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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Day trip to Hastings, part 3: Hasting Castle

As we were told at Town Hall museum, we found Church Passage leading to the castle on the top of the hill.

The stone church itself is handsome. In a tiny courtyard, local people were having a break in warm sunshine.

The church.

Door on the side


Mike is ready for climb!
The climb started gently, but it became steeper. We went under someone's house! There was a local gentleman coming down who told us 'There are loads more steps!' with a naughty smile.
Narrower and steeper

Almost there

In fact, we were close to the top.
Italian girl jumping with a joy to be here!

Phew! We made it!  But it was not really the top, there was still more to climb to the castle! We sat down to rest our legs at a bench, and enjoyed the remains of the bucket of cookies from Cafe. As soon as I held the cookie, a pair of herring seagulls approached. But we finished them all. 

Hungry herring gulls

Steeper side of the hill.

We knew that the castle site was closed today. They only open weekends before April. But I insisted that we would go to the gate and look inside, Mike said,' Why? Are you going to rattle the gate?' I said 'You stay here, and I will go by myself.' Of course, he followed me. 

We had another small climb. and suddenly about 3 meters of down. We were there in front of a metal gate. I slipped my hand holding a camera through a space, and took a photo, anyway.
This is my glimps from the gate.
Then, we looked at the map how to go down and see another museum, 20 minutes walk away from town centre. I suggested we would go down from the back side of the hill to town centre although I couldn't see the proper route. Mike suggested we go down to seaside again, and climb again.

What happened next was unbelievable! A young man appeared from the inside, opened the gate, and told us that we could come in and see the castle. He was expecting a school trip, so we could well come and see as well! ! ! We thanked him, and I told him 'Today was our wedding anniversary, but most of places are closed. You made our day!'. I wanted to hug him and planted kisses on his cheek, but restrained myself to show my way of gratitude.

It was wonderful. There were two elderly couples already looking the site. Tranquil and peaceful. Sun was shining.
Looking down on the chapel

The remains of a suriving tower

This castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1066 just after The Battle of Hastings. In 1287, some months of storms collapsed a large part of the castle into the sea and it was abandoned.
The chapel

There were dotted plaques and explanation boards. One caught my eye was this.
The stone came from the castle in the town where William the Conqueror was born.
Even though longer than 1000 years have passed since The battle of Hastings; 46,000 men fought in the battle, the largest in the medieval time; the place still connect England and France. In 14th century, during the Hundred Years War, Hastings was again attacked by French and severely damaged. many houses were burnt down to the ground. Until I came here, I was not aware of the history of Hastings in detail. It was worth coming here to learn it.

This is the photo of a part of Bayeux Tapestry, in which the chapel once stood here on this castle ground was, some expert believe, stitched on.  

When the young man brought a school trip, Mike thanked him with a big thumb up from a distance, and we let ourselves out from the gate now open. 

We congratulated our good luck. We decided to climb down to seaside.  

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