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    Normans Bay
(Last Invasion in 1066)

Name Derivation

General Details

Normans Bay is a very small hard to find village on the shingle banks in the centre of the Pevensey Levels. Its name came from the belief that the Norman invasion fleet in 1066 landed nearby. The village was founded on a small shingle island in the centre of the marshes.

This area was underwater during the Norman invasion, and only the constant erosion of Beachy Head at Eastbourne , has allowed the pebbles to build up. The area was originally a spit of land attached to Eastbourne , but with the Sea Level dropping, the shingle has now spread through to Bexhill in the east.

The area to the north east , the Pevensey Levels is a natural haven for wild birds, flowers and animals. The area is very flat and still marshy, with many areas flooding in the winter.

This area was a centre of smuggling , as ships could land the contraband and then distribute the goods by the rivers leading up into the weald.

Normans Bay was part of the Napoleonic defenses of England in the early 1800's. Many Martello towers were built between Eastbourne and Hastings to try to prevent invasion.

The towers were manned by the army who were based at the barracks in Hailsham .

At the time, the only people who lived here were a few fishermen, and smugglers.

In 1831 the Coastguard took over the coastal policing, and from 1832-33 a number of violent events occured, culminating with a fight at nearby Pevensey Sluice in 1833, which seemed to be the end of the smuggling in this area.

In the mid 1900's the village became the quiet and isolated holiday resort it is today, which is popular for windsurfers fishermen and ramblers.


Normans Bay is a small holiday village with very few local inhabitants except in summer, but its neighbour Pevensey Bay does have many of the facilities usually associated with larger Seaside Resorts.

The nearest major shopping centre is about 4 miles away in Eastbourne .

Trains can be caught at the Normans Bay station but there are no facilities here, the nearest ones are in Westham village, about 6 miles away to the north west, or at Cooden on the outskirts of Bexhill about 2 miles to the east.


From the sea wall, if you look to the west, you see the splendour of the South Downs, this is magnificent if there is a beautiful sunset, or in the dark when the lights of Eastbourne sparkle.

To the north lies the flat lands of the Pevensey Levels, only a few centuries ago these were under water.

Also in this area are many Martello Towers which are quite unusual defensive structures.

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