Exceat: The ancient East Sussex village wiped out by the Black Death

It was once a thriving village in the Cuckmere Valley – but the Black Death decimated Exceat to extinction.

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Cuckmere Haven is one of the most stunning parts of Sussex, but the area looked completely different 700 years ago.

While today the region is a peaceful place known for its natural beauty, the mouth of the river Cuckmere was once a thriving naval village.

Almost completely empty today, the fields north of the English Channel were once home to an ancient village – Exceat.

Exceat was a bustling fishing village founded in Saxon times. It was sheltered from the weather by the protection of the Cuckmere Valley, and some historians think it could have been a very successful fishing base.

The village was also said to have been one of the most important naval bases for King Alfred the Great, widely recognised as the first King of England.

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