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Anne of Cleves' House formed part of Anne’s annulment settlement from Henry VIII in 1540. Anne of Cleves was Henry's 4th wife - divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived. The house is a fine example of a late medieval timber-framed Sussex building, dating from the late 15th century with additions and improvements made over the next 200 years. Some of the rooms have been furnished in contemporary Tudor style. The house also contains the Museum of Lewes History and the Wealden Iron Gallery. There is a small garden, also inspired by the Tudor period, and a cafe. The house and museum is managed by the Sussex Archaeological Society.
Arundel Castle, dating from 1068, has been the seat of the Duke of Norfolk, head of the powerful Howard family, for over 850 years. The Howards have been soldiers, sailors, poets - and plotters. The Duke of Norfolk is considered the premier duke of England and has the hereditary title of Earl Marshal of England, responsible for major state occasions - such as coronations. The castle was besieged twice in the Civil War (once by each side) and was greatly restored in Victorian times and looks like something from a Hollywood movie. It is famous for its artwork, furnishings, armoury and includes attractive gardens. Not to be missed is the medieval Fitzalan Chapel, the burial place of the Dukes of Norfolk.
Ashdown Forest is a 65,000 acre area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 30-or-so miles south of London, near East Grinstead. It was a hunting forest in medieval times but is now largely accessible to the public, with a myriad of walks, open spaces and wonderful views. Though it does contain woodland, most of it is actually heathland, a rare and protected habitat. Its most famous resident was Winnie-the-Pooh.
Oxford University's museum of art and archaeology, with objects dating from 8,000 BC. Particular collections include ancient Egypt, the only Minoan collection in Britain, Anglo Saxon artefacts (including the Alfred Jewel) and contemporary artwork from around the world. The Ashmolean is the oldest public museum in Britain, founded in 1683.
Balliol is one of the colleges of Oxford University. It was founded by John de Balliol in 1263, has occupied the same site ever since and claims to be the oldest college in Oxford, and the world. Its attractive buildings are predominantly Victorian, however. Balliol's widow Dervorguilla of Galloway, established a permanent endowment and their son, John, was King of Scotland. Balliol has an impressive list of alumni, which includes writers, politicians and scientists. A few random examples: Boris Johnson, Robert Peston, Herbert Asquith, Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath, Aldous Huxley, Graham Greene and William Beveridge.
Visitors can tour the grounds and some of the buildings, except when college events take place.
Battle Abbey was built on the orders of William the Conqueror, in penance for the bloodshed, on the traditional site of where some of the fiercest fighting during the Battle of Hastings took place on 14th October 1066. The high altar is supposed to mark the spot where Harold, last King of the English Saxons, fell. The abbey was dissolved and largely ruined in 1558. It then became a country house and, later, a school. The school is still there and not normally open to the public, but the abbey ruins, which include store rooms and wonderful vaulted ceilings, can be visited and there is a particularly fine 14th century gatehouse.
The abbey is managed by English Heritage alongside the battlefield of 1066.
The Battle of Hastings took place on 14th October 1066. It is probably the most famous battle in British history, when the invading Normans under William the Conqueror beat the English (Saxons) led by King Harold. The battle actually took place several miles north of Hastings adjacent to and within where the pleasant little town of Battle now is. Though the precise location of the battle has been much debated, wandering through the traditional site is worthwhile - and very pleasant when the weather's fine.
The battlefield of 1066 is managed by English Heritage alongside Battle Abbey, which was built as a penance and memorial afterwards.
The Battle of Lewes took place on 14 May 1264, the first major battle of the Second Barons' War. The prelude to this was widespread dissatisfaction with the manner of King Henry III's reign, particularly over issues such as taxation and inheritance. Matters came to a head and a rebel baronial faction led by Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, took up arms against the king. De Montfort's force of about 5,000 approached Lewes, a royal stronghold with about 10,000 troops, from the downland to the north. The King's son, Prince Edward (later Edward I), rode out from Lewes Castle with heavy cavalry, engaged de Montfort's inexperienced left flank and chased it from the field. De Montfort, meanwhile, charged downhill at Henry's main army in the vicinity of Landport Bottom and won a decisive victory. Most of the fighting took place there, around the Black Horse pub on Western road, now a residential area and on the High Street. The king took refuge in Lewes Priory and was forced to surrender to de Monfort. Edward too was held captive - though later escaped. There is a link to a battlefield walk below. The address is for the Black Horse pub; walk from there up Spital Road, past the prison, and up onto the downs.
Beachy Head is a famous chalk headland and landmark, immediately to the west of the town of Eastbourne. There are fine views and walks along the cliffs, approx 500 feet above sea level. There is parking nearby and at Birling Gap further along the coast. Beachy Head has an interesting history and was used as a listening and lookout post during WW2. The cliffs are, however, extremely dangerous and the area has a high death-rate, through a combination of foolish accident and, unfortunately, suicide. Beachy Head lighthouse began operating in 1902.
The post code below is for the nearby pub.