Pevensey Castle, Sussex

Feature Sets (3)


This ruined medieval castle stands on the site of a Roman fort, and incorporates some Roman fabric. Much of the standing fabric dates from the 12thc. and 13thc., including the keep, the chapel and the gatehouses. The chapel is in the middle of the inner bailey. There is no Romanesque sculpture in situ.


The castle fell into disrepair in the late medieval period, when the port silted up and the fortune of the town declined. The fragments were discovered during the excavations of 1852 by Mark Lower and Roach Smith, at the W end of the castle chapel.





Now lost, the font was discovered in 1852 and later displayed in the castle, this was a much damaged plain tub font with tapering sides. It was found opposite the S door of the chapel, 11'6" from the W end step, and had a 4'10" diam. In 1908 it still stood in the W end of the castle chapel (Walker 1908, 50). It is mentioned in Mee, 1964, 154.

Loose Sculpture


There is mention in SAC 1852 of 'an abacus with Norman ornaments', found in the castle chapel. The location of this abacus, or impost block, is not known.


See: Barbican House Museum, Lewes.



  • MA Lower, 'On Pevensey Castle, and Recent Excavations there. With a Plan of the Castle, and Discoveries, by William Figg', Sussex Archaeological Collections 6 1853, 265-82.

  • MA Lower, 'Antiquities preserved in the Society's museum at Lewes Castle' Sussex Archaeological Collections 18, 1866, 60-73.

  • A. Mee, The King's England: Sussex. London 1937 (revised and edited by C.L.S.Linnell 1964), 154.

  • I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 580-81.

  • Sir Charles Peers, 'Pevensey Castle', Sussex Archaeological Collections,74, 1933, 1-16.

  • L.F. Salzman, 'Documents relating to Pevensey Castle', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 49, 1906, 1-30

  • L.F. Salzman, L.F., 'Excavations at Pevensey, 1906-7', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 51, 1908, 99-114; 52, 1909, 83-95.

  • A.K. Walker, An Introduction to the Study of English fonts with details of those in Sussex. London 1908, 50-51.


Site Location
Pevensey Castle
National Grid Reference
TQ 646 046 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Sussex
now: East Sussex
now: Chichester
medieval: Chichester
Type of building/monument
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison 
Visit Date
05 August 1990