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Sussex Map - Framed Print - 11"H x 14"W


Sussex Map - Framed Print - 11"H x 14"W

Sussex, is a historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex.

The name "Sussex" is derived from the Middle English Suth-sæxe, which is in turn derived from the Old English Suth-Seaxe which means (land or people) of the South Saxons. The South Saxons were a Germanic tribe that settled in the region during the 5th and 6th centuries.

The earliest known usage of the term South Saxons is in a royal charter of 689 which names them and their king, Noðhelm.

Towards the end of the Iron Age in 75BC people from the Atrebates, started invading and occupying southern Britain. This was followed by an invasion by Julius Caesar that temporarily occupied the south-east in 55BC. Soon after the first Roman invasion had ended, the Celtic Regnenses tribe under their leader Commius occupied the Manhood Peninsula.

Sussex was home to the magnificent Roman Palace at Fishbourne, by far the largest Roman residence known north of the Alps. Much of Sussex was a Roman canton of the Regnenses, with its capital at Noviomagus Reginorum (Chichester).

The foundation legend of Sussex is provided by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which states that in the year AD 477 Ælle landed with his three sons. Having fought on the banks of the Mearcredesburna. After Aelle’s forces seized the Saxon Shore fort of Anderida, the South Saxons colonised and extended their territory westwards to link with the Saxon settlement at Highdown Hill. Aelle was recognised as the first 'Bretwalda' (overlord of southern Britain). He was probably the most senior of the Anglo-Saxon kings and led the ill-fated campaign against King Arthur at Mount Badon.

By the end of the 7th century, the region around Selsey and Chichester had become the political centre of the kingdom.

Sussex was the venue for the momentous Battle of Hastings.

Sussex experienced some of the greatest changes of any English county under the Normans. The county was of great importance to the Normans; Hastings and Pevensey being on the most direct route for Normandy.

In 1264, the Sussex Downs were the location of the Battle of Lewes, in which Simon de Montfort captured Prince Edward (Edward I). The subsequent treaty, known as the Mise of Lewes, led to Montfort summoning the first parliament in English history without any prior royal authorisation.

During the Hundred Years War, Sussex found itself on the frontline, convenient both for intended invasions and retaliatory expeditions by licensed French pirates. Hastings, Rye and Winchelsea all became part of the Cinque Ports.

Sussex escaped the worst ravages of the Civil War. Though despite it being under Parliamentarian control, Charles II was able to journey through the county after the Battle of Worcester in 1651 to make his escape to France from the port of Shoreham.

The Sussex coast was greatly modified by the social movement of sea bathing for health which became fashionable among the wealthy in the second half of the 18th century.

On the eve of the Battle of the Somme, the Royal Sussex Regiment took part in the Battle of the Boar's Head. The day subsequently became known as The Day Sussex Died. Over a period of less than five hours the 17 officers and 349 men were killed.

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