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Pevensey Castle/Battle Abbey

Adam Lyley
Pevensey Castle/Battle Abbey

On Saturday 8th February, a small group of Year 10 and 11 students taking GCSE History were given the opportunity to visit Pevensey Castle and the site where the Battle of Hastings took place. Prior to this trip, we were taught the Norman England topic featuring in our GCSEs and this experience enabled us to put our knowledge into practice and enable visual learning.

With an early start at 6:40, we began the day feeling rather lethargic. Following a 2hr 30min coach journey, we arrived at Pevensey at 9:45. Our arrival at Pevensey Castle was earlier than expected, giving us the chance to explore the town which was around it. We noticed how it was much smaller than the city we are comfortable living in but nevertheless, it was certainly interesting to explore. After the doors to the castle opened, we were immediately able to recognise key features of a typical Norman Castle i.e. the moat, the keep, and the drawbridge. Most students particularly enjoyed purchasing counterfeit weapons from the gift shop and imitating a typical sword battle.

After leaving Pevensey, we set off on a short journey to Battle Abbey. This was the place where the notorious Battle of Hastings took place in 1066, which resulted in the death of King Harold Godwinson and the coronation of the Norman King, William the Conqueror. At the site, many interesting exhibitions were set up – some even showcasing and pinpointing the exact spot where Harold was supposedly shot in the eye.

A stroll around the abbey was eventually brought to an end as we prepared for a 3-hour journey heading home. On the whole, this trip was a thought-provoking, enjoyable and educational experience which allowed us to engage with our learning whilst providing a useful revision resource. This trip has allowed us to have a better understanding of what to expect in our 20 mark question and will ultimately help us in our GCSE History exam in early June. We would also like to thank the three teachers: Mr Lyley, Miss Dunsby and Mr Dowty for giving up their Saturday so they could make this trip happen.

By: Zara and Dhwani

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