The stone for the building at the manor house site in Crowhurst has been identified by the author Alan Gillet in his 1989 book Battle and Robertsbridge Old Photos.
A copy of the reference relevant page was kindly sent to me by Cordelia Silver. Cordelia says “Caen stone is a limestone, harder than our local sandstone, yet carveable. Battle Abbey has some Caen stone in the building, but according to British History on-line, most of the stone was quarried locally.”
The significance is that Caen stone was usually used in great buildings built by the Normans, usually upon the instructions of the King, at the time of the Conquest. The primary use was Canterbury Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral and the Tower of London and a relatively small amount at Battle Abbey. The confirmation of Caen stone on this site in Crowhurst is good solid evidence of Norman involvement in the construction.
I am in the process of getting confirmation from a stonemason source and am waiting to hear from Canterbury Cathedral where they have a team working on Caen Stone. Hopefully they will be able to assist. Clearly this reference is not to what is below ground and relates to those stones that were probably robbed out at the time of the building of the current ruin (estimated to be 1220AD).
I am sending this evidence to English Heritage who must take this into account when they review the battlefield application. The presence of Caen stone indicates Norman construction or re-use of Norman stonework re-used in the Manor House construction and would confirm why the Norman arches are present in the wall previously misidentified as 13th century by W.S.Walford in 1884 and appears to confirm Norman construction, as only the Normans had access to this building material in this early period of History. It is possibly significant that the other site in the area which has Norman Caen stone elements is the Church in the Wood Hollington – the nearest church to the Manor House and Wilting Manor where the Normans landed.
I am afraid the You and Yours programme due to go out this morning has been put back a week due to me being ill in bed with a fever and going through a big sweat.
It has been rescheduled for next Friday 23rd August before Bank Holiday weekend.
I have now had a response from the Secretary of State where I stated that the road being built by East Sussex County Council was being built through a site of national heritage importance where the Hastings Burgh (pre1066 built by Alfred the great)was located.
The response from the Minister, from another MP on his behalf, as if to say this isn’t something I want to personally sign off, is clearly distancing himself from the actions of East Sussex County Council. A copy of that letter is found here.
This clearly tells any journalist or media person (like myself) that they are on the back foot and looking for someone to blame. Is it English Heritage or the County Archaeologist, who has not stopped the road when all the evidence of the archeology is crying out for someone in authority to intervene, or is it the councilors, or local MPs who are clearly very disposable. The wind has changed and now we shall see who is responsible for this spending heritage mess. The last people to take the blame will be the Government.
We shall find out shortly as more evidence comes out of the ground. Don’t shoot me I am just the messenger. Everyone has to stand by the decisions they made, right or wrong. The really clever ones make sure they are on the winning side when the drawbridge comes down and it is clearly about to drop:)
You have to admit this is the greatest headline you have ever read. It is of course almost certainly true and the story can be found here tucked into page four of the main feature. Share share share!!! This is a national story that is going to blow those away who have trampled upon the evidence for ten years.
We are following Phillippa Langley’s example and those who want to get this road out of this valley should consider contacting Michael Bernard who has been a trooper throughout this ghastly episode of heritage vandalism. He organised the fund raising to do the resistivity survey when no-one else would and now we are raising money for the ground radar to locate the boats of the Invasion Fleet. No-one in authority is going to do it so we will. They are certainly still there, because one was found in the 1930’s and hidden we know that. Contact Michael Bernard if you would like to donate through the BLINKRR web site. It wont take very much money, but too much for one man and a few helpers – donate now. Its a World Heritage Site for goodness sake. Lets change our future of this area by doing what is right for a change!!! It will make you feel good when we get the evidence that transforms our area into a global tourism hot spot..