Thursday, 3 September 2015

Harbour Wall, Shameful and From the North Tower

Harbour Wall :- A shot of Newhaven Harbour Wall as seen from Castle Hill and the cliffs where Newhaven Fort and Newhaven NCI lookout is built. On a clear day it's said that you can see (approx) 400 square miles from up here. It overlooks Newhaven Harbour entrance and Seaford Head to the East. Looking West you see the ocean off Brighton and obviously looking directly out you have the English Channel which is the busiest shipping lane in the world. The curved sea wall / arm was constructed in 1890.

Shameful :- This was once an elegant terrace. Men would parade about in their straw boater hats and the women would shield themselves from the harsh saside sun with their parasols. This was a place of elegance and style. You wouldn't know it looking at it know. These are the Aquarium Terraces that sit above what is now the Sea Life Centre but was once simply known as Brighton Aquarium whish is still to this day the world's oldest operating aquarium. The Aquarium was another structure concieved, designed and built by Eugenius Birch who alos gave Brighton it's wonderful (and now sadly ruined) West Pier. The Aquarium was completed in 1872 and at the time cost £130,000. The terraces on its roof were finished in 1874 but in June 1876 they were extended with the addition of a roller-skating rink, terrace garden, smoking room, cafe and music conservatory. Now a lot of it stands empty, its masonry boarded up and over. Modern architeural monstrosities and failures litter its once grand walkways and hardly anyone ventures upon its boards. The more technological and clever we seem to get, the more stupid and ignorant we are of our past. We are going backwards and not in a good way. I'm just pleased that the ladies and gents that once took in the sea air here can no longer see it as it is now.

From the North Tower :- It's an odd experience looking around places like this. The historical fascination is one thing but then there's the realisation of just what went on in these places and how grim and viscious it was at times. I suppose this was once a large stone doorway but now it's a jagged gaping hole at the foot of the North Tower of Pevensey Castle. The view is looking inward across and upon the Castle grounds. Just below center of the image you can see a low line of stonework on the grass. That is all that remains of what was once the stone chapel. The larger structure to the right would have been the giant Keep but all that's left is a very large stump. This place started off life as a Roman Saxon Shore Fort but later it was developed further and turned into a Medieval Castle and Fortress. This is where William the Conqueror and his army sheltered for the night before marching towards the famous battle which was emortalised by the Bayeux Tapestry. There's far to much history concerning this Castle to go into it here as it was involved in many skirmishes and battles and held many prisoners, nobility and people of wealth. You can read more about this fascinating historical Sussex stronghold here :-

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill