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Chiddingstone Old Romney
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    Exceat
(Alfred the Great's Naval Base?)
Limb of the Cinque Ports

Name Derivation

General Details

Exceat doesn't now exist but was located near to the Seven Sister Visitors Centre in the Cuckmere valley between Friston and Seaford .
The village was probably founded in Saxon times as a fishing village hidden away from the weather by the valleys. It is known that Alfred the Great had a palace in the nearby village of West Dean , and it is possible that Exceat was one of his main naval bases in his war with the Vikings .

After the Norman Conquest in 1066 the village was given to Earl Mortain , King Williams half brother. He gave the land together with nearby Exceat to the Monastry of Grestein, and their nearby priory at Wilmington .

During the 1100's the area was important as West Dean and Exceat paid more in taxes than nearby Lewes , the villages were associated with Seaford in their ties with the Cinque Ports .

In 1305 King Edward I who was at nearby Lewes visited the villages implying a still great importance in the history of the Realm, again probably due to the local naval power.

Exceat was the more important of the two villages until the 1300's when the Black Death decimated the village, and the subsequent raids by the French led to the village being abandoned by the mid 1400's . Exceat became part of the parish of West Dean in the 1500's.


Services

Exceat does not now exist, except as the Seven Sisters Country Park Visitors centre.

The nearest shops are in Seaford about 3 miles west , with the port of Newhaven 2 miles further on.


Views

The area is beautiful, and the meandering Cuckmere river contrasts with the green Downs which rise up on each side.

The Seven Sisters Visitors Centre is well worth visiting, and the walk alongside the Cuckmere to Cuckmere Haven and the sea is excellent.

Looking from the sea to the east lie the Seven Sisters , the cliffs on the edge of the South Downs.

 
       
 
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