Sunday, 29 January 2017

Robert de Mortain

Earlier today I passed the Robert de Mortain pub up on The Ridge on my way to visiting someone who had been admitted to the Conquest Hospital, which reminded me that Greene King, the pub's current owners, have put the building up for sale, wanting at least £550,000 for it, according to reports. I'd imagine the competition from the new, very close-by, Conqueror's March, has influenced Greene King's decision to sell, and don't be surprised if a request for change of use gets presented to the Council...

 One side of the original pub sign

The building was originally a lodge house, and, before it became a public house in 1946, it was the Ripon Lodge Hotel.

The other side

So, who was this Robert de Mortain? Well, he was half brother to William the Conqueror (known in 1066 as William the Bastard), and one of his most trusted supporters, being given land all over the country by William, notably, Pevensey, where, in the 1070s whilst Robert lived there, a stone castle replaced the 1066 motte and bailey wooden fort built inside the old Roman walls. It is thought that Robert had also been given the task of building the first Norman stone castle built in England, that is, in Hastings, which William ordered in 1070 to replace the Hastings motte and bailey fort, and also the White Tower in London circa 1078 onwards...

Robert de Mortain was a very busy man and important historically for Hastings, indeed!

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