East Sussex

Type:Towns & Villages

East Sussex, BN24 5LF


With so many notable attractions in Sussex it often happens that the quirky and unusual things escape notice. Pevensey Castle and its Mint House are fairly well known and visited, although the little Tudor Court House a few doors down from the castle in the High Street is often missed.
Deemed not to have any great architectural interest The Court House is reputed to be the oldest and smallest town hall in England and nevertheless has an interesting past. The present building was built in 1540 which superceded a 14th century structure. Apparently Pevensey had a mayor and corporation here even before the Normans landed and it is thought the building dates back to the 6th century.
This small white building includes an exercise yard (6ft x 14ft ), a secure prison area at lower ground floor level with two little white cells up until about 1700 there were about 8 lock-ups and they even had two escapees. An outside staircase leads to the court room above (18ft x 14ft) with a clerks bench and magistrates bench , altogether rather like an old-time Sherriff's office.
In 1882 when Pevensey lost its status as a borough, The Pevensey Town Trust was established to administer the Court House. Today the Court House is a museum, where it houses a robing room and visitors can see displayed there the Great Seal of Charles I and the oldest surviving Cinque Port Seal c.1230 which signified that Pevensey was a Cinque port, one of group of towns that pledged its supply of men and ships against invasion. Many other interesting exhibits are on display here including the Pevensey Town official weights and measures.
The Court House is open for all four Easter days from 11.00-16.00 and thereafter from 1st May until 30th September
Admission fees: Adults £ 1.50. OAPS and Students £1.00. Children ( Under 16 free )
Telephone enquiries Tel: 01323 762309
For all enquiries and group bookings, owing to lack of space recommended 20-5 persons at a time !

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