Sunday, 20 July 2014

Door Within a Door, Inside Southease and Burning Up

"Door Within a Door" :- Sussex is full to the brim with history. Some of it is Victorian, some of it is Georgian or Edwardian, some of it dates back centuries and some of it is a thing of legend that's taught in Schools and known or heard of around the world. So here we see an unusual door in a wall. I'd love to know why there's a smaller door / hatch set in it but I don't have a clue. It's big enough to have soemthing passed through but too low to be a opening through which to look to see who's on the other side. It's set in a wall that's part of a main gate and the main gate is the entrance to Battle Abbey which was built in a field. A famous battle field. The field that the Battle of Hastings was fought in and where the Anglo-Saxon King Harold II lost his life and seat on the throne to Duke William II of Normandy and English history changed overnight. On 28th September 1066 William landed his army at Pevensey (a village in East Sussex), Harold and his tired army had to immediately march south having just fought in the Battle of Stamford Bridge. It didn't take long to change English history forever, on the 14th October 1066 the tow sides met in a fierce battle that lasted from about 9 am to dusk. William's army was (approx) 10,000 strong and Harold's was (approx) 7,000 strong. Both sides suffered huge losses with 2,000 of William's army dying and 4,000 of Harold's. There are myths and legends regarding King Harold's death, the most famous being the "arrow in the eye" that's depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. Another account says that Harold was killed by four knights and that his body was brutally dismembered. To add weight to that version of events another story goes that Harold's mistress Edith Svenneshals could only identify his body by birthmarks. William the Conqueror founded an abbey / monastery on the battle field. The high altar of the abbey church supposedly marks the spot where Harold died. It has been said that the Battle of Hastings was the most decisive and famous battle ever fought on English soil.

"Inside Southease" :- Southease is a small village in the county of Sussex (in Southern England) that's situated between the towns of Lewes and Newhaven. Like most (if not all) villages they have a church but the church at Southease is a rareity. It's one of just three Churches in Sussex with a round tower (the others are in Lewes and Piddinghoe). Nobody knows why these towers were built round instead of the norman Saxon / Norman square tower. There are many theories flying around but they are nothing more than theories. The church is also mentioned in a document which gives us a date and therefore it's approximate age ... The charter of King Edgar is dated 966 AD. When you step inside the church you can feel the centuries of history. Paintings from the 13th century are still clearly visible in places on the walls. You can feel the weight of the thick walls andthe coolness of the structure from the cold stone that went into its construction. There's a silence that you rarely get to experience or feel.

"Burning Up" :- Always be prepared for the unexpected. I'd walked all the way from the village of Ovingdean into Brighton and had then decided to walk all the way out to Hove as well. During the (approx) 6 mile walk I'd taken the odd photograph but it was a fairly uneventful day and nothing had caught my eye too much. I'd aimlessley wandered around on the beach for a bit searching for "that" photograph and decided to turn and walk back as nothing was happening. I sometimes feel that mother nature does things on purpose as that minute I turned my back and started to head back towards the sprawling City of Brighton she put on this display! Lucky for me I was still close enough to run down the beach and secure the image. It was shot on 15th November 2013.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill