Pevensey Castle’s role in Second World War

Eastbourne nostalgia SUS-190730-090039001
Eastbourne nostalgia SUS-190730-090039001

How Pevensey Castle was used by British and Canadian troops during the Second World War is the subject of a new exhibition at the landmark venue this summer.

And a special talk on the subject will be held on Saturday August 10 by Peter Hibbs entitled 1940 and All That.

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SUS-190730-090029001

Mr Hibbs will give three talks at 11am, 2pm and 4pm and discuss what the troops did at the castle and how its walls were laced with pillboxes and towers converted for modern military use.

People can reserve tickets in advance from Pevensey Castle ticket office/shop on Eastbourne 762604.

Organisers say advance reservation is advisable due to limited places.

The talk is just one of a number of events showcasing Pevensey Castle on Saturday and Sunday August 10 and 11.

Pevensey Castle SUS-190214-094306008

Pevensey Castle SUS-190214-094306008

On both days there will be a 1940s picnic and wartime fancy dress, people can enjoy tea and cake and there will be music from Eastbourne Swing Jive.

Standard Pevensey Castle admission tickets include the 1940 and All That talk, the new exhibition, mini-children’s trail and activities.

The cost is £6.80 for adults, £4.10 for children ot a family ticket for two adults and up to three children is £17.70.

English Heritage members get in free.

Natasha Williams, English Heritage’s head of historic properties for the Sussex area, said, “As part of the project, the exhibition space in the East Tower at the castle has also been revamped, with new interpretation highlighting how the Second World War gave a strange twist to Pevensey Castle’s history.

“After the fall of France in 1940, Pevensey once more became a potential landing place for an invasion.

“Designated a fortress, its garrison was ordered to defend it to the last man. Observation posts were set up, the perimeter defences were refortified, pillboxes for machine-gun posts were built, and an anti-tank blockhouse was constructed in the mouth of the Roman West Gate.

“The towers of the inner bailey were refitted as barracks for the garrison, which over the course of the war included the Home Guard, British and Canadian soldiers and US Army Air Corps units.

“Through first-hand accounts of international troops, stories told include how the troops climbed the walls for training, running along the tops (sometimes in the dark) and jumping over the gaps in stonework.”For more information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/pevensey-castle