Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/153

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115
NOTES TO KENT.

sight these expressions may be supposed to declare, that the entire city was levelled with the ground; whereas in fact they possess no such exclusive meaning. It may be granted, that the Saxons absolutely annihilated the population, so that, if any individuals did escape the slaughter, they never reoccupied their former abode. But, admitting this circumstance, and that the Saxons succeeded in so far overthrowing the ramparts of Andredesceaster, as to obtain complete possession of the place; we have here, without requiring anything farther, a sufficient exemplification of the above account ; for the victors, after unrestrictedly glutting their vengeance upon the surviving inhabitants, as we are expressly assured they did, sparing no age nor sex, and consuming all the dwellings within the defences, were not very likely to undertake the needless and, to them, most difficult, laborious, and tedious operation of demolishing the remaining walls.

An additional probability—in this discussion we can hope to produce nothing farther in favour of Pevensey may be found in the fact, that that part of our island was certainly more frequented by the Romans than the district around Newenden; and that Roman relics have been recognised in the immediate vicinity. 1. For the numerous vestiges of the Romans in southern Sussex see Horsfield's History of that county passim. Consult also the Index of the present work. The Itinerary of Richard of Cirencester mentions a line of road from Regnum (Chichester) eastward through Mutuantonis (by some conjectured to have been where Lewes now stands) to the Roman stations on the Kentish coast; and a Roman road may still be traced in this direction, not improbably the very road just alluded to, of which the course is precisely such as would lead to Pevensey. (Sussex Archæol. Collections, II, 74, 75.) For farther evidence of Roman occupancy in this county see also the same volume (171-175, 313-315); and particularly (257), for 2. A description of the foundations of a Roman villa at East Bourne, which was partially uncovered A.D. 1717, and more completely traced in December, 1848.

In corroboration of the suggestion (Arch. Journal, IV, 214), that Pevensey Level might have been a wooded morass at the period of the destruction of Andredecester it may be stated, that recent railroad works have ascertained the subsoil of Romney Marsh, at least in the neighbourhood of Apledore, to which alone my information extends, to be full of buried timber (like the Fens of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, where stacks of