It was interesting to read Juliet Perry’s article in the Herald of September 16 telling that Pevensey Parish Council, with the support of the local MP, has belatedly taken some action against English Heritage in an effort to re-open the Castle Cottage Tea Room.
Local residents and the many thousands of visitors to historic Pevensey will welcome such an effort, if it is successful.
English Heritage has long needed a wake-up call in its continuing total failure to maintain what it was set up to do, namely to protect the heritage of England – our heritage.
Pevensey Castle is an important part of that heritage yet its general condition has become very poor indeed. Any visitor is immediately struck by the ever-growing ivy and brambles covering from view significant areas of ancient structure both inside and outside the Roman walls, together with the mass of weed preventing any view of the water in the ancient moat.
Only the ‘inner’ or ‘medieval’ castle shows any sign of care; I wonder if that is because that is where English Heritage makes money from visitors...?
I have taken up the castle’s ever-increasing deterioration with English Heritage in past years, only to receive from them pathetic explanations such as the ivy and other growth protects the stones and the moat has been allowed to become full of weeds ‘because it looks more natural’!
Sadly, the castle is not the only ‘blot’ on the locality. Wealden District Council’s supposed care of the village’s only public toilet facilities is abysmal.
These things have an enormously detrimental effect on this ancient village. And why? It must be due, at least in part, to the fact that councillors and managers for both Wealden DC and English Heritage work in their own small worlds, far away from the situations in question.
Certainly Pevensey Parish Council has a duty to become involved. It should set up a sub-committee of determined councillors to examine all of the castle and the public toilets on a regular basis and take action as may be required.
Whatever pressure is necessary must be applied and maintained on these lacklustre organisations.
Montfort Road, Westham