Pevensey Castle Outer Curtain Wall

The project was the first phase of a programme of de-vegetation and conservation of the Outer Curtain wall. Pevensey Castle’s impressive ruins stand on what was once a peninsula projecting from the Sussex coast. This naturally defensible site, first fortified by the Romans, was most famously the place where the Norman Conquest of England began, when William the Conqueror landed there on 28 September 1066. He built temporary defences at Pevensey, probably within the Roman fort, and later a great medieval castle developed inside its walls. The site is a Scheduled Monument.

The outer curtain walls were in poor condition with sometimes quite substantial vegetation – even small trees – growing out of and very close to the base of the wall. In addition, the previous phase of conservation works, carried out by the Ministry of Works, had used cement mortar to consolidate the tops of the ruined walls. This capping had cracked in places, allowing water into the core of the wall which resulted in almost complete debonding of the capping from the wall below. This was carefully removed, and the flints extracted as far as possible for resetting in lime mortar. Other loose stones that had fallen out of the wall were reset and friable stonework was consolidated with mortar.

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