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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Monday 10th

10 November 1862

Wednesday 12th

12 November 1862
11 November 1862
Tuesday 11th
St Leonard’s on Sea



The sea has become calm and the weather fine, so we started out on our adventures soon after breakfast. Mrs Adams determined on walking, the whole length of the esplanade which made a lively and pleasant scene. Nearly at the end of it is a high hill on the top of which are the ruins of a castle. We hired a carriage to mount this. There is not much left of it, as all the best part of the wall, the facings are gone, probably taken away in the course of years to supply materials for the houses below. Enough remains however to show how strong it must have been in the days when there were no cannon. A single numan and doorway is standing and part of the tower, as well as the line of the outer wall. It is said to have been Saxon, and enlarged by William to conqueror after his victory near this spot. It is now turned into a place of recreation for summer visitors. The view is the bets thing about it. We returned home to luncheon, and then started on an expedition seven miles to Battle to see the ruins of the Abbey Stone. The sky had become clear and cool, and in had a pleasant drive through a pretty country. I noticed much antiquity in the houses along the road. We reached the time barely in season to given admission. The gateway is imposing and ancient. It dates from Henry the second and is in good condition enough to make the entrance to the pleasant place, which is the residence of Lord Henry Vaner. This is made out of a part of the old Abby, so that the actual ruins are only tan of the secondary builder—the repetory and kitchen and two powers belonging to the great hall. The real interest attaching to it is that it is the spot on which the struggle took place that established the Norman ascendancy in the island. Eight hundred years have passed since Harold died and William the conqueror decided on building an Abby on the very scene of slaughter. The sun was declining so fast that we were obliged to hung of, and we did not get him to our lodgings until after dark. Continued Carlisle, for the want of letters reading, and we placed whist.233

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA62d315