcely-circulated coins of the 340s in the dumped sand (EG.4) above suggests that the new road may have been constructed during that decade.

Later Anglo-Saxon documents refer to the Wealden forest as the ‘forest of Andred’. The reference under AD.893 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle giving its width as 30 and length as 120 miles is of particular interest. Allowing for the wildly inaccurate estimate of length, these dimensions must surely include that part of the Weald impinging on the eastern side of Hampshire: far nearer the fort of Portchester than that of Pevensey. The interpretation of the fort name Anderitum indicates that the name of the wood is derived from that of the fort and not vice-versa. For such a vast area of woodland to be so named suggests that the Saxons were preserving in its name a memory of a time when Anderitum had administrative control over it and its resources, including timber, iron and charcoal. We know from the evidence of stamped tiles that the Classis Britannica controlled the iron industry as one aspect of a Wealden imperial estate up until the early 3rd c. (Cleere and Crossley 1985,66). It may also have controlled the expoitation of the timber resources but, unlike iron working, this would leave little trace in the archaeological record.

The beaten earth floor of the Phase 3A building in Trench IA had mortar patches put down to fill up hollows in it. One of these patches had a virtually uncirculated coin of 341-346 sealed directly beneath it, suggesting that this repair work took place at about the same time as the construction of the second road. Salzman’s excavations indicate that his barracks were rebuilt on approximately the same lines as their predecessors; a new hearth being placed on top of an old one in one case. We do not know the date of this rebuilding but a Constantinian coin was associated with one of the new hearths (Salzman 1907, 7). It is possible that repairs were also carried out on the fort walls during the 340s. The coin from the beam emplacement under Interval Tower 3 is dated 333-335 and could conceivably be associated with the changes to the tower’s design (p.16). Drain 3 and the associated length of fort wall to the east of Interval Tower 4 may also be the result of repairs carried out at this time. It is, however, possible that Allectus failed to complete the construction of Anderitum and that these ‘repairs’ represent the completion of work during the 2nd quarter of the 4th century.

The Classis is believed to have been disbanded at some time during the 3rd century. The cessation of the practice of stamping tiles and the evidence for the final abandonment of the fort at Dover (Philp 1981) suggests that this disbanding took place early on in that century but the evidence is far from conclusive. It may be that Carausius was the last commander of the Classis Britannica as part of the fleet put together under his command by Maximianus in order to put down Frankish piracy in the Channel and used by Carausius as his most effective weapon in preventing the re-conquest of Britain by the dyarchs. Breaking the fleet into smaller units under separate commands would have helped to ensure that no future commander would be in control of the total naval force and tempted to use it to back any future rebellion. It

A new phase of building activity also took place at Portchester during the 340s (Cunliffe 1975,425). The excavator considered this to have taken place between 340 and 345 and mark the re-imposition of military order inside the fort after a phase of disorganised occupation with flimsy ill-defined structures. It may be that this activity at Portchester and Pevensey was an aftermath to 39

MALCOLM LYNE Constans’s visit in 342 and represent a shake-up of hitherto neglected shore defences.

on the surface of the road inside the East Gate (p.31-2). Apart from Building IB (p.36) Theodosian buildings are unknown at Pevensey and none were found at Portchester. The absence of clear traces of buildings in both forts may be due to two factors.

The end of Phase 3B is dated from deposits in Trenches EG and XIII. The second road inside the East Gate remained in use until its metalling had become dispersed and the upper part of its sand substratum heavily churned up by traffic: the latest coin from this churned up surface material is a scarcely circulated one of Valentinian I dated 367-375. In Trench XIII, the Phase 3 occupation deposits (XIII.4 and 3E) contained a number of coins terminating with a scarcely circulated barbarous Fel Temp Reparatio issue dated 353-364. The associated pottery supports a termination date of c.360 for the accumulation of this deposit, although it could conceivably gone on for another ten years. One is tempted to associate the end of Phase 3B with the ‘Barbarian Conspiracy’ of 367 but the evidence is far from conclusive.

The first is that most of the latest Roman occupation levels at Pevensey, as at Portchester, are in the lower part of thick black-earth deposits, the deposition of which go on through the Saxon and Medieval periods. Whereas it is difficult enough to detect the slight archaeological traces of the Phases 2 and 3 buildings, it is virtually impossible to identify any later ones set in the black-earth. The second factor is the probably disorganised nature of the occupation, which may have been associated with ephemeral structures; even less likely to be detected than those which had gone before. The Notitia suggests that the late 4th c. garrison of Anderitum was the Numerus Abulcorum and this apparently squalid occupation may be associated with their presence. The unit may have been transferred to Pevensey as early as the 350s and been a barbarian numerus originating from outside of the Roman empire. A similarly-named field-army unit was present at the battle of Mursa in 353.

Phase 4. c.AD.370-400+ The ordered occupation at Portchester is regarded by the excavator, on coin evidence, as having come to an end in 364 before the ‘Barbarian Conspiracy’ of 367: he thought that the fort had been unaffected by the latter event (Cunliffe 1975,430). The occupation which followed is marked by disorganisation and squalor characterised by the dumping of rubbish on roads and the random digging of rough drainage channels through areas of cobbled metalling (Cunliffe 1975,425). A similar situation may have prevailed at Pevensey, in that rubbish was dumped

The coin evidence indicates a military presence at Pevensey, as at Portchester, until at least the end of the 4th century. At the latter site, it is suggested that there was a decline in the intensity of occupation after 378 (Cunliffe 1975,425).


5 The Post-Roman Occupation The main feature at Burgess Hill was a ditch full of fresh c.AD.370-400+ dated Roman pottery with the rounded base of an Early Saxon cooking-pot mixed up with it (Lyne 1999A). The Roman sherds can scarcely be regarded as residual, so one is left with the possibility that the earliest Saxon settlers in East Sussex were contemporaries of the latest Roman/Sub-Roman inhabitants of the area.

5.1. Introduction The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry for 491 is stark and to the point: ‘In this year Aelle and Cissa besieged Andredesceaster and slew all the inhabitants; there was not even one Briton left there’ (Garmonsway 1954.14). It is generally thought that Andredesceaster and Anderitum were one and the same, although it must be said that, in view of the large area covered by the Saxon Andredeswald, the site could conceivably have been one of several Iron-Age hill-forts lying within the Weald and reoccupied in the manner of the Caburn or Cissbury during the 5th century.

The evidence supplied by early-to-mid-5th c. schalenurne and other early Saxon sherds found in destruction and pre-destruction contexts at Pevensey (p.123) indicates that a Germanic element may have already been present amongst the inhabitants of Anderitum before its sack in 470 or thereabouts. Other artefactual evidence for the period shows that the fortress had wide-ranging trade links during the earlier 5th c. and was more than just a squalid refuge for the surviving remnants of the local British population. There are Palaeochristian wares from Southern Gaul (p.116), a Macedonian Greyware sherd from the Balkans (p.116) and Syrian glassware from Antioch (p.89). To these can now be added North African Red-Slip ware vessels from the more recent excavations by Fulford (Jane Timby pers comm.). Anderitum’s postulated control of the Wealden forests provided it with the potential, at least, for exportation of timber and iron to pay for such goods; a factor which would have made its survival of particular interest to the Roman and later Frankish administrations on the other side of the Channel.

John Morris has argued fairly convincingly that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle date is twenty years too late, as a consequence of Gildas’s erroneous dating of an appeal for military aid, sent by the British to Aetius between 446 and 454. Gildas was used as a source by Bede in writing his History of the English Church and the error was passed on through him to the Alfredian compilers of the earlier entries in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Morris 1973,39). The sack of Andredesceaster occurred at the end of a dark period of about 60 years after the normally accepted date of the Roman military withdrawal from Britain; a period illuminated to a degree by features and items discovered during Cottrill’s and Pearce’s excavations and Salzman’s earlier dig but unrecognised for what they were at the time.

There are very few documentary references to Pevensey during the period between the fall of Anderitum and the Norman Conquest. It is quite possible that the site was left abandoned for a century or more but by the mid-7th c., at the latest, the archaeological evidence indicates that some kind of occupation had been re-established within the walls.

Most of the earliest Saxon occupation sites and cemeteries in Sussex are concentrated in the block of downland lying between the Rivers Ouse and Cuckmere and date from the middle years of the 5th c. onwards. They include the settlement site at Bishopstone (Bell 1977) and the cemeteries at Alfriston and Selmeston (Welch 1983). It has been suggested by Welch that this was an area granted by treaty to Saxon mercenaries or laeti during that period (Welch 1971,232-237). If so, the treaty would almost certainly have been with whoever was occupying Anderitum at the time. More recent excavations at the Beddingham villa site and at Burgess Hill raise the possibility that Saxon settlement in East Sussex began even earlier and possibly before the end of the 4th century. Excavations at Beddingham showed that the villa had been abandoned during the mid-4th century but later occupation in a small apsidal-ended shrine or church in the field behind yielded Early Saxon and late 4th c. Roman pottery. The pottery includes two very early Saxon pedestalled vessels, possibly earlier than AD.450, and fresh Roman Pevensey ware sherds, later in date than the abandonment of the main villa building (Lyne Forthcoming A).

The evidence of royal witnesses to 7th and 8th c. charters (Barker 1947) shows that the South Saxon kingdom had under-kings or some sort of dual kingship system. It is possible that one of these kings was based at Pevensey: this would explain why the fairly sparse Middle Saxon occupation evidence there should include such luxury items as the Valsgade glass bowl rim from Pit 13 (p.91) and the Kempston cone beaker fragment from Pit 9 (p.90). A royal palace within the walls, like the postulated West Saxon one at Winchester (Biddle 1973), would have occupied only one small part of the fortress; perhaps an area of it not yet excavated. The few finds made so far may be peripheral to the main occupation area. By the mid-9th c, Pevensey had become a small fishingport and the centre for a considerable sea-salt producing industry. The first reference to saltings on Pevensey


MALCOLM LYNE levels occurs in a charter of 772 relating to lands at Barnehorne on the north-east side of them (Barker 1947,XIV). A second charter of 788 records the grant by the Mercian alderman Berhtwald to the monastery of St.Denis in France of Rotherfield and the use of ‘Hastings and Pevensey, harbours by the sea with saltpans and all things pertaining thereto’ (Barker 1948,XVIII). This was done as thanks to the martyrs Dionysius, Rusticus and Eleutherius whose relics, kept at the monastery, had cured Berhtwald of sickness. Although this charter is manifestly a forgery of probable 12th c. date, Barker points out that Rotherfield church is the only one in England dedicated to St.Denis and that charters were rarely forged for the downright purpose of theft but to reinforce a genuine claim where original documents were lost or lacking and claim to the land was disputed (Ibid.). In a later charter of 947, King Eadred grants one Edmund lands at Hankham on the west side of Pevensey (Barker 1949,XXXII). The bounds of these lands include ‘so to the boundary of Horse Eye, thence to the land stream; and one saltpan opposite to Pefenes on the north side of the land-stream’.

The Domesday Book entry for Pevensey describes its taxable state in the time of Edward the Confessor. From this we learn that it had 52 burgesses, of which 24 were on the King’s demesne. There was also a market worth 20 shillings and a harbour yielding 35 shillings in dues. Dulley’s excavations in Pevensey village failed to locate any evidence for occupation there earlier than the late 12th century (Dulley 1968), although more recent excavations at the Old Farmhouse site indicate some limited activity as early as AD.1075-1100 (Lyne 1999B,105-6). This contrasts with the prolific evidence from excavations within the Roman fortress, suggesting that the Saxon and late 11th c. town was very largely enclosed within its walls. A feature of the Saxo-Norman occupation levels within the fort is the large quantity of shellfish remains, often forming middens and providing testimony to their importance in the local diet. The most common types are cockles and mussels, probably harvested from the tidal mud-flats. With the Norman invasion, we enter a period illuminated by a considerable body of documentary evidence. William of Poitiers, a contemporary, describes Duke William’s landing thus: ‘Having been carried to Pevensey by a prosperous wind, he disembarked without opposition, meeting with no armed resistance ……. The Normans, who were glad when they reached the shore, first of all fortified and occupied Pevensey, and then fortified and occupied Hastings’ (Dawson 1909).

Domesday Book records that there were over 100 saltings on Pevensey levels in 1087, divided among 11 neighbouring vills and making it the largest sea-salt producing area in Sussex. The reason for the importance of this industry around Pevensey and at Rye (The other major source in Sussex) was the presence of large areas of tidal marshland. The salt extraction techniques employed during this period involved scraping off the surface of the mud after each tide and boiling out the salt deposited thereon. This led to the formation of low mounds of burnt mud waste, of which a considerable number have been plotted around Pevensey, mainly to its north and east (Dulley 1966 and Fig.2A). Although several of these mounds are extremely close to Pevensey, none of the saltings mentioned in Domesday Book were actually on the manor itself. The manor of Pevensey was very small compared with the sprawling West Hankham estate to its west and was restricted to the walled fortress and the end of the peninsula immediately to its east. It looks very much like a later insertion into a pre-existing system of local administration, where salt-production rights and privileges were already established. Whether this happened at a time when Pevensey was ?reoccupied during the 7th c. or goes back even further in time to the building of the Roman fort is uncertain. It is, however, probable that Pevensey acquired salt revenues by acting as a market and trading centre for the product during the Late Saxon period.

Guy of Amiens, writing in 1068 or thereabouts, hints that existing fortifications had recently been destroyed. ‘Guarding the shore and fearing to lose your ships, you protect them by walls, and pitch a camp there. You rebuild the castles that were lately destroyed, and place custodians in them to guard them’. Benoit de St Maur, writing half a century later, says that the Duke caused some of his knights to garrison Pevensey for two years (Ibid.). The Domesday Book entry hints at considerable population loss at Pevensey, with the number of burgesses dropping from 52 to 27 by 1068, when King William came to grant Pevensey to his half-brother Robert, Count of Mortain. By 1087, however, a great recovery had taken place and the total number of burgesses had risen to 110. Sixty of these were on Robert’s demesne (?within the walls of Pevensey) and returned 39 shillings from burgage rents. A small mint worth 20 shillings had been established and a market returned £4 in dues. The 50 burgesses who were not on Robert’s demesne may represent the first moves in setting up the port on the site of the present village to the east of the walled town.

In 1052, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Earl Godwine returned with a fleet from Bruges to England (Garmonsway 1954, 177-8). The English fleet put out to intercept him but a terrible storm blew up and he evaded them: after sheltering at Pevensey, he managed to return to Bruges. Later in the same year, Earl Harold came from Ireland to Pevensey with nine ships and seized its merchant fleet along with those of Romney, Hythe, Folkestone, Dover and Sandwich.

The events of the following year must have proved a considerable set-back to this recovery: in that year there was a conspiracy by Robert and others to overthrow the new king William Rufus. Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and brother of Robert, now Duke of Normandy, was a leading 42

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 conspirator and took shelter inside his brother’s castle at Pevensey after an unsuccessful attempt to hold that at Tonbridge. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records what ensued: ‘The king with his host …. learnt that the bishop had gone to the castle at Pevensey; and the king with his host followed after, and besieged the castle on all sides with a very great host for fully six weeks ….. Thereafter food ran short inside the castle; then they asked for a truce, and surrendered it to the king.’

stockade. This action was accompanied by the digging of the present moat; the material from which was spread over much of the interior of the now largely empty outer bailey. This event probably took place in 1254 as in that year Peter of Savoy’s tenants had their heckages compounded for 12 marks each. The castle was besieged again after the Battle of Lewes in 1264 by Simon de Montfort. During this abortive siege, the north wall of the old Roman fort was breached between Interval Towers 3 and 4 and a ditch dug in front of the castle to prevent the garrison sallying out.

In 1101, William Count of Mortain rebelled against King Henry in anticipation of an invasion from Normandy. He failed in this enterprise and all of his lands, including Pevensey, were escheated to the Crown. Pevensey was then granted to Richer de Aquila. The lawless reign of King Stephen saw it regranted to Gilbert Earl of Pembroke, who rebelled in 1147. Pevensey castle was besieged by the King who, finding it impregnable, abandoned his attempts at storming and left a force of men and ships to blockade it: eventually famine brought about the castle’s surrender. After first granting the newly-captured castle to his son Eustace, Stephen, on the former’s death, re-granted it to his second son William Earl of Warenne, who had to surrender the castle on the succession of Henry II.

On Peter of Savoy’s death in 1268, the castle passed to his niece Queen Eleanor, who carried out extensive repair works on it. In 1288, it was recorded that two men were employed for 14 weeks to remove stone for use in the new work from the Roman wall overthrown during the war. The breaching of the wall meant that the old Roman fortress was no longer tenable as an outer bailey for the castle and some of the stone may also have been removed from the still standing structure and its towers. A survey of 1313 sums up the situation: ‘Also a certain wall of the outer bailey on the north side …… fallen and the remainder of the said wall is almost in ruins, and the south part of the said bailey is almost open because the wall ….. and the open part is 20 perches in extent. If the King should wish to repair the said outer bailey its repair is estimated at £1000.’

Occupation debris relating to the late 12th and early 13th centuries was found at a number of points inside the Roman walls but the intense cess and other pit digging associated with the urban Saxo-Norman occupation was at an end. This later occupation debris may simply relate to the activities of the garrison inside what had now become no more than the outer bailey of the castle.

From this description, it would seem that the appearance of the Roman fortress then was not much different to its present one. The expenditure was never forthcoming and from this time on the Roman walls served no defensive purpose, apart from during the Armada threat of 1588 and the 1940 invasion scare,.

On receiving the castle from William Earl of Warenne, Henry II regranted it to Gilbert de l’Aigle the heir of Richer de Aquila. The Royal Pipe Rolls of the Exchequer record considerable building activity at the castle during the second half of the 12th c. and in particular between the years 1192 and 1197. Much of this expenditure must relate to the keep and buildings of the inner bailey but there is reference to repairs to the palisades in 1187-88 and work on the ditch in 1193. The former probably included timber breast-works on an earth rampart predating the present curtain wall, but may also have related to repair work on a palisade crowning the earth and clay bank sectioned by Trenches XA, B, C and D on the south side of the outer bailey.

It is not proposed to make a detailed architectural history of the inner bailey and keep of the Medieval castle as none of the excavations covered by this report took place in that area, with the exception of Rigold’s, and the subject has been adequately dealt with elsewhere (Renn 1971). The outer bailey containing the Saxon and Norman towns is a different matter; with Cottrill’s and Pearce’s excavations providing much new information on repairs and improvements to its defences during this period. 5.2: The Fortifications

The castle was seized by King John in 1216 and then abandoned as he retreated before the invading forces of Prince Louis. John is described as dismantling it to deny its use to the enemy but this action was probably restricted to the timber elements.

5.2.1: The Walls. The exterior face of the wall of the Roman fortress shows little sign of refacing or patching except at parapet height: here there is a considerable amount of random flint rubble work. The interior face shows signs of considerable erosion, however, and extensive refacing in this medium.

On Gilbert de l’Aigle’s death in 1231, the castle was escheated to the King, who granted it to Gilbert Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. He held it until 1240 and then Henry III bestowed it on his wife’s uncle Peter of Savoy in 1246. Peter put in train a series of major building operations, including the construction of the present stone curtain wall with towers as a replacement for the

Area 9, Trench XII (Fig.1). Trench XII was put down against the internal face of the fort wall behind Interval Tower 6, at a point where there was a considerable area of flint rubble patching. The 43

MALCOLM LYNE nature of this repair work makes it impossible to date with any precision by style and technique, except to say that it is post-Roman. Here, the inner facing of the Roman wall was found preserved for 10 courses or 1.40 m. above the top of its greensand block plinth, to a point just 0.30 m. below the present ground surface. Above the top of this Roman work is flint and sandstone rubble refacing oversailing the Roman work by 0.10 to 0.11 metres.

Trench XIV (Fig.15B and 9) This was dug at the junction between the end of the still standing Roman fort wall foundation on the east side of Interval Tower 9 and the Norman wall (Fig.1). The two objectives were to establish the relationship between the walls and to determine, if possible, when the Roman wall collapsed.

Later alterations to the southern defences of the Roman fort.

The pebble road surface on top of Roman fort-wall rampart dump (XIV.15) was overlain by 0.18 m. of sterile brown and grey sandy clay (XIV.14): above this was a 0.50 m. thick deposit of dark occupation soil (XIV.13), representing late Roman activity within the fort. Cutting the south side of this deposit and all of those beneath it was the edge of a deep cavity caused by the collapse of the fort wall. This edge took the form of a steep downward slope descending 3.00 m. on to the top of the outwards tilted remains of the wall foundation. A fragment of the inner plinth remained in situ but the outer one and foundation had sheared off to the level of the base of the horizontal timber lacing. The Roman wall immediately to the north-west seems to have remained standing during this period, with the edge of the disturbance stopping at its broken end.

Much of the south wall of the Roman fort had already been overthrown before the late 11th c. by land slippage. Its total ruin on this side of the fort, nearest to the shore, suggests that the wall may have been undermined by rising sea levels, destabilising the wet clays and sands into which its foundations had been set.

On top of dark earth XIV.13 was a thin 0.03 m. deposit of burnt clay and daub particles (XIV.8) extending 0.60 m. south from the north end of the section before thinning out. There was a 0.25 m. thick dirty-light brown sandy clay patch (XIV.9) between the burnt daub and the edge of the disturbance.

Apart from the various localised repairs to the Roman fortress wall, the greatest single post-Roman operation was the building of a new defensive system on the south side of the fortress to replace that ruined by this landslip. This still requires investigation but appears from the evidence available to have been in two parts; an eastern section consisting of a stone-revetted earth and clay rampart and a western length of stone walling. It is uncertain as to how they relate to each other: they are probably of different dates but both were constructed during the Norman occupation.

In the bottom of the cavity over the stump of the Roman wall was a deposit 0.10 m. thick, consisting of mixed brownish-yellow and red-and-yellow clay (XIV.20) linked to by a thin tip line and derived from Layers XIV.16 and 18, originally dumped against the rear face of the fort wall during the construction of Anderitum. Above this was a deposit of dark earth up-to 0.40 m. thick (XIV.12) in the bottom of the hollow and running up its side as another thin tip line derived from the exposed edge of layer XIV.13. Containing chips of sandstone, streaks of yellow-brown clay and particles of burnt daub, XIV.12 was overlain by a layer 0.30 m. thick, consisting of burnt daub and reddish-brown burnt soil (XIV.11). This was probably derived from layer XIV.8 and yielded a small Roman pottery assemblage, as well as a fragment from a 5th c. Saxon schalenurne (Assemblage 11, p.116).

Against the inner face of this projection was a mass of red, burnt clayey soil (XII.2) containing pottery of late 11th to early 12th c.date (Assemblage 22, p.130). The relationship of this layer to the refacing shows that the latter is of late 11th c. date or earlier and is either part of the castle building programme carried out immediately after the Norman Conquest or Late Saxon in date. Whether all of the flint wall refacing patches on the old Roman fort wall belong to one operation is uncertain but much of this repair work was clearly carried out after a long period of neglect, during which the inner face of the Roman wall had become heavily eroded.

The stone wall was first examined by four trenches in 1932 and then again in 1936 by Trench XIV near its western end and junction with the broken end of the Roman wall. The 1932 trenches (Fig.1) revealed that the wall took a line commencing on the west side of the sheared off Roman Interval Tower 9, to the front of which it was attached, before turning north-east across and to the north of the line of the collapsed Roman fort wall for a distance of 41 m., when it terminated abruptly with a face at right-angles to the wall-line. This indicates a postern gate at this point but no attempt was made to uncover its east side. Trench 3, a short distance to the east, located the very disturbed foundations of the continuing wall but Trench 4, even further east, drew a blank. It seems that the line diverged inwards from that of the Roman wall to take it around an area of land-slip to the west of the egress of the later castle moat.

Above the burnt daub (XIV.11) was a further tip-line of dark earth (XIV.10). This yielded a mixture of late 4th century Roman, Early Saxon and Late Saxon sherds as well as a Migration period strap distributer from a horse harness (BR.99, p.79). This layer and all those below were almost certainly derived from the erosion of preexisting layers exposed in the inner face of the cavity caused by the collapse of the Roman wall and are, therefore, later than the destruction of that feature. The few non-descript later Saxon sherds from XIV.10 could however be intrusive in the exposed top of the disturbance fills. This sequence suggests that the fort-wall 44


Fig.15A: Section on north side of Trench III. 15B: Section on east side of Trench XIV. 15C: Section on north side of Trench IIG. 15D: Section on east side of Trench XE.


MALCOLM LYNE destruction at this point took place after the mid-5th c. and probably before the Late Saxon period.

cooking-pots of similar form and fabric were in use before the Norman Conquest there (Zoe Vahey pers comm.). Layer X.4 may therefore be the result of the destruction of buildings immediately after the Norman occupation to make way for the ensuing defensive works.

The hollow left over the top of the now largely-filled cavity resulting from the collapse of the Roman wall was filled with grey clay (XIV.7) containing two sherds of residual Roman pottery. Above the slight hollow in the top of this layer and extending over the burnt daub horizon (XIV.8) to its north was a layer of dark soil 0.18 m. thick (XIV.5). This contained residual Roman pottery, 11th c. sherds and the following small finds:

Resting on the burning was a broad earth and clay rampart, the width of which occupied the entire length of Trenches X.A and X.C. At its base was a 0.50 m. thick dump of grey and greenish-grey sandy-clay soil (X.3) overlain by 1.35 m. of alternating thin seams of yellowish-brown sandy clay and dark grey clayey soil, grouped together as X.2. The whole appearance of this deposit is that of dumped layers of thick clay-based turves. In the upper part of this dump, two thin seams of chalk lumps were also present. The rear face of this rampart lay to the north, beyond the trench, although there were signs of attenuation in that direction.

Table 21. Small Finds Fig.No. 20.24 21.26

Description Fragment from Roman ribbon strip armlet. c.300-400+ th Part of base of iron candlestick. 12 th 13 c.

SF.no BR.98 I.58

Along the south-east, outer face of this rampart was a defensive V-section ditch 2.55 m. deep and an estimated 5.00 m. wide. It had clearly been cut through the preNorman layers before the construction of the rampart because a piece of dark grey soil X.5 had flaked off the side of the ditch creating a hollow. This hollow had then been plugged by a downwards extension of the grey clay base of the rampart to create a steep continuous slope from the top of the latter to the bottom of the ditch: a total fall of 4.35 metres.

Phase 6A. c.1066-1150 A deep cut for the foundation of the Norman defensive wall was made through the south side of XIV.5 and the lower fills occupying the cavity left by the collapsed Roman wall (Plate 9). This Norman wall was of rough coursed flint-rubble construction set in a soft, whitish, pebbly mortar with a few larger blocks of sandstone. Where the new wall abuts the broken end of the Roman one, squared blocks of sandstone were used; some of which have diagonal tooling. One block is 0.30 m. long by 0.24 m. thick and another is 0.38 by 0.28 metres.

The primary silting of the ditch (X.12) consisted of 0.20 m. of grey clay, above which was a 1.25 m. thick deposit of yellow-brown clay with grey lenticles towards its base (X.13). The lower part of this fill and the primary silting contained debris from the Roman fort wall, in the form of a few flints, a lump of greensand, a flint with white mortar adhering and a slab of pink ‘opus-signinum’ mortar with greensand block fragments adhering. Although the pottery from this layer is missing, Cottrill’s notes state that it was entirely ‘Roman, except for two chips of ‘Norman’ in the top few inches’.

The foundation trench of the wall, as shown in the section (Fig.14B) was cut down into the chalk and flint foundation of the Roman one. The fill of this foundation trench consisted of yellow clayey sand with lumps of white and yellow clay (XIV.4) and yielded a few sherds in coarse Saxo-Norman fabric N2. This layer extended beyond the limits of the Norman foundation trench over the top of XIV.5 to the north and was overlain by red and yellow clay (XIV.3).

Above X.13, in the upper levels of ditch fill, was a horizon of grey clayey soil up to 0.25 m. thick (X.14): probably representing the formation of a soil and turf horizon over the ditch fills when the feature had ceased to perform a defensive function. The pottery from this layer does survive and consists of eight residual Roman and six black Saxo-Norman fabric O2 sherds. Above this layer and obliterating all surface indications of the ditch was a massive dump of light-brown clayey soil up-to 2.50 m. thick (X.15) and probably derived from the digging of the 13th c. moat immediately to the east. All this suggests that the ditch and earth rampart system was of late 11th c. date and already derelict by the mid-13th century.

Area 7. Trenches XA,B and C (Fig.14A) These sectioned a stone-revetted earth and clay rampart immediately to the west of the 13th c. castle moat: this rampart seems to have laterally replaced the Norman stone wall to its west. The late 4th to 11th c. part of the sequence began above the chalky-clay Roman floor (X.6) with a 0.85 m. thick deposit of dark-grey to greyishbrown clayey soil containing patches of shells; particularly clear in Trench XA (X.5). This was overlain by a thin 0.08 m. seam of burnt brown earth covering virtually the whole area of the trench but thinning out before reaching the north side of the later defensive ditch (X.4).

Trench XE. (Figs.1 and 15D). Nearly all of the pottery from these trenches was lost during the war but one bag from X.4 survives and contains part of a small cooking-pot in fabric P.1 of later 11th or early 12th c.date (p.146). The evidence from the Phoenix Brewery excavation in Hastings suggests that

This was put down 2.50 m. to the south of the partial ditch section in Trenches XA,B and C and showed that much, if not all, of the ditch’s outer face must have been cut into landslip. This landslip consists of jumbled 46

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 deposits of clay and dark soil, with the section (Fig.15D) showing tip-lines in the top of this material sloping down and thickening to the south. The lowest of these tip-lines was a 0.40 m. thick layer of clean, water-deposited, brownish-grey clay overlain by mixed stony soil. When Pearce came to clear more of this area in 1939, he found that water had once collected in a small pond at this point, retained on the south by the shifted foundation of the Roman fort-wall. The water deposited clay tip-line had formed in the bottom of this pond and under it Pearce found a large fragment from a roller-stamped Carolingian amphora (Fig.36.14) and in the clay silt itself, fragments from Saxo-Norman cooking-pots. The amphora fragment survives but the other sherds, along with plans and sections, have been lost.

deposit of light-brown clayey soil (XD.7), bringing the ground surface on the north side up to the level of the top of the rampart. This clay is almost certainly that from the digging of the moat in 1250-54 (p.50) and gives a latest date for the abandonment of the defensive system. Layers XD.8 and 9 further indicate that the rampart was already derelict before that date. 5.2.2: The Interval Towers Most of the Roman fort interval towers show signs of refacing at later dates; ranging from the large areas of herringbone masonry obscuring much of the original Roman work of Interval Tower 2 (Pl.10) to little patches of rubble or herringbone facing on others. Most of this repair work is completely undatable and could have taken place at any time between the Middle Saxon period and the mid-13th century. It is probable, however, that much of the repair work on the upper part of Interval Tower 11 is Late Saxon or late-11th c. work. As already mentioned (Fig.3E, p.19) the doorway leading from the parapet into the storied upper part of this tower is excessively narrow in proportion to its height (Pl.3A). The quoining on its eastern and outer side consists of large squared blocks laid fairly neatly and is probably Roman workmanship. That on the west side of the door is in much inferior, random-megalithic work, apart from two reused blocks at the top.

Trench XD. (Figs.1 and 14B). The Saxo-Norman sequence in this trench begins with two ditches, Gullies 3 and 4, running east-west across the northern part of the trench and converging against the east baulk. Roman stratification was absent from this end of the trench and the ditches were cut into natural. Gully 3 was 1.20 m. wide and 0.56 m. deep, filled by dark-grey clayey soil with a sprinkling of sea shells. None of the pottery survives but the excavator’s notes indicate a mixture of Roman and Saxo-Norman sherds. Gully 4, immediately to the south, was 0.90 m. wide and 0.53 m. deep. In the bottom was a deposit of dark greyish-brown soil with mussel shells and fragments from three late 11th or early 12th c. cooking-pots (Assemblage 20, p.129): above this, the fill was similar to that of Gully 3. To the north of Gully 3 and over its fill was a deposit of dark grey clayey soil 0.40 m. thick, containing numerous seashells.

When the Norman keep was built early in the 12th c., the wall on its east side was brought up-to the right thickness by attaching a masonry skin to the inner face of the Roman wall and Tower 11 (Pl.3A and Fig.3E). This means that the walling on the west side of the door cannot be much later than the end of the 11th c. and is probably Late Saxon in date. Tall narrow doorways are characteristic of the Saxon period and Taylor has suggested that they were preferred in churches so that crucifixes or lighted candles on staves could be carried in procession through them (1978,10): this tower used to be called the Chapel Bastion although it is uncertain as to how old the name is. Nevertheless, the plan of the upper storey, its alignment and the apsidal east end would be in keeping with the accepted form of a chapel of the Saxon period. During the Medieval period, the interior was partially filled with mortared rubble to create a higher floor level and the window on its north side cut down to the old Roman parapet string-course level as a chute for missiles.

Above these features and extending over the Roman levels to the south was a thick deposit of mixed-grey and greenish-grey clayey soil (XD.14) similar to and probably the same as layer 3 in Trenches XA and C: this formed the base of the superimposed earth and clay rampart. All of the pottery from this layer is missing, although a note as to bag contents survives. Unfortunately, however, it appears that the layer contents were amalgamated with those from overlying ones post-dating the construction of the rampart. Above XD.14 was the rear end of this rampart, which once again consisted of layers of turves (XD.13), here 1.50 m. thick, and revetted with battered sandstone rubble (XD.12) overlain by further layers of earth and clay (XD.11): these suggest that it might have been heightened subsequent to its construction. Layer XD.12 yielded a mica-schist whetstone fragment (S.3) and XD.11 a 12th c. horseshoe (IR.59).

The refacing of Tower 11 is in coursed rubble-work: one of four techniques recognised in the repair patches on such towers. The other three are greensand-slab herringbone, which is probably late 11th c. in date but could be pre-Conquest, random flint rubble work, which is very difficult to date but may be largely Medieval and well-cut greensand-block ashlar facing of probable late 12th c. or later date. The latter is only present on the south face of Tower 5 near its top.

Tipped against the inner rampart revetment and overlying the tail of its substratum was a dump of white and brown clayey-sand (XD.9), with rubble derived from the internal revetment. Above XD.9 was an irregular deposit of darkgrey clayey-soil with charcoal flecks and sandstone lumps (XD.8). This, in turn was overlain by a thick

The west wall of the superstructure of Interval Tower 3 is preserved to just above the level of the second storey 47

MALCOLM LYNE floor. It is in coursed rubble of Late Saxon or Norman date and has a narrow, round-arched window at first-floor level. Blocked up with rubble in 1940, the window is now hidden on its inside by a concrete gun emplacement installed in that year. The mortices for the joists of the second floor are still visible and indicate that they spanned the tower from east to west. There are also signs that the rear face of the tower superstructure was in line with that of the parapet merlons, as in Roman times.

blocking wall consists of a course of sandstone rubble about 0.14 m. thick with a sloping layer of hard buff mortar above, containing more sandstone lumps embedded in its upper surface: one course of roughsquared greensand blocks survives above this. The outer face of this wall was laid on a projecting two course plinth of small mortared sandstone rubble 0.18 m. thick. A single stone from the lowest course of the wall face proper survives in situ against the face of Interval Tower 8: it is a reused plinth block with lewis hole from the Roman gatehouse, set in hard concrete containing lumps of chalk, sandstone and flints.

5.2.3: The Gates and Defensive ditch systems The West Gate

The uppermost surviving surface of the greensand block internal facing of the blocking wall was covered with a different hard, white pebbly mortar bearing the impression of a wall face slightly misaligned with that of the block facing beneath and suggesting that the structure had been rebuilt at some time.

Phases 5 and 6. Hardly any post-Roman stratified deposits were found inside or over the gatehouse and had either never existed or had been removed by Roach-Smith: at only one point were any traces of such stratified deposits left by him. Above the ruined foundation of the northern half of the structure in its central portion was a discontinuous layer of dirty sand (V.7) above which was a thin occupation deposit containing 11th c. pottery (Fig.8, Section HG, Layer V.6, Pl.11). The thin discontinuous nature of layer V.7 and its lack of humic content suggests that some of the robbing of the fabric of the Roman gatehouse had taken place immediately before the deposition of V.6 and may have been associated with the construction of a Late Saxon ‘blocking wall’ across the entrance. The cavities left by the rotted wooden frames in the gatehouse foundation rafts were filled with brown earth containing the odd sherd of pottery and chalk lumps derived from the foundation itself. The pottery in the north foundation beam emplacements was entirely Roman except for a lidseated rim in fabric H3 (Fig.32-20); thought to be from a Rhenish product of post-425 date and of similar profile but different fabric to contemporary Mayen ware. The contents of the cavities in the southern foundation are far more mixed and include 12th and 13th c. medieval sherds.

The adjacent part of the north face of Tower 8 is patched with rubble set in buff pebbly mortar. This patch is clearly contemporary with the erection of the blocking wall in that it has a vertical edge on its east side lining up with the outer face of that feature and has a few small rubble facing stones from the blocking wall still adhering to and projecting from that edge. The considerably smaller northern portion of the blocking wall was built up against Tower 7 after a hollow had been made in the latter’s southern face. This end of the blocking wall is roughly triangular in plan, with its tapering oblique south-east face having an irregularlyprojecting foundation of pebbly concrete with a few flints. East of this wall, near the corner of the later Pit 30, is a rib of flint rubble 0.10 to 0.16 m. high set in hard buff concrete. This feature, in conjunction with the un-faced nature of the foundation below the south-east face of the wall proper, indicates that this end of the blocking wall was originally rectangular in plan but was cut away on its south-east to create the present shape. At the bottom of the original outer face of the wall, its foundation was faced with two rough un-mortared courses of flint: above this 0.20 m. thick plinth, an irregular wall-face of sandstone rubble set in buff, pebbly mortar is preserved to a further height of 0.30 metres.

At some time during the Late Saxon period, a defensive blocking wall 3.50 m. in width with an eccentric entrance near its north end was erected between the two U-plan towers flanking the gateway, immediately in front of the site of the Roman gatehouse (Fig.7). The earlier central road drain extension passed close to the south side of the new entrance, the clayey fill of which yielded a SaxoNorman cooking-pot rim in black fabric N2 (Fig.33-21, p.145) sealed beneath a thin spread of pebbly mortar deposited during the construction of the blocking-wall. This gives a 9th century terminus post quem for the construction of the wall (Fig.8,QR).

At the south corner of the wall foundation and underlying the quoins of the north side of the gateway is a large block 0.28 m. high with another one to its east; together forming the base of the jamb. On these is set the lowest quoin; a large squared greensand block. Cottrill’s notes, however, emphatically state that ‘The masonry above this – a hollow-chamfered base with 3 chamfered blocks of a jamb above – is recent, although the actual stones may be old’. The surviving upper part of the wall, adjacent to and incorporating these blocks, is not properly bonded into the rest of the wall: the hollow-chamfered block, referred to above, is merely perched on top of the lowest quoin without mortar, projects over its external faces and was placed there in more recent times.

The southern half of the wall rested on the natural clay: its foundation trench was 0.38 m. wider on the east than the wall contained by it and had cut away the top of the puddled chalk foundation under the western edge of the Roman gatehouse down to the bases of the Roman beam emplacements. The plinth on the inner face of this



Fig.16A: Trench VIIIJ. Plan and sections. 16B: Plan of stone causeway outside the West Gate.


MALCOLM LYNE The towers flanking the West Gate both have traces of post-Roman upper stories. Like in the postulated Roman interval-tower design (p.23), these upper stories do not extend across the width of the wall parapet walk but perch on the projecting portions of the solid Roman towers with central access doorways. The quoins flanking these doorways and that at the south-east corner of the superstructure of Tower 8 are roughly cut and tall in proportion to their widths; pointing to Late Saxon workmanship with either long-and-short or megalithic quoining.

architectural and practice and, coupled with the crudity of the workmanship and the evidence of the mortar sealed potsherd, suggests a Late Saxon date for the whole. The deflection of the gate entrance against the south-east corner of Tower 7 may have been because of the presence of a guard chamber occupying the southern portion of the Roman gatehouse and utilising portions of its still standing south and east walls. Fragments from the upper part of the south wall of the Roman gatehouse were found by Roach-Smith, jack-knifed across its foundation, but had been removed by the time of the 1936 dig. The coin of Cnut found in the rubble over the Roman gatehouse in 1852 may relate to this putative structure.

Pearce found evidence for the strengthening of the base of Tower 8. ‘Round the base was built up a circle of large stones from the (Roman) guard chambers and elsewhere. The ground here slopes a little towards the northwest and the stones followed the lie of the land, but the system was made roughly horizontal by the addition of pieces of flat, shaly stone laid on top of the end blocks. Inside the circle, a mass of rubble and mortar reached up to the wall’.

The 5th century causeway over the Roman fort ditch The primary fill in the bottom of the Roman ditch outside the West Gate (VIII.17) consisted of bright pinkishbrown clay. This was 0.37 m. thick in Trench VIIIA (Figs.6C and D) but thinned out as the ditch attenuated to the south-east, from 0.30 m. in Trench VII (VII.6A, Fig.6B) to 0.18 m. thick in Trench AA (Fig.6A) and was absent in Trench IX. A small amount of pottery of mainly late 4th -to- earliest 5th c. date was present. Other finds include the following:

Phases 7 and 8. A narrow strip of burning with numerous iron nails extended across the inner end of the entrance through the blocking wall and appears to be from the burning of a door during one of the several Medieval sieges: the charcoal layer associated with this burning was cut away on its east side by a very large pit (Pit 30) spanning the entrance immediately behind the blocking wall. This pit measured 3.90 by 3.00 m. by 1.20 m. deep (Fig.7., Pl.12) and was back-filled with rubble from the subsequent demolition of the blocking wall to a depth of 0.68 m., overlain by 0.52 m. of clay, soil and stones capped by gravel. In the fill was the greater part of an unglazed 13th c. pitcher (Assemblage 25).

Table 22. Coins Emperor

SF. No

Constantine I House of Theodosius “ “ “ “ “ “

R.242 R.261 R.66 R.232

Daterange 323-324 383-403 383-395 388-395

Condition Missing Missing Very worn Missing

Table 23. Illustrated Small Finds Fig.No. 19.11 25.11

Pit 30 was clearly dug during the mid-to-late 13th c. and only makes sense in a siege context. The siege in question must be that of 1264-65, with the placing of the pit across the entrance suggesting that it was put there to prevent sallies from within the castle. It is perhaps the ‘fosse’ recorded as being dug by Simon de Montfort for exactly that purpose. The burning of the door would have taken place immediately before the digging of the pit, during the storming of the outer bailey.

Description Tip of cu.alloy bracelet. c.350-400+ Small, curved bone point

SF.No BR.69 0.4

Table 24. Non-illustrated Small Finds No.

Description Fragment of cu.alloy sheeting Glass cup base

SF.No BR.67 G.14

The crushed and abraded state of much of the pottery reflects its mainly residual nature and, in conjunction with the worn Theodosian coin, suggests an early 5th c. date for some of this silting.

It may be that the apparently unfinished re-fortification of a Norman hornwork outside the West Gate (p.53), coupled with Pit 30, was designed to convert the West Gate into a fort for the besieging force; employing the fortifications of the West Gate in reverse with the interior side of the blocking wall facing towards the inner castle bailey and its defenders.

Above the primary fill and grading down into it was a slightly dirtier, greyish-brown, clayey silt; 0.40 m. thick in Trench VIIIA (VIII.16), 0.90 m. in Trench VII (VII.6), 0.45 m. in Trench AA and 1.20 m. thick in Trench IX. This layer replaced the primary ditch fill towards the south-east and spread over the top of the ditch and beyond in Trench IX. It was thought by Pearce to have been the result of tidal activity in the ditch but this is very unlikely as it would imply a rise in sea-level of several metres. The silting in the later Norman ditch is very

Discussion. The eccentric plan of the final version of the gateway suggests that it may have been modelled on the sinuous north postern of the Roman fort, which no doubt was still in use at this time. This is most unlike Norman 50

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 similar and was most certainly not formed under marine conditions.

one of the gatehouse arches. Apart from a couple of blocks removed from the south-east edge of the causeway in 1936 and 1938, the rest are still in situ beneath the turf with the associated flint metalling. No attempt was madeto excavate beneath the causeway but the lower layer of flints discovered in Trench VIIIN on the surface of the primary ditch fill suggests the possibility of an earlier version sealed beneath. Subsidence, due to the softness of the ditch silts, has caused the causeway to sag in the middle (Figs.6D and E, 15B, Plates 13 and 14).

This layer yielded further fragments of Roman pottery which are, on average, even smaller and more abraded than those from the primary ditch fill: the surviving assemblage from Trenches VIII and VII consists of 238 sherds weighing 1433 gm. This gives an average sherd weight of around 6 gm, after exclusion of a large late 3rd c. Oxfordshire mortarium fragment, compared with 15 gm for the 19 sherds of pottery from the primary silting. The mortarium sherd may have found its way into the bottom of the feature at an earlier date and been missed during previous scourings of the ditch. Because of the small sizes and inter-relationship of the two assemblages from the primary and secondary siltings, they have been brought together as Assemblage 10 (p.115-6).

When Pearce came to investigate the road leading from the gate to the causeway, he found that it consisted of two layers of flints laid on the subsoil. Sealed beneath it was a very worn coin of Constantius II (R.198) dated c.330-337 and a coin of Constans (R.184) dated 348-350. These indicate that, even if the causeway had been preceded by an undetected bridge over the ditch, the road connecting it with the West Gate would have to be of mid-to-late 4th c. date at the earliest.

Thus, most of the Group 10 pottery can be said to be residual and belong to a period which was largely aceramic. A few larger sherds of local handmade grogged and grit-and-grog tempered wares may be contemporary with the ditch siltings: four tiny sherds of chaff-tempered ware are of 5th c. date at the earliest. A number of coins and a small find were recovered from the secondary ditch fill:

The causeway and the ditch silts immediately to its south were covered by a layer of brown clayey earth (VIII.14) 0.30 m. thick. This thinned away from the causeway and merged into the upper ditch silts on the south-west side of Trench VIIIN (Fig.6D). The layer appears to be derived from an accumulation of tread on the surface of the road and contained a number of extremely small and abraded Roman sherds averaging 3 gm. in weight and entirely residual. The layer also contained several coins and small finds:

Table 25. Coins Emperor


Constans Constantius II Decentius Barbarous Fel Temp House of Theodosius “ “ “

R.248 R.76 R.252 R.218 R.256 R.257

Date range 341-346 348-350 351-353 353-364 388-403 388-395

Condition Missing Corroded Missing Missing Missing

Table 27. Coins

Table 26. Non-illustrated Small Finds No.

Description Misc cu.alloy fragments

SF No BR.20

At the junction of the secondary silting with the underlying primary fill in Trench VIIIN were many flints: a further concentration of between two and three dozen lumps of greensand and brown sandstone with a few flint and tile fragments was present in the top of the secondary silting. A few pieces of stone had mortar adhering, including one facing stone of squared greensand with the pink crushed-tile filled variety attached. Similarity with the fabric of the Roman fort wall suggests that it was derived from the same.



Crispus Constantinopolis Valens “ “ “ “ Theodosius I Arcadius

R.149 R.294 R.254 R.255 R.39 R.34 R.67

Daterange 323-324 330-337 364-378 364-378 367-375 388-395 388-395

Condition V.F Missing Missing Missing V.F Worn V.F

Table 28. Illustrated Small Finds Fig.No 22.12 24.23

Description Iron awl Green glass cylindrical bead of Guido Type 5. c.300-400+

SF No IR.6 S.28

Table 29. Non illustrated small finds No.

This rubble formed the south-east edge of a massive stone block and flint cobble causeway (VIII.15) crossing the Roman ditch in a south-easterly direction towards the sea shore. The blocks are for the most part clearly derived from the plinth of the gatehouse, including examples with lewis holes and rebates for iron or cu alloy clamps. On the north side of the causeway is a rectangular block with a moulding at one end (Pl.14); probably an impost from 51

Description Cu alloy hook and ?buckle tongue 19 iron hob nails and 3 un-clenched nails 4 un-clenched nails and 1 hob nail 2 fragments of Roman glassware 1 fragment of Roman glassware Cylindrical green glass bead of Guido Type 5. c.300-400+ Cylindrical green glass bead of similar type. “ “

SF No BR.73 I.55 I.53 G.30 G.33 S.25 S.26

MALCOLM LYNE Beads S.25 and S.26 were found pushed into the surface of the causeway, between the stone blocks.

(Bushe-Fox 1949, 68) and was interpreted by the excavator as being the action of people making a stable causeway for their carts in order to remove building materials from the site. This is clearly not the case at Pevensey, because of the effort that went into the causeway’s construction, and is probably not the case at Richborough either.

Layers 16 and 14 were overlain by 0.20 m. of grey-brown silty earth (VIII.13) containing a number of artefacts and resulting from gradual accumulation of humus under wet conditions after the abandonment of the road. The following coins and small finds were recovered:

Apart from a few tiny ?Early Saxon chaff-tempered sherds from the unsealed layer VIII.16 there is no postRoman material from this stratified sequence. At the same time, the worn Theodosian coin from the primary ditch fill indicates that the entire sequence dates to after AD.390-400. The ceramic evidence from the Trench XIII pit complex suggests that Middle Saxon Pevensey was largely aceramic and that pottery only came into common use after the 8th century. If the causeway had been constructed at a later date, one would surely expect a few Saxo-Norman potsherds from off of its surface. The presence of numerous Roman type iron hob-nails and some 4th c. coins in the trample on the surface of the structure, as well as similarly-dated glass beads forced down between the blocks, also argues an earlier date for its construction and probably during the 5th century.

Table 30. Coins Emperor


House of Constantine Constans Barbarous Fel Temp “ “ “ Valentinian I Valens Theodosius I “ “ “ “ “ “ Arcadius “ “

R.251 R.15 R.56 R.72 R.253 R.41 R.33 R.192 R.55 R.32 R.52

Daterange 338-339 347-348 353-364 353-364 364-367 364-375 388-395 388-395 388-395 388-395 388-395

Condition Missing E.F. V.F. V.F. Missing Worn Very worn V.F. Corroded V.F. V.F.

Table 31. Illustrated Small Finds Fig.No. 19.13 23.19 24.15

Description Cu.alloy belt plate Cu.alloy wire Fragment of Syrian th glass bowl. 5 c.


It seems something of an anachronism that people should go to the trouble of systematically demolishing the Roman gatehouses at Pevensey and Richborough during a time of considerable insecurity, but it is unlikely that neglect could have caused such a structure to collapse down to and including plinth-block level within a few years of the end of Roman rule. Deliberate demolition or destruction during an assault seem the only feasible alternatives: it is perhaps worth noting that the south gate gatehouse at Winchester also seems to have been demolished during the 5th century (Biddle 1975,116).

SF.No BR.64 BR.47 G.13

Table 32. Non-illustrated Small Finds No.

Description Cu alloy fragment Glass bead of Guido Type 12. Late th th 4 -5 c. 4 pieces of Roman glassware

SF.No BR.45 S.30

Area 3. The Hornwork Ditch


Excavations outside the West Gate revealed a deep V section defensive ditch commencing at the western end of the Norman defensive wall on the south side of the Roman fort. This ditch was 4.70 m. wide by 2.10 m. deep and followed an arc running west from this; curving across the front of the gate without interruption and cutting the Roman ditch. It was followed as far as the southern edge of the present track from the West Gate to Westham but no attempt was made to determine the line of its northern continuation. No evidence was found for a defensive earthwork associated with the ditch but it is probable that such a feature originally existed and was removed subsequently.

The Roman ditch in Trench VII had largely silted up by the Late Saxon period, leaving just a hollow 0.50 m. deep in which a 0.20 m. thick grey turf horizon (VII.5) had formed. This layer was sterile and overlain by dark brownish-grey soil (VII.4) filling the remainder of the ditch to its very top and cut by the edge of the later Norman hornwork ditch on its north side. Layers VII.4 and 5 must equate in part with Layer VIII.13: Layer VII.4 yielded four residual Roman sherds and a ?Middle Saxon jar rim, similar to Fig.35.2 but in the coarser fabric L2. There were no other artefacts but when Pearce came to empty the whole of the Roman ditch he found a small number of black Saxon-Norman cooking-pot rim fragments of 11th c. date in this uppermost ditch fill.

The lower fills of the ditch (Figs.6A and B) consisted of reddish-brown clayey silt (VIII.11A and VII.3) overlain by dirtier grey-brown silt layers (VIII.11 and VII.2). Both of these layers contained very small quantities of comminuted pottery (Assemblages 23A and B, p.147-8), suggesting that the feature had been dug during the 11th c., around the time of the Norman Conquest. The lower fills produced the following artefacts:

Discussion. The use of plinth blocks from the demolished Roman gatehouse as consolidation for the road crossing the fort ditch is paralleled at Richborough outside the west gate 52

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Table 33. Small Finds Fig.No 19.22 -

Description th Iron horseshoe. Mid-12 c. th Iron horseshoe. Mid-12 c. Iron horseshoe th Iron horseshoe. Mid-12 c. Knife blade fragment

best be interpreted as the facing for an earth revetment; an idea reinforced by its turning inward in the area of Trench VIIIB to flank the south side of an entrance through it to take the new road. This would give the revetment a thickness of up-to 2.40 m., perhaps surmounted by a palisade. The traces of the old hornwork were re-utilised as a shallow ditch immediately in front of the new defences.

SF No IR.30 IR.24 IR.25 IR.28 IR.10

The upper fills yielded the following: Fig.No 20.34 26.6 26.7 25.1

Description Iron pony shoe Hollow spherical end of cu.alloy pin. c.900-1100 Mica-schist whetstone Mica-schist whetstone fragment Kimmeridge shale ?net weight

The medieval road crossed the ditch by means of a rubble-revetted causeway. At the inner end of the road entrance through the rampart in Trench VIIIB was a threshold of flat stone slabs marking the position of a gate. All other structural elements of this gateway were absent, as was the northern half of the rampart where it should have been in Trench VIIIJ. It may have been left unfinished, constructed of turf or simply timber-faced on that side of the entrance. On balance, the first interpretation seems most likely: pottery from over the remains of the revetment in Trench VIIIA suggests a 13th c. date for the feature.

SF No IR.33 BR.33 S.20 S.12 SH.3

The silty earth VIII.13 above the fills of the Roman ditch and the layer of tread VIII.14 over the stone block causeway were in turn overlain by a layer of yellowbrown soil 0.50 m. thick (VIII.12), containing a mixture of Roman and Saxo-Norman pottery. This layer appears to have been dumped, is probably spread upcast from the digging of the hornwork ditch and yielded the following artefacts:

When Pearce came to excavate the entire length of the rubble revetment facing, he described it as having been ruthlessly robbed and surviving to a height of between one to three courses. At one place, it overlay a rectangular patch of small cobbles 3.60 by 0.60 m. and seems to have utilised it as a foundation. This revetment appears to have been systematically levelled down to its foundations and the top of the hornwork ditch back-filled with lumps of red and yellow clay mixed with earth and rubbish (VIII.10) containing the late 13th c. pottery Assemblage 26 (p.140). This may be derived in part from the overthrown revetment.

Table 34. Coins Emperor Constantine I Crispus

SF No R.293 R.20

Date range 320-324 322

Condition Missing EF.

Table 35. Small Finds Fig.No 21.1 19.10 20.14

Description Tweezers ‘T’ shaped buckle tongue. Middle Saxon Cross bow brooch fragment. c.340-360

SF No BR.40 BR.68

The Outer Ditch.


In 1938, B.W.Pearce discovered an outer defensive ditch of massive proportions in his section AA, mid way between Trenches VII and IX (Figs.1 and 6A). At this point, it was 7.35 m. wide and 2.20 m. deep, having a steep outer slope and a more irregular stepped inner one. The inner lip of the ditch was 20.40 m. outside the line of the Roman wall and in the bottom was a thin deposit of sandy primary silt 0.12 m. thick followed by bands of red and yellow clay with stony tip-lines (Fig.6A): in the hollow left in the top of these accumulated fills was a deposit of sooty brown soil. A further section was put down by Claude Burton near the present track from the West Gate to Westham: it established that this ditch had attenuated to having a depth of 0.60 m. and was clearly breached by an earlier road on the line of the present one to Westham. All of Pearce’s finds from this ditch are now lost but some pottery from Burton’s trench still survives in Lewes Museum. There is very little of it but the sherds suggest that this outer ditch might be later than the hornwork, perhaps being dug during the late 12th century.

A roadway metalled with flint (VIII.8) was laid on the surface of VIII.12 on a similar alignment to the stone block causeway beneath and had 12th c. pottery embedded in its surface. A small feature (Pit 32) 0.30 m. in diameter, 0.18 m. deep and filled with flints, red-andyellow clay and late 12th c. pot was sectioned in the east side of Trench VIIIF and was probably a posthole in the surface of the road. The latter appears to have remained in use for some time; becoming hollowed out in its centre and having to be re-metalled at least once. A small pit (Pit 31) cut into the top fill of the Roman ditch was sectioned in the north side of Trench VIIIA. It was 0.45 m. in diameter and 0.32 m. deep, containing black earth and residual Roman pottery, as well as six sherds of shelly black Saxo-Norman ware (Fig.17A). The hornwork had largely silted up by the end of the 12th century. In this silt, near the centre of the ditch, a drystone wall was constructed of flint and sandstone rubble, following its line in an arc for c.15.00 metres. Such a wall could never have been free-standing and can



Fig.17A: Plan of Medieval features outside the West Gate. 17B: Plan of Medieval features inside the East Gate.

The Pipe Roll for the 5th year of Richard I (1193) records ‘----for works on the tower and ditch, and for iron and charcoal, £25.13s4d’ (Renn 1971).

another. The one on the inner bank was 1.80 m. wide and nearly 0.60 m. deep, its centre being 5.40 m. from section VII. It contained 5 pieces of Norman pottery. The other was similar’.

Other features found in 1938. C. ‘While investigating the base of the south bastion of the gate another rubbish pit was met with, filled largely with a huge mass of shells chiefly mussels and cockles. Amongst them were some pieces of a thin red Norman ware with finger point decoration dating from the late 12th or early 13th c., also a hammer head possibly for stonework. A shallow gulley ran from the pit towards the Roman ditch joining it just north of the hole in the bank above mentioned. It contained a piece of pottery which might be Roman and some black, probably 12th c. Norman ware. It seems likely that the gully was dug first and that later the pit was made’.

Pearce’s clearances outside the West Gate also discovered several other Saxo-Norman features. In the absence of plans, these are best described in his own words: A. ‘A rubbish pit 0.30 m. north of section AA. It lay at an angle of c.45 degrees to the (Roman) ditch and was nearly rectangular, measuring 0.82 by 0.43 m. It was dug to a depth of 0.75 m., its makers having cut through the filling of the Roman ditch, stopping when they came to natural clay. The top was filled with flints and blocks of greensand. The rest of the filling consisted largely of mussel and other shells and charcoal and perhaps some sewage matter. No pottery was found’ . B. ‘Two large hollows were found, one in either bank (of the Roman ditch) but not opposite one

The pottery from the pit against Tower 8 (C) still survives and is in fact of Late Saxon-to-Norman date. The black pottery described as Norman was made between c.AD.700 and 1100 and the gully could equally well be Late Saxon. Its relationship with the Roman ditch, finally 54


Fig.18 Trench X. Plan and elevation of dam.

levelled when the Norman hornwork was dug, would also support a Late Saxon date.

time when the burhs were being fortified against the Norse invaders.

The East Gate

The internal sides of the entrance passage were given thin skins of rubble refacing at the same time, with additional herringbone work on the north side indicating further localised repairs during the Norman period (Pl.7). It would appear that little, if any, additional repair work was carried out on this gate during the remainder of the Medieval period.

Much of the arch over the East Gate entrance was destroyed when the higher, brick-lined, one was inserted during the 18th century. The removal of the brickwork and the lowering of the soil build-up within the fort in 1936 revealed that the inner end of the entrance had been largely rebuilt during the Late Saxon period with sidealternate quoining: several of the large quoin blocks had also been replaced at some time by coursed flat stones (Fig.10, Plates 6 and15). Taylor has shown that sidealternate quoining was used in Saxon churches from the 7th to the 11th centuries and cannot therefore be used to date this arch more closely (1978,957). A striking feature of this rebuilt entrance, however, is the presence of plinths consisting of large thin rectangular slabs beneath the lowest quoins on each side of it (Pl.15). Similar features have been found in several Saxon churches; at Brigstock, Cambridge, Wittering, Worth and other places, but all in association with long and short work. Taylor considers that long-and-short work is entirely of Late Saxon date and cites Barnack as having the earliest surviving examples. Barnack can be dated to c.AD.870 and, although long-and-short work is not associated with our plinth, the evidence suggests that the gateway was refurbished during the 10th or early 11th centuries at a

The 13th c. Castle Moat. Trench X and the 1938 clearances. The only part of the medieval castle moat not yet cleaned out by 1936 was that south of the bridge leading to the main entrance. Trench X was put down across its fill 30 m. south of that bridge and located a dam. This trench was not finished by Cottrill, so Pearce completed it in 1939 before emptying the southern end of the moat. The dam was seen to be constructed from layers of flint set in sandy white-to-light brown pebbly mortar, overlaid at the east end by an upper stratum of gravelly concrete, which oversailed the lower part of the south side of the dam by 0.12 m. With a width of 2.25 m., the 8.70 m. long dam spanned the moat with a minimum height of 2.10 m. over the deepest part and had a gap 1.80 m. wide near its middle (Fig.18). This breach may have been made to 55

MALCOLM LYNE drain off the moat to the north, as there is a reference in 1280 to 6 men being employed for a week to break through the head of the castle ditch to let the water out and take the fish to ‘la Cromble’ (Salzman 1906). Large numbers of wood fragments, twigs etc. were found lying horizontally against the north side of the dam, where they had drifted up against it and sank to the bottom of the moat.

Evidence for Saxo-Norman occupation came from four areas within the fort and took the form of pits, ditches and shell-middens. There was very little evidence for structures other than the partial outline of a Late Saxon building in Trench XIII. This is not very surprising, given the flimsy nature of buildings belonging to this period; with their beaten-earth floors and wattle-and-daub construction. Modern archaeological techniques may have located such buildings, but those employed during the late 1930s, using narrow trenches, were, for the most part, incapable of doing so.

Before Pearce cleaned out the rest of the southern part of the moat, he put six sections across it. The fill was very wet and unstable: two of the sections caved in before they could be drawn but the others indicate that the moat was filled by horizontal layers of fine variegated silt with very few artefacts.

Political events tend not to show in the archaeological record so, whereas it has proved possible to distinguish between pre and post-conquest alterations to Pevensey’s defences in some areas, this is not the case in the interior. As a result, this section of the report deals with both the Saxon and Norman evidence up until c.1150.

5.3: The Interior of the Fort 5.3.1: Phase 5. c.AD.400-470

Area 1 (Fig.16B) No overtly Sub-Roman structures were located by Cottrill but there was evidence for destruction of buildings by fire during the 5th c. in two or possibly three trenches. It seems likely that the Theodosian buildings continued in use during the period, although more excavation will be needed to prove or disprove this point. Area 1

Late Saxon and Norman occupation takes the form of a series of pits north of the Roman road in the areas of Trenches I and IA, while shell middens occur in the lower part of the dark earth in Trench II. Much of the material from the pits disappeared during the Second World War but enough survives to indicate that they were largely Saxo-Norman in date.

The Theodosian building in Trench 1A, North Extension (Fig.11C) was associated with a great deal of red burnt clay (1A.4) and a stone hearth. Deficiencies in recording make it difficult to distinguish between burnt destruction debris and burning associated with industrial activity: the soil above (1A.3) is merely recorded as dark or black.

Pit 1. This lay adjacent to Salzman’s trench on the north side of the East Gate near the wall (Fig.17B). The pottery is missing but Cottrill’s notebooks describe the fills as being a ‘dark layer of charcoal above a layer of brown earth and brown clay’. The bag list mentions black cooking-pots mixed with residual Roman pottery.

The dark soil above the second Roman road (E.G.3, Fig.5B) contained two sherds of 5th c. Early Saxon pottery alongside the large quantities of Late 4th c. sherds (Assemblage 9A, Table 58, p.125-6). Later Saxon pottery was conspicuous by its absence: rubbish dumping in the upper part of the layer seems to re-commence no earlier than the 12th century.

Pit 2. This 0.70 m. deep pit was cut into the Roman clay rampart dump in Trench I, measuring 0.97 by 1.28 m. with a flat bottom. The lowest fill consisted of between 0.10 and 0.12 m. of fine grey earth, above which was fine black earth with occasional lumps of clay containing potsherds in black, shelly Saxo-Norman fabric O2 and residual Roman ones.

We have good evidence for destruction in the area of Trench II: here the Roman and 5th c. occupation levels were sealed by a black, heavily-burnt layer (II.2) containing large slabs of red fired daub and fragments from tegulae, imbrices and box-flue tiles (Fig.5C). The records for this trench, however, suffer from oversimplification of the stratification: as a result, the pottery assemblages have not been quantified. The assemblage from II.2 includes large fragments from vessels in East Sussex Ware fabric A2 and the very-late grit-and-grog tempered ware A8; as well as Argonne and Mayen ware: the sole small find was a copper-alloy bar (BR.13). Above this layer was dark earth (II.1) containing a mixture of Roman, Late Saxon and Medieval pottery and having shell-middens in its lower portion. 5.3.2. Phases 6 and 6A. c.AD.470-1150.

Pit 3. This was a small pit sealed under the northern edge of the later Medieval road cobbles. The finds are missing but were described by the excavator as ‘daub and Norman’. Pit 4. The pottery from this pit against the fort wall north of the gate is also missing but was described as ‘Norman (+ rubbish and Roman)’. Pit 5. This was sectioned on the north side of Trench IA between 6.30 and 7.35 m. from the internal face of the Roman wall. The pottery contents are missing but there is a surviving illegible Roman coin from the feature (R210). Pit 7. This was sectioned in the south side of Trench IA between 12.20 and 12.98 m. from the fort wall: it was of unknown depth and 0.64 m. in width. The lowest fill was yellow sandy clay overlain by black earth. The pottery 56

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 survives and consists of black shelly wares of probable 11th c. date mixed with residual Roman pottery. The pit also produced an iron terret ring (Fig.19.26, p.93) and a whetstone (Fig.26.1, p.105).

tiny chips of Saxo-Norman fabric P2A. The fill suggests that the feature was deliberately back-filled at this point. Trench XIB (Fig.1). This very small sondage also failed to completely section the ditch; which extended from the western edge of the trench to just short of the centre line. The fill here was of black earth containing residual Roman pottery as well as a cooking-pot rim in fabric P2A, similar to Fig.36,26, and two sherds from imported Normandy green-glazed white-ware cooking-pots.

Pit 8. This was a large deep pit in Trench IA with a clay plug in its mouth. There was black earth between the plug and the sides of the pit, extending under the clay to a depth of 1.42 m. Below this and above the base at 2.12 m. was a mixture of similar material and brown clayey sand. The pit yielded large shelly black cooking-pot sherds of Late Saxon date in fabric O2, mixed with residual Roman pottery. A cu.alloy buckle tongue of probable Middle Saxon date (Fig.19.8) was present as were a couple of shapeless lumps of similar material; probably derived from metal-working.

Trench XIC. In this trench (Fig.11D) the ditch was found to be reduced to a shallow 0.34 m. deep by 1.00 m. wide. Along its east side was a step 0.15 m. deep cut through the pre-fort soil horizon: unfortunately, this feature is omitted from the drawn plan of the trench. The ditch or scoop was filled with black earth containing a few Roman sherds, but nothing later.

Pit 11. This rectangular pit measuring 1.37 by 1.22 m. and 0.88 m. deep lay against the inner face of the fort wall south of the gate. The fill consisted of dark earth above a few centimetres of brown soil. The pottery comprises three residual Roman sherds and an early 12th c. cooking-pot rim similar in form to Fig.34,9.

On the west side of the ditch was a large, oval pit (Pit 9), conical in section and 0.92 m. deep. It had been cut through the Roman mortar floor (XIC.7), pieces of which were lying against the sides of the pit. In the bottom was 0.20 m. of brown soil overlain by black earth with quantities of Roman building material. Apart from 21 sherds of residual Roman pot, there were five bodysherds from one or more black, shell-tempered cooking-pots.

Area 5. A series of small sondages (Trenches IID, E, F and G) were put down to the west of and in line with Trench II (Fig.1) in order to determine the state of preservation of and the thickness of the Roman stratification. The Roman layers proved to be very thin and were apparently absent from Trench IIG. This sondage did, however, section a small 11th c. ditch running from North-East to SouthWest: a further line of sondages (Trenches X1, XIA, B, C, D, E, F and G) were opened up along its projected line, tracking it to its junction with the inner face of the fort wall between Interval Towers 1 and 2.

Considering its size, the pit yielded remarkably little. There was, however, a fragment from a glass Kempston cone beaker of 6th or early-7th c. date. The shell-tempered potsherds are very small and non-diagnostic but what we may have here is a 7th c. pit with sherds from some of the earliest vessels in shell-tempered fabric. Although the glass fragment could equally well be residual, the paucity of pottery associated may indicate that the pit belongs to a period when such material was in short supply. The ?Middle Saxon Pits 12 and 13 in Trench XIII also yielded metal and glass artefacts of that date but residual Roman pottery only (p.59). An oval patch 0.50 by 0.24 m. of yellow sandy clay, 0.03 m. thick rested on top of the pit fills in the north-east quadrant of Pit 9: another deposit of the same material appears in the north section of the trench running from the west side of the ditch for 0.40 m. over the fill of the same pit. These two deposits were clearly thrown up during the excavation of the ditch and prove that it is later in date than the pit.

The only section drawn across this ditch, other than a sketch of that in XIF, was at the original point of discovery in Trench IIG (Fig.15C). Here, it was 0.80 m. deep, 1.80 m. wide and of simple V section. The primary clayey silt and the greyish-brown sandy soil fill above yielded exclusively Roman pottery, although there was very little of it. On top of this layer was a thin 0.07 m. thick deposit of sea shells, including some mussels. In the dark brown soil above this was Late 11th and 12th c. pottery, including fragments from two 12th c. Rouen Whiteware cooking-pots: one of the latter had rollerstamping overlaid by light-green glaze.

Trench XIE. The full width of the ditch was obtained once more in this trench. The depth of the soil from the ground surface to the top of the ditch was not recorded but its bottom, at 1.70 m., indicates that it was probably about 0.60 m. deep and 1.20 m. wide. The fill consisted of black earth with some residual Roman pottery and plaster, along with three Saxo-Norman sherds. These latter include a shell-and-grit tempered cooking-pot rim of probable 10th or 11th c. date.

Trench XI (Fig.1). Here, the ditch was of similar dimensions to the section in Trench IIG. Its dark clayey fill contained very little, but there were a few chips of residual Roman pottery and a rim from a Late 11th c. cooking-pot in patchy grey/brown fabric N2. Trench XIA (Fig.1). This only sectioned the western half of the ditch but showed it to be 0.80 m. deep as before and filled with dark earth containing clay lumps. There were quantities of residual Roman pottery, as well as two

Trench XIF. Once again the full width of the ditch was obtained: a crude section drawing survives. This shows it to have been 1.34 m. wide, 0.76 m. deep and U sectioned. It was filled with black earth and had a slab of mortared 57

MALCOLM LYNE rubble, measuring 0.50 by 0.34 m., lying in the top and presumably derived from the fort wall nearby. In this fill were quantities of Roman tile and Late 4th c. pottery, but nothing later.

Layer XIII.3D Table 36. Coins

Trench XIG. This was put down against the inner face of the fort wall and exposed the shallow rounded end of the ditch, 1.38 m. wide and 0.60 m. deep. Here again, the feature yielded nothing but Late 4th c. Roman pottery.



Barbarous radiate Constantinopolis Helena Hse of Constantine

R2 R296 R25 R159

Daterange 276-286 330-337 335-340 341-346

Condition Corroded Missing VF VF

Table 37. Illustrated Small Finds

Cut into both sides of the ditch terminal and against the inner face of the fort wall were two large, deep, rectangular holes containing fragments of Late 4th c. pottery. The function of these holes is uncertain, but the fact that they cut the ditch means that they must be of 12th c. or later date. It may be that the erosion of the inner face of the Roman wall and destruction of its parapet walk at this point had resulted in the creation of a timber parapet walk supported along its leading edge by the wall proper and at the back by a series of massive vertical posts.

Fig. No. Fig.19.9 Fig.20.19 Fig.21.21 Fig.21.24

Description Cu alloy buckle tongue Cu alloy finger ring Cu alloy tankard foot Cu alloy riveted strip from wooden bucket Flattened lead sheeting wrapped around ?wood


SF No. BR 86 BR 58 BR 59 BR 57 S 19

The presence of the tankard fitting of Latest 4th or Early 5th c. date is at first glance at variance with the general lack of Late 4th c. pottery from spit XIII.3D. It may, however, mean that occupation recommenced in the area of the trench during the 5th c. after pottery had gone out of general use. This notion is supported by the rim sherd from a 5th c. Macedonian Greyware dish redeposited in Spit XIIIB higher up in the sequence (Fig.32,29). The ring (Fig.20,19) is identical to one from Colchester, dated 5th c. or Anglo-Saxon (Crummy 1983, Fig.50,1744).

The date of the ditch. The dating of the ditch presents problems. Its relationship with Pit 9, coupled with the pottery from its fill, indicates that it is earlier than 1100 but later than the Middle Saxon period. The evidence for deliberate back-filling in Trench XIB and the paucity of Saxo-Norman pottery suggests that the ditch did not remain open long enough for much rubbish to accumulate. Nevertheless, the presence of the two Normandy green-glazed whiteware jug sherds in the fill of the ditch sectioned by Trench XIB suggests that the feature was still visible enough during the late 12th c. for the odd item of rubbish to be deposited in it.

Layer XIII.3C Table 38. Coins

The feature could be described as a weak defensive work, although the exact horizon from which it was cut was probably up to 0.30 m. higher in the black earth than the level at which it was first recognised. It appears to have been designed to cut off the extreme eastern portion of the Roman fort: an area containing the Norman and later Medieval castle. The possibility presents itself that what we have here is an initial defensive ditch dug by William the Conqueror’s forces on their arrival at Pevensey in 1066. William of Jumeiges states that William ‘landed at Pevensey where he established a camp at once, surrounded by strong entrenchments, the guardianship of which he entrusted to brave knights. Afterwards he came hastily to Hastings where he caused other fortifications to be made without delay’ (Dawson 1909).



Allectus Allectus Constantine II Constantinopolis House of Constantine Constantine II Barbarous Fel Temp

R45 R46 R69 R295 R298 R171 R62

Daterange 293-296 293-296 333-334 330-337 330-337 335-337 353-364

Condition VF VF VF Missing Missing VF Worn

Table 39. Small Finds Fig. No. Fig.19.17 Fig.19.21 Fig.21.3 Fig.21.22 Fig.23.8 Fig.25.18

Area 6. (Fig.12) The upper four subdivisions of the black earth in Trench XIII accumulated between the Late 4th and mid-13th centuries, with the Saxo-Norman occupational material concentrated in lower spits D and C. The pottery content of these spits is discussed as Assemblage 24 (p.137-40): these spits also yielded a number of coins and small finds:

Description Iron Artillery Bolt Head Prick spur. Mid-to-Late Saxon Cu.alloy tweezers Cu alloy strip th Iron horseshoe. 12 c. Iron implement Miniature iron double axe Graffito on potsherd

SF No. BR 52 BR 60 IR 44 IR 45 IR 46 M3

No floor levels were noted within these black earth spits but a number of pits were observed to be cut from horizons within them.


EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Pit 12 was cut from the top of XIII.3E in the north-west corner of the trench and against the inner face of the fort wall. The pit was 0.60 m. deep and vertical-sided with a fill of black earth mixed with numerous sandstone lumps and large flints. It yielded only Roman pottery but is probably of later date. An octagonal cu alloy washer (BR 92, Fig.22.15) came from the feature.

bottom and similar to the step in Pit 17B. The feature contained dark soil with lumps of yellow clayey-sand, including pottery similar to that from Pit 17B. The excavator failed to establish the relationship with Pit 18 to the south of and intercutting with it but assumed that the latter was earlier. The pottery from the two pits suggests that the reverse is the case. The pottery from Pit 19 is dated to the Late 8th and Early 9th centuries and is discussed elsewhere (Assemblage 14 part, p.145). It is possible that this feature and Pit 17B may have formed the foundation of one wall of a Middle Saxon dwelling against the inside of the Roman fort wall.

Pit 13 lay near the west baulk of the trench, south of Pit 12. It was rectangular, vertical-sided, measured 1.10 by 0.80 by 1.35 m. deep and appears to have remained open for a while, as the dark soil fill towards its base was much mixed in with sand fallen in from the sides. The fill above this consisted of dark soil with cockle shells containing purely Roman pottery and a fragment from a glass Valsgarde bowl of Late 7th to 10th c. date (G21, Fig.24.17).

Pit 18, measuring 0.90 m. square and 1.30 m. deep, appears to have been cut into the southern edge of Pit 19 and was in turn cut by Pit 17 on its south. On the north side of its base was a fall of yellow sand 0.22 m. thick from off the side, with black soil and charcoal resting against it on the south. Above this was 0.45 m. of black soil with lumps of yellow sand and red sandy clay, overlain in turn by 0.20 m. of greenish-yellow sandy fill with dark brown soil above. This greenish-yellow fill yielded most of a Saxo-Norman cooking-pot of 11th c. date (Assemblage 14 part, p.127-29).

Pit 15 lay against the inner face of the Roman fort wall east of Pit 12. It was a large pit 2.55 m. wide, of irregular conical section, 0.60 m. deep and filled by black earth. There was very little pottery, mostly redeposited Roman, but including two pieces of black shelly Saxo-Norman ware. A cu alloy penannular brooch of Fowler’s Type C (BR94, Fig.20.16) also came from this pit and is a late, flat-sectioned example, closely paralleled in the Saxon cemetery at Winnall in a 7th c. context (Meaney and Hawkes 1970, Fig.9,2).

Pit 17 was an oval pit 0.53 m. deep with almost vertical sides: the fill was of dark soil containing the greater part of a Late 11th c. cooking-pot (Assemblage 17,p.129). Pit 23 (Fig 13B) lay near the eastern end of the trench, measuring 0.90 m. square by 1.20 m. deep. In its bottom was a deposit of hard greenish soil 0.10 m. thick running up the sides and suggesting that the feature had been used as a cess pit. The greenish soil graded into brown earth away from the sides of the pit and was overlain by loose dark earth. In the middle of the fill was a vertical-sided sinkage filled by light-brown clayey-sand mixed with dark earth and burnt red in places. This sinkage yielded a complete voided Saxo-Norman cooking-pot laid on its side above some animal bones and with its mouth inclined downwards to the east. In the mouth of the pot was a pile of mussel shells with some charcoal. A few centimetres to the east was the bulk of a second cookingpot of similar type: over these pots and the fill of the sinkage was a further deposit of mussel shells. The pots are dated to the 10th or Early 11th century (Assemblage 16, p.129) and were accompanied by a Roman coin of Helena (R.302) dated AD.326.

The sparseness or absence of Saxo-Norman pottery and the presence of Middle Saxon artefacts in two of the above pits suggests that they are of that period and belong to a time when pottery was in very short supply and the community almost aceramic. Pit 17B was sited against the inner face of the fort wall. Rectangular, it measured 0.68 by 1.12 m. with its long axis at 90 degrees to the wall and was vertical-sided, 0.36 m. deep, with a flat bottom. The southern third was 0.08 m. shallower and separated from the rest by a vertical step. The fill of the whole consisted of dark greenish-grey compact soil with flecks of charcoal: in the middle of the top part of this fill was a mass of yellow clayey-sand 0.15 m. thick. The pit yielded a small amount of pottery dated to the Late 8th or Early 9th centuries (Assemblage 12,p.127). Pit 17A cut Pit 17B on its east and was therefore later. It was oval, measuring 0.75 m. across by 0.30 m. deep and filled by loose black soil. The sides were vertical on the west and irregularly-sloping on the east. The feature yielded black, shell-tempered wares datable to the 9th or 10th centuries (Assemblage 13).

Pit 16 abutted Pit 15 on its south and measured 1.70 by 1.35 m. with a roughly conical section 0.80 m. deep. Its fill consisted of black soil containing redeposited Roman pottery as well as five sherds of black, shell-tempered Saxo-Norman ware. These latter include a rim fragment of ?Late 11th c. date: a coin of Constantine II (R 8) dated AD.335-337 was also present.

Pit 19 lay to the east of Pit 17A and was a vertical-sided feature running along the inner face of the fort wall. From the plan, the feature looks more like a beam-slot with a square posthole at the west end and a large post pit at the eastern one: there was a smaller posthole on the latter’s west side. This composite feature was 0.46 m. deep in its mid-section with vertical sides and a flat-bottomed step at its west end, 0.07 m. shallower than the adjacent pit

Pit 16A overlapped Pit 16 on its south-east and was therefore later. It was sub-rectangular, measuring 1.50 by 1.30 m., with its long axis running north-south and was a mere 0.25 m. deep with irregular sloping sides: the fill consisted of black soil with broken animal bones 59

MALCOLM LYNE scattered through most of it. The excavator thought that Pits 16 and 16A were very close in date because of the similarities between their fills. Black, shell-tempered Saxo-Norman wares were present in Pit 16A, including a cooking-pot rim similar to Fig.35,16 and of probable Late 11th c. date.

On the surface of the road were oyster shells and Medieval pottery of mainly 13th c. date: similar material occurred in the top of layer EG 3 immediately beneath the cobbles. There is a problem here in that a photograph taken at the time (Pl.6) shows quite clearly that there were wall-foundation trenches cut through the surface of the road, belonging to a later Medieval structure. Because of the relatively-late date of the road, its recording was somewhat inadequate: the excavation plan in its final form appears to have been prepared by someone not directly involved with the excavation of the road. He or she has associated these wall foundation trenches with Roman features as if they belonged to the same phase.

Pit 21 lay to the south-east of Pit 18 and was a large subrectangular to circular feature measuring 1.54 by 1.38 m., but only 0.34 m. deep. The sides were irregular but fairly steep, except on the east where they sloped up gradually from the bottom to a ridge separating the feature from Pit 20. The base of the pit was slightly convex with a mass of ox and horse bones all over it and half-filling the feature. These bones included a length of articulated horse spinal column with rib fragments still attached in the north-west quarter of the pit with another short length of spinal column on its west side. The upper part of the pit fill was of mixed clayey-sand and dark soil. Apart from the usual residual Roman pot, there was a single sherd in oxidised, gritty fabric P.1, from a spouted cooking-pot of probable Late 11th or Early 12th c. date.

It seems likely that much, if not all, of the medieval pottery from the top of EG 3 may be contamination from these trenches cut through the road. The road itself could even be of Early Medieval date, although the strap buckle incorporated in it would indicate a later one. It is possible, however, that the road surface remained exposed and had localised resurfacings. Area 6, Trench XIII (Fig.13A).

Pit 22 lay in the north-east corner of the trench and was not completely excavated. Cut into the Roman clay dump backing on to the Roman fort wall, it was 1.65 m. deep and, as far as is known, rectangular in plan. The sides of the feature were irregular and mostly vertical, curving down to a base of which very little was exposed. In the bottom of the pit was a 1.02 m. thick deposit of black earth, above which was 0.22 m. of dark brown soil overlain successively by 0.06 m. of black earth and 0.20 m. more of dark brown soil. Above this sequence was a sagging layer of red and yellow clay and sand up-to 0.15 m. thick overlain by dark brown-black soil indistinguishable from Layer XIII.3 above. In the fills of this pit were sherds of Early 12th c. date and a coin of Theodosius I (R 40) date AD.388-395.

The two uppermost spits of dark earth layer XIII.3 (A and B) yielded pottery of Late 12th and Early 13th c. date; discussed as part of Assemblage 24 (p.156-8). These two spits also produced the following artefacts: Spit XIII.3B Table 40. Coins Emperor Helena

SF No R1

Date-range 335-340

Condition VF

Table 41. Small Finds Fig.No. Fig.19.14 Fig.19.23

5.3.3. Phases 7 and 8. c.AD.1150-1254+

Description Decorated cu.alloy swivel. Roman Iron horseshoe. c.1150-1300

SF No BR 51 IR 42

Area 1 A cobbled roadway up-to 5.80 m. wide was laid down over the dark earth which had accumulated on the surface of the Roman road (Pl.6). It followed a similar alignment and consisted of flints with a few sandstone lumps and occasional worn fragments of Roman tile: some of the flints were very large; measuring as much as 0.45 by 0.36 metres. Salzman’s trench had destroyed the relationship of the road with the gateway but Cottrill observed a road surface under the gate arch, composed of coarse gravel 0.08 m. thick in its middle, thinning out to the north and stopping 0.64 m. from the north jamb. The road metalling inside the gate contained a Roman artillery bolt head (IR48, Fig.19.18) and a 15th c. cu.alloy strap-end buckle (BR53, Fig.20.2).

Spit XIII.3A Table 42. Coins Emperor Radiate Constantinopolis

SF No R 110 R 299

Date-range rd Late 3 330-337

Condition Corroded missing

Above this black earth was a 1.60 m. thick deposit of dumped red and yellow clay derived from the digging of the castle moat and deposited during the 1250s. This dump (XIII.2) yielded a mixture of pottery and other artefacts of all periods from Roman to Medieval and was overlain by humus 0.15 m. thick, containing the following:


EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Table 43. Coins Emperor Barbarous radiate Barbarous radiate Radiate Constantinopolis Constantius II Henry II Henry VIII

SF No R 94 R 101 R 103 R 297 R 70 M1 M 15

Date-range 276-286 276-286 rd Late 3 330-337 341-346 1180-1189 1526-1544

at any rate re-faced c.AD.1190. The descending roadway down to the postern is flanked by two walls, contemporary with and retaining the dumped clay and indicating that the medieval inner bailey curtain wall construction was simultaneous with the digging of the moat. The postern itself is, however, of Early 12th c. date and was put in a gap in the Roman wall where landslip had carried away Roman Interval Tower 10 (Peers 1933).

Condition Very worn Corroded Corroded Missing Worn VF VF

5.4: Features post-dating the digging of the castle moat.

Table 44. Small Finds Fig.No Fig.19.24

Description th Iron horseshoe. 14 c. or later

5.4.1: Area 4. The Medieval Moat Extension

SF No IR 23

Trench III. A broad but shallow ditch runs north from the north-west angle of the castle moat towards the rear of the wellpreserved Interval Tower 3 (Fig.1) and a section was put down across it just to the north of the public footpath which traverses the Roman fort (Fig.15A). Lying on the surface of the natural subsoil was a 0.30 m. thick deposit of greenish-yellow clayey-sand (III.8), without an intervening turf line. This layer had an irregular upper surface, dipped in a northerly direction and contained vertical streaks of black, suggestive of root activity. The small amount of pottery present is in keeping with a preAD.350 date for its deposition. Above this layer were discontinuous patches of red and yellow clay (III.6), 0.03 m. thick on average, and overlain in turn by 0.45 m. of brownish-black to black soil with charcoal flecks, animal bones and Late 4th c. pottery (III.7). This, in turn, was overlain by a thin, intermittent layer of yellow, sandy clay, above which was 0.50 m. of black earth with charcoal, containing quantities of 12th and Early 13th c. pottery (III.5). There was a lack of black, shelly Saxo-Norman wares, suggesting that 11th c. and earlier Saxon occupation was minimal or absent from the area covered by this trench. No structures were observed in the small area excavated and the whole was sealed under up-to 1.50 m. of dumped mottled clay from the digging of the castle moat (III.3). This clay contained a thin dark seam of earth with shells (III.4), between 3.60 and 4.20 m. from the eastern end of the trench, suggesting that refuse from the castle was being deposited whilst the clay was being dumped.

Trench XIIIC This trench was put down against the inside of and over the foundation of that part of the fort wall undermined during the siege of 1264-65. The black earth (XIIIC.3) was overlain by more red-and-yellow clay from the digging of the moat (XIIIC.2); this time 1.40 m. thick. Where the fort wall had collapsed, both of these layers had slid down the steep slope created against its foundation. Proof that the clay had already been dumped before the wall had been undermined takes the form of large lumps of it mixed up in the black earth where they had flowed together over the foundation of the Roman wall (Fig.4A). The 1964 Excavation A small excavation inside the south postern of the Medieval castle revealed an interesting sequence of occupation layers. The excavations are recorded in a brief interim note (Rigold 1964), but the final report was never published. The notebooks, plans and sections could not be located but the small finds, pottery and photographic archive were looked at. The Roman occupation soil was overlain by a deposit of disturbed clay; in turn overlain by occupation soil containing largely medieval pottery. A little residual Roman material was also present but black, shell-andgrit-tempered Saxo-Norman sherds were entirely absent. Cooking-pot rim forms of Late 11th or Early 12th c. type in fabric P2 similar to Figs.36,21 and 24 from Trench XIII.3C were, however, present alongside later 12th and 13th c. forms and fabrics. It is possible that there was some removal of occupation layers at the time of the building of the Early 12th c. keep; explaining the total absence of Late Saxon wares. The disturbed clay may be connected with the building of the keep as that was filled with packed clay up-to first floor level.

A flat-bottomed ditch 2.10 m. wide and 0.90 m. deep was dug into the surface of layer III.3 with a bank on its east side, consisting of alternating layers of dumped yellow clay and dark brown soil, 4.50 m. wide and 0.75 m. high. Because the upper surface of the clay dump from moat digging sloped down to the east at this point, the top of this bank was no higher than the surface of III.3 to the west of the ditch. On top of the bank was a mass of flint and sandstone rubble in black earth, 2.70 m. wide and 0.45 m. high, probably carrying a palisade. A post hole 0.16 m. in diameter in the bottom of the ditch indicates that stakes may have also been set in it. The yellowbrown clayey fill of the ditch yielded a few sherds of residual Roman and Early Medieval pottery alongside a group of joining sherds from a Dutch pan of Late 13th or Early 14th c. date (Fig.38.30).

Overlying the occupation layer was a clay capping, the top of which equates with the ground surface of the 13th c. castle of Peter of Savoy. This layer is probably derived from the moat digging operation and rested against and almost covered the plinth of the rectangular fore-building of the Norman stone keep; believed to have been built or 61

MALCOLM LYNE This ditch and rampart faces west and is probably a defensive work thrown up during the siege of 1264-5 to prevent Simon de Montfort’s forces from getting round to the seaward side of the castle and occupying Pevensey town.

Unfortunately, the feature is not recorded on either of the two surviving plans. Near the middle of the trench was a sandstone slab ‘hearth’ measuring 1.00 by 0.80 m. and set in clay on the surface of layer VIIIJ.4. Above this feature and layers VIIIJ.4 and 6 was a mass of burnt red clay (VIIIJ.2) up-to 0.10 m. thick, mixed with burnt earth and charcoal and containing considerable quantities of potsherds, including kiln wasters. This pottery is discussed as Assemblage 27 (p.142) and indicates Late 13th or Early 14th c. pottery production. We may perhaps interpret the ‘hearth’ as the remains of a kiln and the ‘cooking-hole’ as its stoking area, furthest from the roadside.

5.4.2. Area 3. The pottery production site in Trench VIIIJ. Just above the projected line of the mid-13th c. hornwork ditch revetment on the south side of the road from the West Gate to Westham, Trench VIIIJ revealed a large area of burnt black organic material (VIIIJ.4) 0.01 m. thick (Fig.16A), with the brown soil below it (VIIIJ.5) affected by heat to a depth of 0.02 metres: this feature was thought by the excavator to be the result of grass burning. To the south of this feature, in Section AB and to its south-east, was a shallow 0.02 m. deep hollow cutting VIIIJ.4 and filled with grey soil (VIIIJ.6). This was described by the excavator as a ‘cooking hole’ and appears to be floored with stones in Section AB.

There seems little doubt that all vestiges of the defensive ditch systems outside the West Gate had been filled in by the time that the potter moved in and constructed his kiln, unaware of the ditch-fills beneath.



6 The Coins does not appear in any of the coin lists up to 1939 but is marked on its envelope as coming from Pevensey. Because of the coin’s ‘exotic’ nature, it could well have arrived by the same mechanism as R141. A coin of Maximian (R137) appears to be a contemporary bronze cast taken from a gold solidus of the Siscia mint and may have originally been gilded in an attempt to deceive.

6.1: Introduction A total of 482 coins and jettons relating to Roman and subsequent occupation inside the fortress have been identified. Of these, 244 are in Lewes and 22 in Hastings Museum. The coin lists (Tables 45,48 and 49) are based on 17 from Roach-Smith’s excavations (1858), 55 from those of Salzman and Sands (Salzman 1909,88), 73 from Ministry of Works explorations in the inter-war years, 141 from Cottrill’s 1936 dig, 25 from clearing-up operations in 1937, 57 from Pearce’s 1938-39 excavations, 15 noted by Cottrill as being in a Mr Vidler’s coin cabinet, one in the Sutton bequest (Lewes Museum Acc.No.1939.51.1) and 98 from a Roman hoard found in 1841 (Roach-Smith 1841 and 1858). Forty one more recent coins and tokens post-dating the reign of Elizabeth I are additionally listed at the end of Table 45.

Four levels of wear are recorded on 186 of the surviving Roman coins in Table 47. Extremely Fine (EF) and Very Fine (VF) are the same grades as used by numismatists but ignore the effects of production flaws and postdepositional corrosion. Worn coins have moderate to heavy wear, resulting in considerable loss of detail: very worn ones have busts and reverse features surviving in little more than outline. Two coin hoards are listed in Tables 48 and 49 but the total loss of Hoard 1, coupled with ambiguities in its recording, and the sorry state of Hoard 2 do not allow much comment.

A number of these coins can no longer be traced but Cottrill’s papers and a card index of finds made between 1926 and 1939 give enough detail for the missing items found during that period to be included in the lists. Salzman found a total of 74 coins during his excavations but 19 of these can no longer be identified with certainty. As his published coin list amounts to no more than the number of coins per emperor, it was felt that their inclusion would serve no constructive purpose. In contrast, although all of the items have long since vanished. Roach-Smith’s coin descriptions are sufficiently precise to enable their inclusion here.

The 20 medieval coins are too few in number to attempt analysis but it is noteworthy that the bulk of them are very heavily worn; perhaps to a level where it had become difficult to get them accepted. Being of silver, it is not surprising that there is so little Saxon and Medieval coinage: there do not appear to be any contemporary forgeries. 6.3: The Roman coinage

6.2: Method of Study The finding of a Constantinian coin (R274) in a beam emplacement beneath Interval Tower 3 during Ministry of Works repair work in 1926 (Bushe-Fox 1932) has led to wide acceptance of a belief that Pevensey was added to the coastal defensive system during the mid-4th century (Salway 1981, 352). The coin series (Table 45), taken in conjunction with the ceramic and other excavation evidence, refutes this belief entirely and shows the fortress to be a late 3rd c. foundation like Portchester and Richborough.

Two out of 358 Roman non-hoard coin finds from Pevensey are of silver; the rest are in base metal. Table 46 compares the relative percentages of base metal coinage lost at the Saxon Shore forts of Portchester, Pevensey and Richborough and the civil settlements of Canterbury, Winchester, Chichester, Silchester and Neatham, using Reece’s system of 16 coin supply periods (Reece 1972). Excluding Richborough, which also has earlier occupation, serious coin loss at the forts starts with the issues of Period X (259-75): as a result, coin loss predating this period is omitted from the statistics.

6.3.1: The silver coins. The Republican denarius (R 275) is by far the earliest coin from Pevensey. Republican denarii, excluding the notoriously debased issues of Mark Antony, tend to contain a higher percentage of silver than later Imperial issues; particularly those minted after AD.70 (Greene 1986,60). For this reason, most Republican silver was recalled by Trajan and consigned to the melting pot. The few that escaped this fate lingered on in hoards deposited as late as the end of Hadrian’s reign (Reece 1974): others remained in circulation in remoter rural areas until at least the end of the 2nd century. The Pevensey find is unlikely to relate to the Saxon Shore fort but may belong to the

Of the 356 base metal coins, 27 have been excluded from Table 46 and are marked with a double asterisk in Table 45. These comprise 21 totally-illegible coins, three 2nd c. sestertii and three others of which more should be said. The perforated coin of Licinius (R 141) was probably worn as a pendant and may have been brought to Pevensey in post-Roman times. It hails from the eastern Nicomedia mint and, coming from the Medieval castle moat, could have been acquired as an amulet on one of the Crusades. A billon tetradrachm of Diocletian (R 222) 63

MALCOLM LYNE ephemeral Early Roman activity on the site. The probable siliqua of Julian (R 309) is paralleled in the coin series from Chichester (Down 1978,339) and elsewhere but its disappearance makes it impossible to ascertain whether it was clipped or not.

Period XIV. AD.348-364 There are wild fluctuations in coin loss between sites during this period. Much of this may be due to the dearth of official base coinage circulating in Britain after the suppression of Magnentius’s revolt in 353. To overcome the shortage, large quantities of barbarous Fel Temp Reparatio copies were produced: 19 out of 43 coins of this period at Pevensey are of this type. At Portchester, coin loss levels are very low and suggest downgrading of the fort during part at least of this period. Pevensey conforms very closely to Richborough: once more it would seem that occupation continued as before.

6.3.2: The base coinage sequence. Periods X and XI. AD.259-296. At three of the five civil settlements where a split could be made, the coinage of Period X forms a greater percentage of the whole or is approximately equal to that of Period XI. The coinage from Richborough, which also has earlier occupation, also follows this pattern but Pevensey and Portchester have a higher percentage of Period XI coinage.

Period XVA. AD.364-383 All three forts have very similar levels of coin loss so it can be assumed that occupation continued at Pevensey and Richborough and picked up again at Portchester.

Twenty or so years ago, opinion dated the Saxon Shore forts to the 280s: such a date would help to explain the coinage patterns at Pevensey and Portchester in that, if these establishments were founded during Period XI, the currency of the previous period would have been largely de-monetarised by Aurelian’s reforms with only residual coinage in circulation as unofficial small change. The life of this de-monetarised coinage was prolonged, however, by a failure to maintain adequate supplies of the new coinage in circulation; a phenomenon which also led to the mass production of barbarous radiates in an attempt to overcome the shortage. I have followed Reece and others in allocating the 16 barbarous radiates from Pevensey to the years 275-86 inside Period XI.

Periods XVB and XVI. AD.383-403 The end of money supply during the Early 5th c. supplies us with some very interesting statistics. Base coinage supply to Chichester was virtually at an end after AD.383, continuing a trend which had commenced somewhat earlier on rural sites in central and eastern Sussex. As much of Chichester’s base metal coin supply may have been derived from trade with the nearest military garrison at Portchester, a similar decline in money supply there may have exacerbated the situation. It should be noted, however, that there are an abnormally large number of Theodosian coin hoards from the eastern half of the Isle of Wight (Combley, Fishbourne Beach, Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin, Ventnor and Wroxall). The Fishbourne hoard came from a beach emporium, was found near a pile of pole-axed ox skulls, and suggests that Portchester was being victualled by the Island. Once such supplies had been paid for, the money used to do so would, for the most part, remain on the Isle of Wight and thus fail to circulate on the mainland opposite.

Two further items of numismatic evidence support the idea of the forts being founded during Period XI. Residuality of the Period X coinage at Pevensey is supported by the levels of wear table (Table 47), where it has a much higher proportion of worn coins than Period XI. Secondly, the combined Periods X and XI coinage percentages from all forts average less than half of that for the towns; a situation which one might expect if the forts were occupied for only a third of the time span.

Richborough coin loss levels during Period XVI overshadow all other sites in both Britain and elsewhere in the Roman Empire: the incredible figure of 45.5% of all base metal coinage must be due to exceptional circumstances such as the maintainance of a full monetary system within the fort after neighbouring rural and urban populations had abandoned theirs. As a result, when the inhabitants of Richborough finally ceased to use coin, it was all discarded within the walls.

Periods XII and XIIIA. AD.296-330 All sites, with the exception of Portchester, discussed elsewhere (Reece 1975,195), conform to a pattern of low coinage loss. The Pevensey coin loss levels are very average for the eight sites and lead one to conclude that occupation continued throughout these two periods. Period XIIIB. AD.330-348

Coin percentages for Periods XVB and XVI at Pevensey conform with those from the remainder of the sites: Valentinianic and Theodosian coinage tends to be worn; indicating the possible survival of a monetary economy well into the 5th century (Table 47).

All sites conform to a high coin loss pattern, averaging 51.8% of the Periods XII-XVA material. At Portchester and Canterbury, slightly lower percentages are a result of statistical distortion brought about by exceptional losses during other periods. Once again the Pevensey situation is very average and suggests continued, uninterrupted occupation.



6.5. New coin types

Two hoards of Roman coins are recorded from Pevensey:

The following coin type is not listed in the volumes of the Roman Imperial Coinage:

6.4.1: Hoard 1 (Table 48). R146 Obv. IMPCONSTANTINVSPFAVG Bust laureate, draped and cuirassed right Rev. PRINCIPI I VVENTVTIS Prince stg. Facing, head left, in military dress holding standard in each hand * mintmark PLN

This was discovered in 1841, buried in the south bank of the Roman fortress. The two published accounts of its contents differ as to the number of coins present. The earlier version (Roach-Smith 1841) lists only 40 coins whereas the later one (Roach-Smith 1858) expands this total to 98. It would appear that most of the discovery ended up in the hands of a Mr Brooker of Alfriston, whose portion is that published in 1841. Further smaller parcels of coins went to other collectors, who were tracked down by Roach-Smith’s friend and colleague M.A.Lower. It is probable that the inclusion of these additional coins in the later, published version is responsible for the discrepancy, although no specific statement is made to that effect there.

The full length obverse legend is very rare for this mintmark as is the draped and cuirassed bust type. Both the legend and bust type are, however, characteristic features of the preceding T/F/PLN coinage, suggesting that this coin belongs to the period of transition between the two coinages in mid-310. The silver penny of Ecgbeorht of Wessex was the only known example of the type at the time of its discovery. It was found during Pearce’s excavations outside the West Gate in an unstratified context and was unfortunately damaged by a workman’s pick. Originally thought to be a Canterbury issue, it is now attributed to Rochester.

The coin of Carausius, included in the 1858 version of the hoard’s contents, does not fit in with what is otherwise a Valentinianic hoard deposited, perhaps, at the time of the troubles in AD.367. Vota reverses of Carausius are very rare and normally associated with his silver coinage: if our coin was such a coin, the bullion element might justify its inclusion in the hoard. It is, however, more likely that the coin is a mis-identified vota issue siliqua of Julian, also bearded, and thus far more in keeping with the hoard’s date. I am indebted to Michael Fulford for this suggestion.

SC1 Obv. ECGBEORHTREX Legend around cross in circle Rev. COBBAMONETA+

6.4.2. Hoard 2 (Table 49). This small late 3rd c. hoard was found by Burgess in 1937 when battering the sides of Cottrill’s Trench XIII so as to permanently display the inner face of the fort wall. The hoard came from XIII.6 and consists of six coins. Because of their not being conserved at the time, five of these coins are now totally illegible. Their modules and presence of purple corrosion products indicate, however, that some may have been antoniniani or aureliani with a silver content.:the sixth coin is of Carausius. All of the coins display what appears to be grass or straw impressions in the corrosion products, suggesting that they may have lain in undergrowth for some time after loss
























EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Table 49 Hoard 2 catalogue Ref no R112 R113 R114 R115 R116 R117

Module 20mm 23x18mm 14mm 26x22mm 22mm Shattered

Emperor Carausius ? ? ? ? ?

Reverse ? ? ? ? ? ?


Notes Purple core ?Barbarous radiate Purple core


7 The Small Finds 7.1: Introduction The description of each object from the 1936 and 1937 excavations is followed by the trench and layer number, together with the latter’s estimated date. Cottrill’s small find numbers, where applicable, are bracketed at the end of each entry. Finds from the other excavations are for the most part unstratified: Lewes Museum accession numbers are used to identify those from the 1938 excavation. A number of artefacts are either too fragmentary or too trivial for illustration: these are tabulated in the main report after the illustrated finds from the relevant context.

A considerable number of small finds were discovered during the various excavations: most of them were formerly stored at Barbican House, Lewes but are now with English Heritage. Cottrill recorded most of his small finds in a notebook under the four separate headings of Bronze, Iron, Bone and Miscellaneous objects: a few additional items have been retrieved from bags of pottery by the writer. Cottrill does not appear, however, to have kept a register of the glass, most of which was found boxed up ready for specialist examination. It has proved possible to locate all of these 1936 small finds with the exception of the gilt medieval pendant (BR43). By good fortune, however, the missing item was accurately drawn in the notebook at the time of discovery, enabling a copy to be made for publication here (Fig.19.27). Several of the copper alloy and iron objects have deteriorated, however, during the intervening years due to lack of conservation.

7.2: Objects of Iron, Copper Alloy and Lead 7.2.1: Roman and Saxon military and related equipment Disc attachments Fig.19 1.

All of Burgess’s 1937 small finds came from either top soil removal inside the East Gate of the fort or from the enlargement of Cottrill’s Trench XIII. In the latter case, the exact position of the artefact was noted at the time and can be tied in with Cottrill’s stratification. There is no register of the items but it is known that Burgess handed everything over to Cottrill, with whom they remained until his death in 1984.


The only account of Pearce’s 1938-39 small finds is a cursory list incorporated in a manuscript outline report on the 1938 season’s work, accompanied by some drawings of the best items prepared for publication. Most of these 1938 items still survive but those from the 1939 season, assuming any were found, are missing.

Cu. alloy attachment disc of Hawkes and Dunning Type VI (1961, Fig.24-d), paralleled from the inner ditch of the Saxon Shore fort at Richborough (Bushe-Fox 1949,Pl.XXXII,70, Pl.LII,187-8, p.144). c.AD.375-425. EG.3 (c.AD.370-400+) resting on interior plinth of fort wall in front of gateway. (BR46). Fragment from probable cu. alloy disc attachment ring. c.AD.375-425. EG.3 (c.AD.370-400+BR62).

Lorica Squamata Fig.19 3.

A number of inadequately published or completely unpublished items from Salzman’s 1906-08 excavations are in Lewes Museum, as are items from Sands’ and the Ministry of Works excavations in the Medieval castle before 1936. This latter material includes quantities of Late Medieval military artefacts, including spurs, arrowheads and a leather dagger scabbard. The visor of a Late 14th c. helmet was also found and is stored in the Tower of London Armouries. Because the present report lays emphasis on the archaeology of Pevensey Castle before 1250, a decision was made to publish this material at a later date.

4. 5.

Pointed cu. alloy scale with two perforations for attachment. Its large size suggests use in horse armour. Sands’ excavations in castle 1910. U/S. (BM Acc. OA 4065). Top of cu.alloy scale with two perforations. IA.3 (c.AD.350-1250, BR.22A). Three fragments from pointed lorica squamata scale with a fragment from a second scale stuck to its underside by corrosion products. VIIIJ. U/S. (BR72)

These scales differ from most examples in having pointed rather than semicircular ends, although pointed examples are known from Carnuntum, Corbridge and elsewhere (Robinson 1975, Figs.159 and 162).

Some of Salzman’s more important finds, including the steelyard (Fig.22.1), were destroyed when Eastbourne Museum was bombed during the War. Fortunately, however, the photograph of the steelyard in the original publication (Salzman 1907,Pl.16) was accompanied by a scale: the drawing is taken from this.

Belt buckles Fig. 19 6.


?Dolphin from zoomorphic buckle of Hawkes and Dunning Type 1A, paralleled at Barnsley

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Park in context dated c.AD.360-400+ (Webster and Smith 1982,Pl.VB). XE.2 (12th c., BR54). 7. Small cu.alloy buckle similar to but slightly smaller than an example from Alfriston Saxon cemetery. An example of similar size but in iron comes from the Stafford Road, Brighton cemetery Grave 1 (Smith 1988,Fig.7a) and is there dated to the 6th-7th centuries. Sands’ excavation. U/S. 8. Small cu-alloy buckle. IA,Pit 8 (Mid-Late Saxon, BR14). 9. Cu.alloy buckle tongue of probable Roman date. XIII.3D (c.AD.300-1100. BR86). 10. Cu alloy ‘T’shaped buckle tongue similar to one from Alfriston Grave 21 (Welch 1983, Fig.7b) but smaller and plain. The small size may be indicative of a Middle rather than Early Saxon date: the perforation for attachment suggests secondary re-use. VIIIO,8-12. Dumped yellowbrown soil sealed by Norman road (BR68).

Projectiles Fig.19 17. Iron ballistra bolt head of type known from Richborough and numerous other Roman sites (Manning 1976,Fig.13,29). XIII.3C dated c.AD.300-1250) 18. Another example. EG.2 between medieval road cobbles (IR48). Knives Fig.19 19. Long iron knife with the point broken off (Manning 1976,Fig.21,126). Pearce 1938. Unstratified outside West Gate (L.M.1953-42-9). 20. Hump-backed whittle-tanged knife in Saxon tradition, approximating to Evison’s Type 4 dated to the 7th century (Evison 1987). VIIIH. U/S (IR37).

Strap-ends and stiffening plates Fig. 19

Spur Fig.19

12. Thin rectangular cu-alloy plate with two iron rivets. Probably Roman. IA.U/S. (BR8). 13. Thick rectangular cu-alloy plate with two iron rivets and pecked-and-scribed decoration on its surface between zones of transverse grooving. VIIIO. Base of Layer 13 grey-brown earth dated c.AD.470+ (BR64).

21. Simple tinned iron prick-spur with short squaresection arms decorated with bands of incised transverse grooving on their upper and outer exterior edges. The short prick was hammered out from the two arms which appear to have been forged together: the untinned loops for attachment to the boot are each double-rivetted. The spur was subjected to X-ray fluorescence analysis at the Tower Armouries and the plating shown to be 100% tin.

Harness fittings Fig. 19 14. Cast cu-alloy swivel decorated with punched dot in circle decoration. No parallels have been located for this item but the character of the piece suggests a Roman date. XIII.3B (c.AD.300-1250) (BR51). 15. Square cu.alloy backing plate for strapdistributor from horse harness with attachment loops at the corners. Elaborate mounts of similar outline are known from an Alamannic grave at Geislingen in Germany; where they are dated c.AD.550-600 (Christlein 1979,Pl.101). XIV.10 dated 450+. BR99) 16. Cu.alloy harness mount consisting of two openwork circular loops linked together. Three broadly-similar objects with filled in loops came from the fort at Ravenglass and were dated to the 4th century (Potter 1979,Fig.27,28). Pearce 1938. Unstratified outside West Gate (L.M.1953-42-64).

The spur is different in style to both known Roman types (De Shortt 1959) and Medieval ones (Ward-Perkins 1965). The decoration is, however, paralleled on a spur from the Haldernegg post-Merovingian grave in the Swabian Alps, dated by Stein to the Early 8th century (1968) and by Christlein to the 7th century (1979). Blanche Ellis at the Tower Armouries pointed out that the decoration is also known on a Late Anglo-Saxon spur from Bridge Street, Cambridge (Royal Armouries No.VI416) of 10-11th c.date. In view of the presence of 8th c. and later Saxon pottery in the same layer as our example, a similar date seems likely. 1937.XIII.3C dated c.AD.300-1250).



Fig.19 Objects of iron, copper alloy and lead. Scale 1:2 except 11 (1:1).

7.2.2: Medieval military and related equipment others, IR24 and 28, came from the same ditch fill in Trenches VII and VIIIB. 23. Iron horseshoe with wavy outer edge and plain inner one; dated to the period c.AD.1150-1300. XIII.3B (IR42). 24. Iron horseshoe of 14th c.or later type. XIII.1. U/S. (IR23).

Horseshoes Fig. 19 22. Iron horseshoe with wavy edges of a type dated to the mid-12th century (Ward-Perkins 1965, Fig.36-4). VII.3 in Norman ditch (IR30). Two


EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Harness fittings


Fig. 19

Fig. 20 Iron whittle-tanged knife of Late 14th c. type (Cowgill et al 1987). XIF.1. Top soil (IR17). 10. Iron scale-tang handled knife of Late 14th-15th c.type (Ibid.). XIF.1. Top soil (IR18). 11. Iron knife with decorated bone handle. I.1. Top soil (IR1).

25. Simple iron ring from snaffle-bit of WardPerkins Type A and not closely datable (Ibid.). VIIB. U/S (IR4) 26. Simple iron ring from similar snaffle-bit. IA.Pit 7 dated to c.AD.1050-1100 (IR32). 27. Cu.alloy pendant with engraved interlaced design and vestiges of applied gold leaf. EG.1. U/S (BR43). 28. Cu.alloy pendant with traces of translucent green enamel over gold leaf decoration. XIII.2 dated c.AD.1250+.


7.2.3: Roman and Saxon articles of personal adornment. Brooches Fig. 20

Buckles 12. Cu.alloy crossbow brooch of Type T191B (Bailey and Butcher 2004,184). c.AD.290-320. 1929 Castle courtyard excavations. U/S. (L.M.1953-10-2). 13. Developed cu.alloy crossbow brooch of Type T192 (Ibid.,184-5). An early example of the type, approximating to Keller’s type 1 (1971). c.AD.290-340. XIII.6 dated c.293-300+ (BR93). 14. Arm from cast cu.alloy crossbow brooch belonging to Riha’s Zwiebelknopffibeln Type 6.5.3 (1979) and Keller’s Type 3B, dated by the latter to c.AD.340-360. VIIIP.12 (BR79). 15. Cu.alloy twisted-wire annular brooch. Pearce 1938. U/S outside West Gate (L.M.1953-42-60). 16. Copper alloy penannular brooch of Fowler’s Type C (1960). Flat sectioned examples like this tend to occur late in the series: there is a very close parallel from the Saxon cemetery at Winnall in a 7th c. context (Meaney and Hawkes 1970, Fig.9-2). XIII.Pit 15, Middle Saxon (BR94).

Fig.20 1. 2.


Small iron buckle without tongue. I.1 (IR40) Cu.alloy strap-end buckle. Some of these were used for fastening plate armour and others on c. sword belts (Ward-Perkins 15th 1965,Pl.LXXV-6). EG.2. In surface of Medieval road (BR53). D-shaped iron buckle without tongue. 1937.XIII.3 dated c.AD.300-1250

Strap-end chapes Fig.20 4. 5.

Cu.alloy chape. Pearce 1938.U/S outside West Gate (L.M.1953-42-68) Cu.alloy chape paralleled at Priory of St.Andrew, Hamble, where dated to the 14th/15th centuries (Hughes and Stamper 1981, Fig.6-2). Pearce 1938.U/S outside West Gate (L.M.195342-68B).

Rings Fig.20

Strap stiffening plate? Fig. 20 6.

17. Cast cu.alloy ring with plain bezel; paralleled at Barnsley Park in a context dated c.AD.360-400 (Webster and Smith 1982, Fig.30-94). EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR74). 18. Fragmentary cu.alloy finger ring with thin beaten-out triangular bezel. A ring with similarly beaten-out bezel comes from 4th c. occupation at Ructstalls Hill, Basingstoke (Oliver and Applin 1979). EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR39) 19. Simple cu.alloy ring. XIII.3D dated c.AD.3001100 (BR58).

Cast cu.alloy plate with two holes for attachment. The central portion is elevated above the rest and flanked by two rows of raised bosses. VIIIF. U/S (BR80).

Projectiles Fig. 20 7.


Iron armour-piercing arrowhead of WardPerkins Type 9 dated c.AD.1250-1450. Large numbers of these were found within the confines of the Medieval castle and in its moat and may be associated with the sieges of 1264 and 1399. II.1. Top soil (IR2). Iron armour-piercing arrowhead of WardPerkins Type 7. XID.3 dated c.AD.1250.

Ear-rings Fig. 20 20. Cu.alloy Roman ear-ring of Allason-Jones Type 1 (1989). Not closely datable. EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR65). 81


Fig.20 Objects of iron, copper alloy and lead. Scale 1:2




Fig. 19

Fig. 20

11. Tip of cu alloy strip bracelet of uncertain type with punched ring-and-dot decoration. c.350400+. VIIIN,17 in Roman ditch.

33. Cu.alloy penannular ring. Paralleled at Lewes, where dated to the 12th-13th centuries (Freke 1975,Fig.8-59). VIIIO.1. Topsoil (BR77).

Fig. 20

Pins Fig.20

21. Fragment from 2-strand cable armlet dated to the Late 3rd and 4th centuries (Crummy 1983,Fig.41,1610). XID.4 dated c.AD.350-1250 (BR28). 22. Fragment from 3-strand cable armlet with catch. c.AD.250-400. EG.4 dated c.AD.330-370 (BR87). 23. Fragment from twisted-wire armlet with catch. c.AD.250-400. EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR84). 24. Fragment from notched, toothed and crenellated armlet with A5 decoration (Swift 2000,Fig.169). c.AD.300-400+. (BR98). 25. Fragment from armlet with cogwheel decoration. c.AD.350-400+. IA.1. Top soil (BR4).

34. Hollow, globular, cu.alloy pin-head made in two halves and soldered together. A Scandinavian type dated to the 10th and 11th centuries (Hinton 1974,Pl.9-3). The shaft has corroded away. VIIIA.11 in Norman hornwork ditch of c.AD.1050-1150 date (BR33). Shoe buckle Fig.20 35. Cu.alloy shoe-buckle with traces of ferrous oxide from a, now missing, iron tongue. The type was introduced in the Late 15th c. but most examples date from the Tudor and Stuart periods (Blackmore 1981, p.129). Pearce 1938. U/S outside the West Gate (L.M.1953-42-61).

7.2.4: Medieval articles of personal adornment Brooches

7.2.5: Roman and Saxon toiletry articles Fig. 20 Tweezers 26. Small cu.alloy penannular brooch with incised decoration, minus pin. 1937,XIII.3E dated c.AD.300-1100. 27. Small cu.alloy annular brooch with incised decoration. VIIIA.1. Top soil (BR44). 28. Black enamelled cu.alloy annular brooch decorated with raised crosses. I.1. Top soil (BR9). 29. Decorated cu.alloy annular brooch with inscription AMORCITOMN (His love conquers all). I.1. Topsoil (BR12). 30. Cu.alloy annular brooch with illegible inscription. I.1. Topsoil (BR31). 31. Large cu.alloy annular brooch with illegible inscription. Pearce 1938. U/S outside West Gate (L.M.1953-42-60). 32. Fragment from punch-decorated annular brooch with raised jewel settings containing traces of white paste. Similar to an example from Noble St., London dated to the 12th-13th centuries (Ward-Perkins 1965 Pl.LXXVIII-1). II.1. Topsoil.

Fig.21 1. 2.

3. 4.


Cu.alloy tweezers with expanded ends. VIIIC.12 dated to the 11th century (BR40). Gilt cu.alloy tweezers with expanded ends. Tweezers are difficult to date with any precision but gilded ones are rare and probably belong in a Migration Period context. Pearce 1938. U/s outside the West Gate (LM.1953-42-69). Cu.alloy straight-sided tweezers. XIII.3C dated c.AD.300-1250 (BR52). Cu.alloy tweezers with expanded ends. Paralleled at Richborough in the inner stone fort ditch fill (Bushe-Fox 1949,Pl.XXXVI-114). XC.2 dated to c.AD.1050-1100 (BR95). Cu.alloy straight-sided tweezers. IB.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR19).

Spatulae Fig.21 6.


Probe end from cu.alloy spatula. One of two very similar. Salzman 1906-07 U/s


Fig.21 Objects of iron, copper alloy and lead. Scale 1:2

Nail cleaners

?Pin box




Fragment from cu.alloy nail-cleaner. Paralleled at Fishbourne (Cunliffe 1971, Fig.42-67-71). Salzman 1906-07. U/s.



Fragment of rolled cu.alloy tubing with scored lattice decorated collar securing one end. Another possibility is that this item could be the wrenched-off end of a torc or armlet.


Two small sections of cu.alloy tubing found near to and possibly part of the above item. IA.3 dated c.AD.350-1250 (BR16 and 21).

23. Triangular piece of cu.alloy sheeting with rivet hole. XIII.3 dated c.AD.300-1250. 24. Crumpled piece of riveted cu.alloy strip from wooden bucket. Paralleled at Bishopstone (Bell 1977,Fig.105-72) and elsewhere (Evison 1976,Fig.3C). XIII.3D dated c.AD.300-1100 (BR57).

7.2.6. Roman box fittings Fig.21 10. Small hollow cu.alloy boss with central perforation. Head of ornamental stud. IA.3 dated c.AD.350-1250 (BR22). 11. Hollow cu.alloy boss containing lead-solder infill. EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR42). 12. Part-melted cast cu.alloy female head fitting of type similar to one from Richborough (BusheFox 1949, Pl.LI-183 and p.144). IA.11C dated c.AD.293-300+ (BR29).

All of these items were found close together and may come from a single vessel. 25. Cu.alloy loop with chip-carved decoration, from wooden bucket. Salzman 1906-07. U/s. 7.2.10. Candlesticks Fig.21

7.2.7. Roman spoons

26. Part of base of iron candlestick. The object is heavily distorted but would have originally had another similar piece placed at 90 degrees to it, with a rivet passing centrally through both into the base of the candle holder proper. Another candlestick base of this type is known from a 12th-13th c. context at Walton, Bucks. (Farley 1976, Fig.49-7). XIV.5 of Late Saxon date (IR58).

Fig.21 13. Cu.alloy spoon handle similar to a Portchester example from a Late 4th-Early 5th c. context (Cunliffe 1975, Fig.113-59). XIB.1. Topsoil (BR18). 14. Another example. VIIIA.18 (BR30). 7.2.8. Keys and latch-lifters

7.2.11. Book mounts


Fig.21 27. Late Medieval cu.alloy book mount stamped with crowns (suggesting Royal property). During the Early 15th c. Pevensey was a state prison confining such personages as Edward Duke of York in 1405, James I of Scotland in 1406 and Queen Joan of Navarre in 1419. VIIIJ.1. Topsoil (BR56). 28. Late Medieval cu.alloy book-mount. IA.1. Topsoil (BR1).

15. End of ‘L’ shaped iron lift key (Manning 1976,Fig.23-145). Salzman 1906-07 U/s. 16. Small cu.alloy key. Salzman 1906-07 U/s 17. Iron key of Ward-Perkins Type VIIB dated to the 14th century. 1937 Trench I. Topsoil. 18. Iron 15th c. key of Ward-Perkins Type VIIB with kidney-shaped handle. 1937 Trench I. Topsoil. 19. Iron key of Ward-Perkins Type VIII. The heartshaped handle can be as early as the 15th c. but is more common later. EG.1. Topsoil (IR35). 20. Iron barrel padlock key. A small version of this very long-lived type came from the Late 5th-6thc. Droxford Saxon cemetery Grave 31(Aldsworth and Welch 1979, Fig.27, Grave 31-3) and in a larger form constitutes Ward-Perkins Medieval Type C. 1937 East Gate Layer 1. Topsoil.

7.2.12. Weights and measures Fig.22 1. 2.

7.2.9. Roman and Migration Period bucket and tankard fittings. Fig.21 3. 21. Cu.alloy tankard foot with evidence for the filing down of its base. A similar object comes from Richborough (Cunliffe 1968,Pl.XLVII-20, p.104). XIII.3D dated c.AD.300-1100 (BR59). 22. Small fragment from cu.alloy strip curled over ‘rim’ at one end. XIII.3C dated c.AD.300-1250 (BR60).



Cu.alloy steelyard balance. Salzman 1906-07. Unstratified. Complete but crushed cu.alloy scale pan with three equally-spaced perforations for suspension. Drawn from side with the original profile superimposed: the original outline is also viewed from above. Salzman 1906-07. Unstratified. Perforated circular lead weight or net sinker. A similar but smaller example comes from Caerleon (Zienkiewicz 1986,Fig.65-18. II.1. Topsoil. Lead cube with recessed upper surface and dishing of the other faces. Probably a calibrated weight converted into a net sinker by drilling a hole through it for attachment. Pearce 1938. Unstratified outside the West Gate (L.M.53-42-73).


Fig.22 Objects of iron, copper alloy and lead. Scale 1:2

7.2.13. Tools


Roman 7. Fig.22 5.

Iron pitchfork similar to example from Risingham (Manning 1976, Fig.19-87). Sands 1910. Unstratified (LM.1939-51-2-19).



Iron awl with point broken off, of Manning’s Type 3B (1985,Fig.9-3A). VIIIO.14 dated c.AD.420-470 (IR55). Cu.alloy weaving comb or leather pricker. Paralleled at Portchester (Cunliffe 1975, Fig.115-79). II.2 dated c.AD.350-400+ (BR15). Fragment from cu.alloy netting tool of type found on sundry sites including Richborough (Bushe-Fox 1926,Pl.XIV-22). East Gate. Layer 4 dated c.AD.330-370 (BR83).


Iron pick fragment from military dolabra of Manning Type 1 (1976). Sands 1910. Unstratified 10. Iron awl of Manning’s Type 4B (1985). III.5 (IR7). 11. Iron awl or scriber (Manning 1976, Fig.15-60). I.1. Topsoil (IR9). 12. Iron ?chisel. IX.1.Topsoil (IR6).

Hob nails Nineteen hobnails of standard Roman type retained from the 1936 excavations came from off of the 5th c. causeway outside the West Gate and suggest that the hobnailed calgacus boot was still being worn locally well after the end of the Roman occupation. Medieval nails

7.2.14. Structural fittings other than nails

Across the inner end of the entrance through the 11th c. blocking wall at the West Gate was a strip of charcoal on burnt ground (V.6), containing at least 208 iron tacks. None of these are clenched and all are headless, rectangular-sectioned and tapering. They are thought to come from the burning of the inner door during the siege of 1265 and were quantified as follows:

Fig.22 13.

14. 15. 16. 17.

Iron joiners’ dog of long-lived type. There is a similar example from Lewes dated to the 11th12th centuries (Rudling 1983,Fig.9-56) and another from a Roman level at Portchester (Cunliffe 1975,Fig.129-230). IA.3 dated c.AD.350-1250 (IR11). Iron loop-hinge paralleled at Bignor in 4th c. context (Frere 1982,Fig.28-25). XIII.3 dated c.AD.300-1250 (IR47). Hexagonal cu.alloy washer. XIII.Pit 12 (BR92). Small cu.alloy drop-hinge. Manning illustrates larger iron versions (1985,Pl.58-R8 and R9). Salzman 1906-07. Unstratified. Cu.alloy clip. IA.11 dated c.AD.300-350 (BR49).

Table 51 Length .040-.045 m. .045-.050 m. .050-.055 m. .080 m. Indeterminate

7.2.16: Iron roves. Fig.23 2.

7.2.15. Nails

One of two iron roves of long-lived type, mainly used in shipbuilding. The type is paralleled at Portchester in a Roman context (Cunliffe 1975, Fig.129-228), but was also used in the Saxon and Medieval periods. XD.14 dated Late Saxon through to c.AD.1066.

Manning’s Roman Types IA,B and 2 (1976) Fig.23 1. Large clenched iron nail of Manning’s Type 2 (1976). IA.11B dated c.AD.300.

7.2.17: Miscellaneous items. Fig.23

There are numerous Roman iron nails of Manning’s Types 1A and B from the 1936 excavations, of which the greatest concentration comes from the occupation in the Phase 3 building in the Trench IA north extension. Thirty-one nails plus several which have now disintegrated were recovered and are listed as follows:

3. Cast cu.alloy binding with rivet-holes, associated with a fragment of cu.alloy rod and a lump of copper-working slag. EG.3 dated c.AD.370400+ (BR71/78). 4. Two out of three identical cu.alloy hooks, of which one is embedded in a lump of iron corrosion products. VIIIA.18. On natural clay at the outer lip of the Roman fort ditch (BR35). 5. Small cu.alloy three-pronged fork similar to an example from Southwark dated c.AD.250-300 (Graham 1978, Fig.222-179). They may have been used for eating shellfish. XC.7. Black greasy soil of 4th c. date (BR96). 6. iny perforated cast cu.alloy fitting decorated with notches. EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR70) 7. Miniature cast cu.alloy claw-hammer. This is almost certainly a Late Saxon casket mount (Evison 1966) and would have been one of four riveted to the corners of a domed lid, anchoring the ends of diagonal metal straps binding it

Table 50 Length .025 m .030-.035 m. .040 m. .045 m .050 m .060-.065 m. .070 m. .090 m.

Straight 15 1 1 1 4 4

Number 112 45 44 1 6

Clenched 1 2

1 1

The great preponderance of unclenched nails could be interpreted either as evidence for a fabrica or indicate that they had not been extracted from the timbers in which they had been used.



Fig.23 Objects of iron, copper alloy and lead. Scale 1:2 except 6 (1:1)

together. It is probably of 8th to 10th c. date. Pearce 1938. Unstratified outside the West Gate (L.M.1953-42-67). 8. Miniature iron double axe; possibly an amulet. It is, however, possible that this shattered item is a plasterer’s tool, owing its thickness to the postdepositional formation of corrosion products. XIII.3C dated c.AD.300-1250 (IR46). 9. Small cu.alloy disc pierced by two iron rivets for attachment to ?leather as decoration.

Conceivably from a shield. IA.3 dated c.AD.3501250 (BR21). 10. Cu.alloy chain link paralleled at Richborough in outer Saxon Shore fort ditch (Bushe-Fox 1949, Pl.XXXV-91, p.126). EG.4 dated c.AD.330-370 (BR81). 11. Fragment of cut sheet cu.alloy decoration with holes for attachment. The crumpled wing-like extension is drawn in flattened-out state above. Assuming the object to have originally been 88

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 from late 4th and 5th c. contexts or from later levels but early 5th c. flame-rounded rims are conspicuously absent. Only five glass fragments are from the Constantinian Phase 3 occupation and none from late 3rd c. contexts.

symmetrical, it may have been the backing plate for a cast metal sun disc or eagle with wings outstretched affixed to a helmet, leather harness or belt. Salzman 1906-08, Unstratified. 12. Cast cu.alloy handle with an iron core. Similar items are often described as knife handles but this one has a profile at its left hand end more suggestive of the handle of a patera. VIIIE.18. Brown earth above natural clay (BR41). 13. Part of cu.alloy handle or buckle. Probably Roman. XA.5 (BR48). 14. Cast cu.alloy bar with worn hollow in one face. Salzman 1906-08. Unstratified. 15. Fragment of shaped cu.alloy sheet: possibly part of the cheek-piece of a Roman helmet. EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR89). 16. Three out of six pieces of narrow cu.alloy strip, of which one is perforated. EG.Gully 1 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR34). 17. Cu.alloy bar of rectangular cross-section. EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (BR61). 18. Another similar example. II,Top of Layer 2. Burnt horizon; possibly from 5th c. destruction (BR13). 19. Cu.alloy wire. VIIIA/C.13 dated c.AD.470+ (BR47). 20. Lead wire. IA.11 dated c.AD.300-350 (S44). 21. Fragment from lead ring. IA.11C. c.AD.293300+ (S35). 22. Lead seal for pipe. IA.11C as above (S36). 23. Lead net-sinker. XIII.2 dated c.AD.1250 (S34). 24. Fragment from lead ?spoon. 1937.XIII.3 dated c.AD.300-1250. 25. Lead sheeting which had been wrapped around ?wood. XIII.3D dated c.AD.300-1100 (S19). 26. Lead spindle whorl. Pearce 1938. Unstratified outside the West Gate (L.M.1953-42-83). 27. Fragments from riveted iron strip. IA.11 dated c. AD.300-350 (IR43/62). 28. Two articulating cu.alloy links very similar in size to the ones incorporated in the leather ‘chatelaine’ from Grave 49 in the Mitcham Saxon cemetery (Bidder and Morris 1959,Fig.17). This latter item is thought to be residual Roman. Pearce 1938. Unstratified outside the West Gate (L.M.1953-42-62).

Fig.24. Colourless glass 1.

Rim in fine quality glass: possibly cast. There is a hollow-ground cordon below the knocked-off and re-ground rim. EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (G6).

Pale blue-green glass 2. 3.

4. 5. 6. 7.

Piece from thin-walled cup in fine-quality metal with engraved decoration. Isings Form 106C beaker in good-quality, slightly-bubbly metal with scribed decoration. These two pieces may be part of the same vessel and have affinities with mid-4th c. decorated bowls of the Wint Hill group (Harden 1960). IA.1 Topsoil (G2,3 and 4). Fragment of good quality, slightly bubbly glass with applied blob. VIIIA.1. Topsoil. Flask neck in good-quality glass. XIII.3 dated c.AD.300-1250. Beaker with rolled-over rim in fine-quality glass. Salzman 1906-08. Unstratified. Fragment from facetted body of bottle or flask in good-quality glass. Salzman 1906-08. Unstratified.

Pale yellow-green to green glass 8.


10. 7.3: Glass 7.3.1: Roman glass vessels


Most of the material is forest glass emanating from workshops in North-west Europe, chiefly the Cologne region and North-east Gaul: some, however, may be of British manufacture. Two types of green-tinted glass, namely blue-green and yellow-to-apple-green, are present with the latter tending to be of inferior quality with air bubbles.

12. 13.

Flame rounded beaker rim similar to one dated c.AD.280-315 from Verulamium (Frere 1972,Fig.76-28). IA.11 dated c.AD.300-350 (G36). Indented cup of Isings Form 117 (1957) in palegreen bubbly glass with knocked-off rim. A similar one comes from Gloucester, where it was dated to the Late 4th century (Hassall and Rhodes 1975,Fig.29-14). IA.1. Topsoil (G1 and 2A). Isings Form 106 truncated conical beaker in thick poor-quality bubbly glass with a knockedoff rim. IA.1. Topsoil (G2). Neck from ?flask in bubbly thick poor-quality glass. EG.3 dated c.AD.370-400+ (G9). Fragment from cup of Isings Form 106 in bubbly poor-quality glass. EG.3 dated c.AD.370400+ (G5). Cup of similar form. XID.1. Topsoil (G16).

Syrian glass 14. Body fragment from just below the rim of a mould-blown and subsequently re-blown honeycomb bowl in colourless glass. Stern says that Syria was one of the areas in which

With the possible exception of Fig.24.1, none of the glass need be earlier than the last quarter of the 3rd century; most being of 4th c. date. The bulk (33 fragments) comes 89


Fig.24 Objects of glass, jet and shale. Scale 1:2.

honeycomb bowls were made and that we may assume that most bowls decorated with hexagons were made in that area (Stern 1977,Pl.4-26). These vessels are dated 4th to Early 5th c. Salzman 19068. Unstratified. 15. Body fragment from similar vessel in olivegreen good-quality glass. VIIIL.13, dated c.AD.470+ (G13).

7.3.2: Post-Roman glassware Fig.24 16. Fragment from the body of a Kempston type cone-beaker with vertical trails of similar palegreen glass to that of the body. The exterior surface of the cone has diagonal striae: in this


EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 respect as in colour, the fragment is identical in appearance to the three cone beakers from the Early Saxon Alfriston cemetery. XID,Pit 9. Middle Saxon (G.19). 17. Fragment from the rim of a Valsgarde bowl in sea-green glass with the rim folded over outwards (Evison 1988). There are six marvered yellow glass trails embedded in the external face of the piece and the missing body would have been decorated with non-marvered reticella ones. Only six other examples are previously recorded from England; concentrated in Essex and Suffolk. The dating for these vessels is Late 7th to 10th centuries, although a re-dating of Grave 6 at Valsgarde containing the type specimen to AD.550-650 has been proposed (Nasman 1986). XIII,Pit 13. Saxon (G21).

24. Hexagonal green glass bead of Guido’s Type 9 but short. More common during the Late Roman period and paralleled at Barnsley Park in a 5th c. deposit (Webster and Smith 1982, Fig.32-118). II.5. Late 3rd-Early 4th c. occupation (S2). 25. Blue bun-shaped glass bead of Guido’s Type 12 (Small). The type is present in the Lankhills cemetery and is consistently very late in date. XD, Base of Layer 15 (S42). Another example (S30) came from the grey-brown silts (VIII.13) over the trample on the 5th c. causeway outside the West Gate. 26. Poorly-formed heart-shaped blue glass bead, paralleled at Barnsley Park in a 5th c. context (Webster and Smith 1982,Fig.32-126). XC.5 of Saxo-Norman date (S31). 7.3.4: Window glass

7.3.3: Other glass objects This is very rare at Pevensey; only four pieces being known. They are all blue-green and smooth on both sides, indicating that the panes were cylinder blown rather than floated on sand. Such cylinder-blown glass is characteristic of the Late 3rd and 4th centuries.

Glass stirring rod Fig.24 18. Fragment from an opaque white-glass stirring rod decorated with a raised spiral and with a rivet-hole from a repair in antiquity. Paralleled at South Shields (Allason-Jones and Miket 1984, Fig.4-7). Salzman 1906-08. Unstratified.

Two pieces came from occupation Layer 11 inside the Phase 3 building in Trench IA North Extension and another from the make-up of the Phase 3 second Roman road inside the East Gate. The fourth piece was redeposited in the fill of the Norman gully in Trench XIE.

Glass counters. All this suggests that some buildings, at least, had glazed windows during the earlier phases of fort occupation before c.AD.350. These earlier structures, with their mortar floors and probable timber-framed walls, are certainly more architecturally advanced than the ephemeral buildings which follow.

Fig.24 19. Counter in iridescent brown-black glass; of a type found on many Roman sites but not closely datable. See Portchester (Cunliffe 1975, Fig. 123-151) and Ravenglass (Potter 1979, Fig.31120). XIF, Norman gully (S7). 20. Counter in dark glass with moulded upper surface. VIIIB.8. Dated 12th c. +.

7.4: Jet objects 7.4.1: Beads Fig.24

Glass beads Fig.24

27. Bead of tapering, cylindrical form with grooved bands around its exterior and a central perforation flanked by two incomplete ones at the smaller end. This bead is exactly paralleled by an example from a post AD.320 grave at Colchester (Crummy 1983, Fig.37-1509). XIII.1. Topsoil (J1). 28. Plano-convex bead with two parallel perforations. All examples at Colchester come from graves later than AD.320 (Crummy 1983,33). IA.11C dated c.AD.293-300+ (J2).

21. Blue-green cylindrical bead, paler at the ends, of Guido’s Type 4 (1978) with lengthways striae. The striations indicate that this example is late in the series. Salzman 1906-08. Unstratified. 22. Short green glass cylindrical bead of Guido’s Type 5 (Small). The type is particularly common during the 4th and carries on into the 5th century. Salzman 1906-08. Unstratified. Two other examples of this type (S25 and S26) come from the tread over the surface of the 5th c. causeway outside the West Gate (VIII.14) and the silts above it (VIII.13). 23. Short green glass cylindrical bead of Guido’s Type 5 (Large). VIIIO.13/14 interface dated c.AD.470 (S28)

7.4.2: Rings 29. Fragment from finger-ring with hatched bezel. Paralleled at York (Allason-Jones 1996, 165). c.AD.360-410. I.2, Black earth (J3).


MALCOLM LYNE 7.4.3: Armlets

7.6.3: Pin-beaters



30. Fragment from armlet. X.1. Topsoil (J4).


7.5: Shale objects. 7.5.1: Spindle whorls 6. Fig.24

Pin-beater of simple long-lived type paralleled at Shakenoak in Middle Saxon context (Brodribb et al.1972, Fig.62-84) and Portchester in Late Saxon and Early Medieval ones. VII. Top fill of Late 12th c. dated Norman hornwork ditch (O.3) Heavily-worn example with scored decoration. X. Fill of Castle moat dated c.AD.1250+ (O1).

7.6.4: Spindles

31. Bun-shaped spindle-whorl of Lawson’s Type 2, dated 3rd-4th c (1976). XIV.1. Topsoil (SH1). 32. Conical spindle-whorl with concentric grooving, similar to Late 7th c. example from the AngloSaxon cemetery at Leighton Buzzard (Hyslop 1964,Fig.12-K). XIII.3, dated c.AD.300-1100 (SH2). 33. Fragment from shale disc with concentric grooves on upper surface. The type is considered by Lawson to be a spindle-whorl: his Type 4 (1976). VIIA.1. Topsoil (SH4).

Fig.25 7.

8. 9.

Broken-off bone point. Crummy considers such items to be either meat skewers or dress-makers’ pins but most of them are probably spindles to go with the whorls. IX.1. Topsoil (O6). Similar item. IX.1. Topsoil (O5). Crude bone point unfinished at one end. Salzman 1906-08, Unstratified

7.5.2. Net weights

7.6.5: Curved bone points




Fragment from shale net-weight. Two similar objects, described as tori, were found at Freshwater, Isle of Wight. One of these was associated with Roman pottery and 1st c. coins (Tomalin 1987, C.12 and 13). VIIIB.11 in Norman ditch of c.AD.1066-1150 (SH3).

10. Trimmed bone point with square-section point. Items like this were also present at Portchester and are akin to the crescentic boars’ tusk ornaments which featured on the horse-trappings of Late Roman cavalry of barbarian origin (Hawkes and Dunning 1961, Fig.29-30). IA.2, dated c.AD.350+ (O2). 11. Smaller bone point. VIIIA.17, in fill of Roman ditch dated to the Early 5th century (O4).

There is also a small decayed fragment of a c.AD.293 or earlier armlet from the sandy clay bank backing the Roman fort wall beside the East Gate (SH5). The item is, unfortunately, too disintegrated to draw.

7.6.6: Miscellaneous Fig.25

7.6: Bone objects 12. Bone rod with decorated end. XC.2, dated to the Late 11th c. (O10). 13. Bone counter. XIVA.5 of Late Saxon date (O11). 14. Bone inlay from ?circular box. EG.3, dated c.AD.370-400+ (O8).

7.6.1: Hair pins Fig.25 2. 3.

Fragment from pin of Crummy’s Type 5B (1983,24) dated to the 4th century. IA.11, dated c.AD.300-350 (O9). Fragment from pin of Crummy’s Type 6 dated c.AD.200-400. XIF.2. Black earth dated c.AD.293-1250 (O7).

7.7: Slate objects Fig.25 15. Black slate palette fragment. EG4, dated c.AD.330-370 (S32).

7.6.2: Knife handle 7.8. Fired clay objects. Fig.25 Fig.25 4.

Heptagonal-section clasp-knife handle decorated with dot-in-circle motifs and a carved cordon. Paralleled at Silchester (Boon 1974, Fig.34-15). Salzman 1906-08, Unstratified.

16. Fragment from fired-clay loom weight. Paralleled at Cannon St., City of London, where



Fig.25 Objects of bone, slate and fired clay. Scale 1:2.

type is dated Mid-to-Late Saxon (Boddington 1979,Fig.19-33). XIE.3. Black earth. 17. Samian ware counter. XIII.3E, dated c.AD.3001100 (S37).

7.9. Graffiti Fig.25 18. ‘Flag’, ‘cable’ and ‘wheat-ear’ motifs scratched on the side of a worn Oxfordshire Red Colourcoat wall-sided mortarium sherd of Young Type



Fig.26 Graffito, whetstones, chalk spindle whorls and cloth bale clips.

C97 (1977, c.AD.240-400). XIII.3C dated c.AD.3001250 (M3).

multiple arc ‘signature’ of the tile maker to the outline of a ship’s hull. A vertical scratch caused by the scraping off of surplus clay became the mast and a lateen sail and rigging were added. Parts of the signature surplus to the doodler’s requirements were then smoothed away: the resultant craft, facing right, is a deep-bellied vessel with a schematic rendering of a side

Fig.26 1.

Piece of ?pedalis tile with graffito of a ship. Whilst the tile was still drying, someone was struck by the resemblance of the finger scribed 94

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 rudder. IIB. From off the surface of the c.AD.293 mortar floor in Trench IIB.

5. 6.

Broken section from hone stone in similar material. XIII.3, dated c.AD.300-1250. Broken end from hone stone in similar material with a perforation for suspension. VIIIM.11, in Norman hornwork ditch dated c.AD.1066-1150 (S20). Broken end from another example. VIIIA.11, as above (S12).

Just about the only other representations of ships of the Late 3rd c. British fleet are those on the ‘quinari’ of Allectus minted in AD.295-6. Our representation shows a ship under full sail with no oars visible, whereas the vessels depicted on the quinari are shown being rowed with their sails lowered. The semicircular ‘signature’ on the tile is not suggestive of the long hull of an oared galley but is similar in form to that of a large roundbodied sailing ship of corbita type used for the transport of cargo, including military supplies (Casson 1986, 16970). The earlier Classis Britannica is thought to have been largely made up of transport vessels for supplying the Roman army on its northern campaigns.

7.11. Querns.

The tile belongs to the initial fort building phase and is broadly contemporary with the quinari of Allectus.

7.12. Chalk spindle-whorls Fig.26


Two small fragments from Niedermendig lava quernstones came from the 1936 excavations outside the West Gate. The first came from Layer 16 in the 5th c. fill of the Roman ditch and the other from the metalling of the medieval road in VIIIE.


7.10. Whetstones. 7.10.1. Roman.


Chalk spindle-whorl blackened on underside. Pearce 1938. Unstratified outside West Gate (L.M.1953-42-81). Another example. Pearce 1938. As above.

Fig.26 7.13. Lead Tokens 2.

Fragment from fine-grained non-micaceous grey schist whetstone. EG.4, dated c.AD.330-370 (S13).

Fig.26 10. Lead token stamped I I on the ‘obverse’ with the ‘reverse’ rough. In brown envelope marked Pevensey. L.M. Coin series ref.1072. 11. Similar with crude stylised bust on ‘obverse’ and spoked design on ‘reverse’: perforated for attachment or suspension. In brown envelope marked Pevensey 1939. L.M. Coin series ref.1093. 12. Similar with abstract ‘obverse’ design and flat ‘reverse’. Pearce 1938. Unstratified outside the West Gate (L.M.1953.42.75). 13. Similar with ‘obverse’ stamped ER and reverse blank. Pearce 1938. As above. Now missing.

7.10.2. Saxon Fig.26 3.

Whetstone in blue-grey fine-grained stone. I,Pit 7, dated Late Saxon to c.AD.1100 (S8).

7.10.3. Medieval Fig.26 4.

Broken end of grey quartz-mica-schist hone stone. An attempt has been made to drill a hole for suspension. IXB.1. Topsoil (S43).


8 The Pottery 8.1: The state of the material.

the c.AD.293-370 dated assemblages, where large enough, have been quantified by the more reliable EVEs method based on rim sherds (Tables 53,54,55,56 and 57). Recent work on Late Roman pottery assemblages in South-East Britain (Lyne 1994) and by others elsewhere has also underlined the importance of determining percentages of different types of vessels in assemblages. Varying ratios of forms on different sites can indicate the nature of occupation and be used to detect specialised activities: EVEs quantification is the only practical method of doing this, giving it an additional advantage over other methods. As regards the latest Roman pottery assemblages, however, it was thought that tabulation by numbers of sherds and their weights per fabric, with an additional column for average sherd weight, would prove useful in determining levels of fabric residuality, particularly where a 5th c. element was suspected in the assemblage (Tables 58, 60 and 61): Assemblage 9A is quite large, however, and was also quantified by EVEs (Table 59).

The bulk of the surviving pottery from the pre-war excavations at Pevensey comes from Cottrill’s 1936 dig. He listed all of his 636 bags of pottery in two notebooks with annotations as to their individual contents: of this material, 126 bags relating mainly to the Trenches IX and X complexes and the upper layers in Trenches I and IA were lost in store during the war. The assemblages from IX and X are almost entirely missing and, together with the lost pottery from I and IA, account for 93 of the missing bags. The rest of the lost pottery comes from the remaining trenches, with that from Trenches II, VII and XII complexes being unaffected and assemblages from III,IV,V,VIII,XI,XIII and XIV being nearly complete. Burgess does not appear to have kept any of his pottery. This is not surprising as his brief was to tidy up after Cottrill had finished and to enlarge Trench XIII and batter its sides for preservation. It was originally thought that all of Pearce’s pottery had been lost during the war but enquiries by the author revealed that the most significant items from the 1938 season had been sent to the British Museum for BruceMitford’s comments: they were re-discovered there in 1989 and made available for me to work on.

8.3: The Roman Pottery The fabric series is followed by quantification and analysis of 12 key pottery assemblages, with drawings of representative forms from each of them and a discussion of changes in pottery supply to the fort.

Most of Salzman’s pottery from his 1906-08 excavation still survives and is split between Hastings and Lewes museums: the rest of it was destroyed when Eastbourne museum was bombed during World War II. Fortunately, however, Gerald Dunning’s archive of Argonne ware stamp rubbings taken from material stored there still survives. Salzman’s 1908 pottery report (1909) was very advanced for its day in its attempt to tackle statistical analyses of forms and fabrics. It was felt, however, that a re-examination was justified in the light of the vast progress made in Roman pottery studies since that date. The 1906-08 pottery collections are particularly rich in imported wares and have been used to expand the range of types and fabrics covered by this report.

8.3.1: The Fabric series British Coarse Wares Fabric Group A. Handmade East Sussex Wares These wares have been the subject of two important papers by Green (1977,1980). He distinguishes between East Sussex, Thundersbarrow and three or four other variants. The author’s work on these wares (Lyne 1994) tends to confirm Green’s views but it is felt that Thundersbarrow ware storage-jars are not the products of a separate industry but a very coarse variant of East Sussex Ware, necessary for the manufacture of such large vessels. There are various fabric variants within the East Sussex Ware range, although some of these may be illusory and brought about by raising the firing temperatures of some of the vessels above that of the incorporated clay grog. Below this latter temperature, the grog may be of a different colour to the enclosing fabric but indistinguishable in higher-fired sherds.

8.2: Method of study. All of Cottrill’s surviving bags of pottery were examined and the rims and decorated sherds drawn. Because of his practice of keeping all of the pot fragments and bagging them on a daily basis, rather than separating out fabrics, the pottery from contexts where some bags are missing can still be quantified.

East Sussex Ware has its origins in the pre-Roman Late Iron Age of East Sussex and, for reasons outlined by Green (1980, 82-5), failed to become influenced by Roman technological advances. The range of late forms in the Pevensey material, as elsewhere in East Sussex, is very restricted; consisting overwhelmingly of cookingpots, with just a few straight-sided dishes and copies of BB1 and Alice Holt beaded-and-flanged bowls. A few

Every system of pottery quantification has defects leading to percentage distortion: examples of this include the effect of large storage-jar fragments in sherd weight quantifications and that of intact flagon rims on Estimated Vessel Equivalents (EVEs). Quantification by numbers of sherds and their weights per fabric is generally regarded as unreliable: because of this, most of 96

EXCAVATIONS AT PEVENSEY CASTLE 1936 TO 1964 Thundersbarrow type storage-jars and a solitary fragment from an oval dish copying a BB1 original are also present. East Sussex wares were insignificant at Pevensey until c.AD.350 but became the most important component of assemblages after AD.370, remaining so into the Early 5th century.

The above two fabric variants are rare at Pevensey and may be Hampshire Grog-tempered ware imports from the Isle of Wight (Lyne 1994, 369). A8. Blackened fabric with grit-and-grog filler. This fabric is found in latest 4th and Early 5th c.contexts: it is one of the last handmade East Sussex Ware fabrics to go out of use at Pevensey. The few jars in this fabric tend to have ill-formed stumpy everted rims. Fig.29-27, Fig. 31-35, 36, Fig. 32-2, 7.

The following fabric variants have been distinguished: A1. Black-fired with similarly-coloured grog filler as well as occasional ironstone grits and calcareous inclusions. It is characteristic of pre-fort, late 3rd and early 4th c. assemblages but continued as a smaller percentage of East Sussex Wares into the 5th century. Fig.27-1, 2, 4, 5, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, Fig.28-1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, Fig.29-9, 20, 21, 22, 32, 33, 37, 39, Fig.31-16, 19, 20, 31, 37, Fig.33-5.

Fabrics A1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 occur in both fine and coarse varieties and have been given the suffixes A and B respectively. Fabric Group B. Handmade sandy wares. B1. Dorset BB1. This fabric has abundant subangular white quartz filler with the occasional fragment of Kimmeridge shale, gypsum and chert: it is usually fired black throughout but sometimes has brown margins.

A2. A rare variant of A1 with coarse 2.00 mm. or larger dark-grey and buff grog filler and partially or fullyoxidised brown/orange surfaces. This fabric is restricted to large everted-rim jars.

BB1 from production sites around Poole Harbour accounts for as much as a quarter of the pottery in the late 3rd and early-to-mid 4th c. assemblages from Pevensey but thereafter becomes very insignificant: perhaps ceasing to be supplied after c.AD.370. As with East Sussex Ware, the range of forms is small but here, unlike with that and other coarse ware suppliers, there are more bowls and dishes than cooking-pots in assemblages. This characteristic is not peculiar to Pevensey but is a feature of nearly all of the BB1 elements in the many Late Roman pottery assemblages from South-East Britain examined by the author (Lyne 1994). Fig.27-23, 24, 25, Fig.28-10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, Fig.29-10,11.

A3. Thundersbarrow ware. This is a very coarse variant of A1 used for dry-goods storage jars and fired patchy brown/grey with large up-to 10.00 mm. sub-angular buff and brown grog. These vessels were almost certainly fired in bonfires, explaining the coarse filler required to open up the fabric and prevent the jars bursting in the uncontrolled heat. The fabric was one of the first Roman ones to be scientifically analysed (Oakley 1933,151) and is almost entirely restricted to Late 4th c. contexts on sites in East Sussex. A large bowl in this fabric is, however, present in an assemblage from a c.AD.293-300+ dated context in Trench XIII. Fig.27-20. A4. A late version of A1 with dark grey 1.00