1066 and Battlefield

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Battle Abbey © David Gill

Battle Abbey was established on the top of the hill that formed a central part of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The battlefield is now an integral part of the English Heritage site and visitors are able to walk the slopes where interpretation boards help to explain the different stages of the engagement.

Pevensey Castle: 1939–45

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Pevensey Castle © David Gill

During the Second World War gun emplacements and pill boxes were inserted into the Roman and medieval remains at Pevensey Castle in Sussex (see here). A gun emplacement was constructed on the north side of the perimeter where parts of the Roman wall had collapsed.

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Pevensey Castle © David Gill

These later additions to the defences were marked by the attachment of Ministry signs.

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Pevensey Castle © David Gill

Ickworth Uncovered

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Ickworth © David Gill

Work has started on the Ickworth Uncovered project. This will involve repairing and retiling the roof of the Rotunda.

The crane lifting the covering structure into place is over 80 m tall.

The project is expected to cost around £5 million.

Pevensey Castle: Roman signs

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Pevensey Castle © David Gill

The west gate of the Roman Saxon Shore fort at Pevensey is marked (in the path) with a Ministry sign. The gate itself is flanked by massive bastions. The Roman walls in effect became an outer bailey for the medieval castle.

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Pevensey Castle, Roman west gate © David Gill

Pevensey Castle: guidebooks

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1952 (repr. 1956)

Sir Charles Peers prepared the post-war guidebook to Pevensey Castle in 1952. The monument incorporates part of the Roman Saxon Shore fort. The guidebook contains a history followed by a description. A foldout plan is placed inside the back cover. A number of black and white photographs are included.

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1952 (rev. with additions 1963)

Peers’ guide continued to be published through the 1960s. The pictures were placed as a block rather than slotted through the text.

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1970

A souvenir guide was prepared by Derek F. Renn in 1970. He had previously prepared a similar souvenir guide for three shell keeps in the west country. Renn later wrote the official guidebooks to a number of sites in England and Wales.

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1999 (rev. 2011)

The English Heritage guidebook is prepared by John Goodall. This starts with a tour and description, and then a section on the history. There is a special section on the Second World War defences. A colour plan is provided inside the back cover.

Viewing the burial mounds at Sutton Hoo

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Sutton Hoo © David Gill

The new viewing platform adjacent to the site of the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo is developing. At the moment it looks rather stark against the tree line but the plan is to blend it into the background.

The 2014 temporary tower gave a totally new perspective on the site. I very much hope that the new tower will help visitors to understand a little bit more about the site.

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View over the Sutton Hoo burial site (April 2015) © David Gill

Jupiter Dolichenus at Vindolanda

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Vindolanda, temple of Jupiter Dolichenus © David Gill

The sanctuary of Jupiter Dolichenus lies just inside the northern ramparts of the fort at Vindolanda. It was excavated in 2009.

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Vindolanda, altar of Jupiter Dolichenus © David Gill

One of the finds was a stone inscribed altar (now displayed in the museum). It bears a relief of Jupiter standing on the back of a bull. The inscription is dedicated to Jupiter Dol<o>chenus by Sulpicius Pudens, prefect of the Fourth Cohort Gallorum.

Sulpicius Pudens also appears on a second altar dedicated to Jupiter (but not Jupiter Dolichenus) that was found at Staward Pele in 1885 (RIB 1688). The earliest dedication to Jupiter was probably made by the prefect Quintus Petronius Urbicus dating to 213-235 (RIB 1686). Another prefect also made a dedication to Jupiter (RIB 1687). A fourth inscription, dedicated Naevius Hilarus, probably came from Vindolanda (RIB 2062). Some of these may have been dedicated in the praetorium building.

The Fourth Cohort Gallorum was stationed at Vindolanda from c. 213 to 367. The unit is identified in an inscription of c. 213 (RIB 1705). The unit is recorded in a building inscription of 223 (RIB 1706); it probably relates to the rebuilding of the south gate of the fort. The cohort is recorded on an inscription that dates to the reign of Probus, 276–282 (RIB 1710). Another prefect, Pituanius Secundus, erected an altar to the genius of the praetorium at Vindolanda (RIB 1685).

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Altar dedication by Quintus Petronius Urbicus from Vindolanda, Chesters Museum © David Gill