On the Level: Pett Level Then and Now

Pett Level, just along the coast from Hastings in East Sussex, has a fascinating past. Geologically, the cliffs at its south western end are the only ones between here and Hythe, and the frequent cliff falls regularly reveal fossils – including those of dinosaur bones and footprints. There is also a former sandstone island (the Toot) which sits incongruously above land which is now below sea level at high tide, whilst the vast beach is partly comprised of a submerged forest that dates back to the Ice Age.
Equally interesting is the way in which the village developed, with a small number of individuals very much shaping what we have today. One – Napoleon Bonaparte – never even set foot here; another was a maverick, self-made businessman; and a third an unremarkable publican whose many descendants would become synonymous with modern-day Pett Level. A further group of artists, sculptors and poets also created a bohemian enclave here between the wars.
Despite all this, Pett Level remains amongst the least known of all the villages on the south east coast. This book explores its rich history and aims to prove that it is well worth seeking out.

2023: ISBN: 978-1-7393444-0-5; Price £18.00

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