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Historic England Research Records


Hob Uid: 1074122
Location :
East Sussex
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ8160009300
Summary : A burh is listed at Hastings in the Burghal Hidage. The town was a major burh, there being a mint there from the reign of Athelstan onwards, but no evidence of Saxon settlement has been found, it possibly having been destroyed by encroachment of the sea. It has been argued that the burh was at Pevensey rather than at Hastings.
More information : TQ816093. Haestingacaestre (Hastings) is the second burh listed in the Burghal Hidage, and this is the earliest reference to Hastings. The allocation of 500 hides equates with 2062 feet of defences. A mint was set up there in the reign of Athelstan and continued in production throughout the Saxon period until Harold II (seeTQ80NW93). However, limited excavations in the town and at the later castle have failed to produce evidence of Saxon activity. The `caestre' element may indicate that former Roman works were reused for the site of the burh, or more likely that Hastings was the major centre of the local Saxons absorbed into Wessex. The Mediaeval town lay on the foreshore, and it is possible that earlier Roman or Saxon settlement has been washed into the sea. (1,2)

It is argued that the place-name is not a reliable indication that the burh was at modern Hastings. The old fort at Anderita, Pevensey, would have been a far more appropriate site.

Three place names in early documentary sources, the burh of Haestingaceaster, Haestingaport wher Duke William constructed a castle before the Battle of Hastings, and the town of Hastings, have been asumed to be synonymous. There is however no tangible evidence for any significant pre-Conquest settlement at Hastings.

Archaeological evidence from Pevensey shows there to have been almost continual occupation from the mid-late Saxon period within the Roman walls, while topographical evidence suggests that Hastings was an unlikely place for an Alfredian burh. It is therefore suggested that Pevensey was the site of a the burh of Haestingaceaster, that Hastings was a mid or late 11th century foundation, and that Haestingaport could refer to either location.(3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source details : Hill D and Rumbold A 1996 The Defence of Wessex 99,205-6
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : An atlas of Anglo-Saxon England
Source details :
Page(s) : 131
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Sussex archaeological collections : relating to the history and antiquities of the counties of East and West Sussex
Source details :
Page(s) : 213-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 134, 1996

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 914
Monument Type : Burh
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 80 NW 92
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1083303
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :