Battle

United Kingdom

Posted: Sep 15, 2021 | Updated: Nov 27, 2021

The small town of Battle is famous for its old fashioned High Street with the medieval gateway to Battle Abbey a dominant feature. Battle is more famous for what happened here on 14th October 1066.

On this Harold II, King of England, was most likely hacked down by a mounted Norman knight as opposed to the famous arrow in the eye depiction on the Bayeux Tapestry. With just thirty minutes until nightfall and with time on their side as reinforcements would have arrived during the night, Harold fell and the English were beaten. The future of England was changed and on the 25th December 1066 the victorious William, the 'Conqueror', was crowned William I in Westminster Abbey, London.

The chain of events that led to Hastings began 10 months earlier with the death of King Edward the Confessor. For 15 years William, duke of Normandy had been heir presumptive. On his deathbed, as the story goes, Edward named his successor as Earl Harold of Wessex, his wife's brother and commander of the army. Thus, it was to seize what William saw as his that led to the invasion of England.

The official battlefield, about 5 miles (8km) inland from Hastings, has changed since the battle. The main difference is that the English position, along the crest of a shallow valley, is occupied by Battle Abbey, founded by William to commemorate his victory and to honour the dead caused by his invasion and occupation. The small town of Battle gradually grew around the Abbey and altered the topography of the ridge from which Harold conducted his defence.


The Highlights

  1. The site of the Battle of Hastings one of the most important events in world history as the direction that England took after this led to the British Empire, and the shaping of the world in Britain's image. The visitor site is worth a visit to learn more about this event.
  2. A battle re-enactment with hundreds of enthusiastic in authentic costume battling it out again. In case you don't know, the Normans always seem to win. Make sure you visit around the anniversary of the battle.
  3. Old fashioned high street crowned by the dominating Battle Abbey

Posted: Oct 11, 2008 | Updated: Nov 26, 2021

The Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings was fought on the morning of Saturday, 14th October 1066 and resulted in Norman control of England. The victory and subsequent Norman Conquest was pivotal for several reasons. It largely removed the native ruling class, replacing it with a foreign, French-speaking monarchy and aristocracy and transformed English language and culture.

Subjugation under rulers originating in France linked England closely with Europe and lessened Scandinavian influence. Thus the stage was set for a rivalry with France that would continue for more than eight centuries, and many would say continues to this day.

Almost 942 years later to the day, the battlefield again rang to the clash of metal on metal as I watched the re-enactment of one of the most significant battles in history.

1) King Harold's banner, The Fighting Man
2) Battle of Hasting, 2008
3) The Normans advance
4) Heavy hand to hand combat
5) William wins again
6) Site of King Harold's demise
7) Ruins of Battle Abbey
8) Hastings re-enactors at rest

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