Peter the Sheep (1914-1928): Eccentric Pet and Much-Loved Military Mascot

Located just outside of the castle’s walled gardens is a small yet poignant memorial. Within the carefully enclosed area, amid the flowers and plants, you will notice a single stone slab with the name ‘Peter’ inscribed. But who was Peter and why do we have this memorial in the castle grounds? In August 1914, war…

Herstmonceux in the Domesday Book

In 1085 King William I commissioned a huge survey of land and landholding which resulted in the iconic Domesday Book. Domesday is the most complete record of pre-industrial society to survive anywhere in the world, making it an exceptional document which offers us a unique window into the Middle Ages. For the majority of places recorded within…

The Colonel and The Party Palace: Life at Herstmonceux Castle in the Roaring ‘20s

The decade known as the ‘roaring twenties’ is synonymous with glamour, exuberance and partying. As the world emerged from one of the greatest conflicts in our history, survivors looked to the new decade with hope and excitement, much as we are doing today as we emerge from our own global crisis. The 1920s is such…

Medieval Migrant Workers and the Building of Herstmonceux Castle

In 1441 Sir Roger Fiennes was granted a licence to ‘enclose, crenellate and furnish with towers and battlements his manor at Hurst Monceux’.[1] Along with wanting to show off his wealth and status, Sir Roger was following the wider consumer movement of investing a higher proportion of his income in his home. This trend was heavily…

The Fiennes Family, the Hundred Years War & Sir Roger’s Rise to Power

On 5th February 1441 King Henry VI granted Sir Roger Fiennes a licence which allowed him to ‘enclose, crenellate and furnish with towers and battlements his manor of Hurst Monceux co. Sussex’.1 Sir Roger was also given permission to ‘enclose 600 acres of his land’ adjoining the manor. This licence led directly to the castle and…