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It’s Friday again and for this weeks Fun Fact Friday we have taken a look at some of the historical places to visit in the local area.

Hastings Castle

Hastings Castle is a huge part of England’s history as it was the first Norman Motte and Bailey castle to be built here.  It is situated on the West Hill.

When William the Conqueror landed in England he ordered Hastings Castle to be built, this was shortly before the battle that changed the course of English history, the Battle of Hastings where William defeated King Harold II.

The castle was left in ruins when King Henry VIII commissioned the castles church to be destroyed leaving the site in ruins.

Battle Abbey

The Abbey takes its name from the town and was founded to commemorate the bloody battle that saw William the Conqueror assume control of England in 1066.

The site of the Battle of Hastings is one of the least altered of medieval battlefields. In 1066 this part of Sussex was little populated, and the battle was fought on open land immediately south of the dense Wealden forest.

The buildings of the former abbey stand as a near-contemporary memorial to the Battle of Hastings. Although little remains of the original Norman abbey, many later monastic buildings survive, including the great gatehouse and the east range, with its fine vaulted undercroft.

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle is situated beside the River Rother in East Sussex and was built in the late 14th century by a veteran of King Edward III’s wars with France originally as a coastal defence. In 1385, Sir Edward Dalyngrygge was given permission to fortify his house against invasion from France, but then decided to build a new stone castle a short distance away from the house.

Bodiam Castle has no keep, having its various chambers built around the outer defensive walls and inner courts. Its corners and entrance are marked by towers, and topped by crenellations. Its structure, details and situation in an artificial watery landscape indicate that display was an important aspect of the castle’s design as well as defence.

Bexhill Museum

The museum was started in 1914 by enthusiasts specialising in natural history, archaeology and ethnography and offers an incredible insight into town history, its famous residents and visitors and historic milestones that have made Bexhill internationally famous.

Bexhill Museum re-opened in 2009 after a £2m+ refurbishment. New galleries cover Bexhill’s motoring heritage plus costume and social history. Original features are retained in the Sargent Gallery.

Hastings Smugglers

St. Clements Caves are located on the West Hill. The caves were named after a nearby parish church. In the 17th Century, a couple lived in the caves after being discharged from the town’s workhouse for repeated misbehaviour.

in the 1820s, the caves were rediscovered by a local grocer named Joseph Golding. He was cutting a garden seat into the side of the cliff when he broke through to the vast cavern. They became a tourist attraction in 1864 and were visited by the Prince and Princess of Wales. In 1873 the caves received another royal visit from Prince Albert and Prince George Frederick.

In 1940 the caves became an air raid shelter and a temporary home for up to 600 people. Even once when the West Hill received a direct hit from a bomb, the caves remained undamaged. On 25 March 1989 St Clements Caves re-opened as the Smugglers Adventure.

Fisherman’s museum

Hastings Fishermen’s Museum is a museum dedicated to the fishing industry and maritime history of Hastings. It is housed in a former church, officially known as St Nicholas’ Church and locally as The Fishermen’s Church, which served the town’s fishing community for nearly 100 years from 1854.

After wartime damage, occupation by the military and subsequent disuse, the building was leased from the local council by a preservation society, which modified it and established a museum in it. It opened in 1956.