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Sussex, the land of the South Saxons, was one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon kingdoms to be established, but the heavily forested weald to the north made expansion difficult. It also offered some measure of protection and the kingdom survived until taken over, first by Offa of Mercia in 771, then by Ecgberht in 825 on behalf of Wessex. Throughout its history there were significant divisions between east and west Sussex, and an eastern portion of the kingdom, near Hastings, which looked towards Canterbury and Kent.

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