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Battle Abbey and Battlefield is the site on which the decisive Battle of Hastings took place in October 1066. It now holds the ruins of the Norman abbey built shortly after the battle, as well as a modern visitor centre detailing the site’s significant place in history.
Battle Abbey and Battlefield history
The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was one of Britain’s most important historical events, following which William, Duke of Normandy – largely known as William the Conqueror – was crowned King of England.
During the battle against the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, the Normans adopted the tactic of pretending to flee before turning on their attackers. Near the battle’s close, Godwinson was killed causing much of his army to retreat, resulting in William the Conqueror’s victory.
In 1090, Pope Alexander II ordered the Normans to do penance for all the lives taken during their conquest of England, following which William vowed to build an abbey to commemorate the fallen dead. It was completed following his death in 1094 by his son William Rufus, with its high altar placed on the supposed spot Harold Godwinson was slain.
Battle Abbey and Battlefield today
Today Battle Abbey is managed by English Heritage and features a museum exploring William the Conqueror’s victory at Hastings, the events that led up to it, and its aftermath. The museum uses a combination of multimedia and traditional exhibits to guide visitors through the Battle of Hastings, with audio guides also available to help you explore the 100-acre battlefield.
The Abbey’s atmospheric ruins also still stand at the site, with the medieval dormitory building, including the Novices Common Room, and parts of the cloisters still visible. In the medieval gatehouse is also an exhibition on the abbey’s history since 1066, with a number of artefacts and recreated objects on display.
Getting to Battle Abbey and Battlefield
Battle Abbey and Battlefield is located in the town of Battle, on the A2100 off the A21. There is a large carpark at the entrance, while a number of bus services go to Abbey Stop, a 2-minute walk away. The nearest train station is Battle Station, a 15-minute walk away.
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1066 Battle Abbey and Battlefield
The grounds of 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield are open. Takeaway catering is available and our shop is open, but all indoor areas remain closed.
You will need to book your tickets in advance. For up-to-date opening times and booking information, please see the Battle Abbey website for more information.
Visit the site of one of the most famous battles in England's history &ndash the 1066 Battle of Hastings, and discover the fascinating story of events behind that historic date.
Explore the award-winning exhibition which brings alive the dramatic story of the Norman Conquest and its significance in the tumultuous history of England. End your day by relaxing in the cafe. The annual re-enactment of 1066 Battle of Hastings takes place every year during October. Days out worth talking about!
The Abbey takes its name from the town and was founded to commemorate the bloody battle that saw William the Conqueror assume control of England in 1066.
The high altar of the abbey church was reputedly on the spot where Harold died and is now marked by a special commemorative stone. Little remains of the original abbey buildings but its impressive gateway dominates the south end of Battle High Street.
The remaining cloisters, part of the west range, were leased to Battle Abbey School shortly after the first world war, and the school remains in occupancy to this day. Although referred to as 'Battle Abbey', it is actually named 'St Martin's Abbey'.
The Abbey was founded as a result of a vow made by William in an Abbey at St Valerie Sur Somme, before the sea crossing, in which he promised to establish a monastery free of episcopal control if God granted him victory. The Chronicles of Battel Abbey, which dates from around 1180, state it was "founded by the Conqueror in expiation for the sin involved in the conquest".
When William died, he left many gifts to the Abbey which included his royal cloak and a portable altar used on his campaigns. William had endowed the Abbey to such an extent that it became the 15th wealthiest religious house in the country. However the twin terrors of repeated French raids and the Black Death had a lasting impact on the abbey and drastically affected its population and income.
Subsequent centuries saw the Abbey grow in status and wealth thanks to the Abbots' careful management of its resources. The Abbey now has a new visitor centre with some incredible interactive displays. There's also acafé with wonderful views of the battlefield and a host of innovative new features throughout the attraction.
Things to do in Battle
There's plenty more to Battle than the battlefield &ndash don't miss a visit to its bustling high street, independent shops, quirky museum and tranquil gardens. Find out more about things to do in Battle, as well as what's on in Battle.
Fancy making a weekend of it? You'll be spoilt for choice of where to stay in Battle, and there are lots of delicious options for food and drink in Battle too.
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: The abbey was built on the site of the pivotal Battle of Hastings, and contains the traditional location of King Harold's death.
When William the Conqueror defeated King Harold's Saxons at the Battle of Hastings, he erected a magnificent abbey to mark the location of his triumph. The abbey is not, as you might reasonably expect, at Hastings itself, for the battle was not fought there, but at Senlac Hill, some miles inland. The mighty abbey founded by William became known as Battle Abbey, and the town of Battle grew up around it.
Oddly, we do not know exactly when Battle Abbey was founded it was possibly in 1067, and certainly before 1070 when William invited monks of the Benedictine order to establish a monastery on the site of his great military success.
It seems likely that William's purpose was two-fold to atone for the bloodshed (i.e. a 'spiritual' purpose), and to establish a permanent reminder of his triumph and power (a political purpose). The latter point is pretty clear when you consider that William insisted the high altar, the holiest place in the new abbey church, should stand on the exact spot where Harold's standard fell (to be picky, that's not necessarily where Harold actually died!).
William had a very clear vision of the abbey he founded. It would initially have 60 monks, with this number rising eventually to 140. His new abbey was to be generously endowed with estates, so generously endowed that it became one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in the country. Daughter houses of Battle included Brecon, Carmarthen, and St Nicholas (Exeter).
Construction began at once, and by 1076 the eastern end of the abbey church was finished and ready to be used. The entire church was not finished until 1094, long after William's death. In that year the church was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by seven bishops and watched by William II and his court.
As you can tell by the level of ceremony, this was an important event and signifies the high status of the abbey in the minds of the new Norman elite of England. The east end of the church was extended in the 13th century when a guest house was built to the south-east.
Though the abbey thrived during the Middle Ages it was, like other monastic houses, dissolved by Henry VIII, with the end coming in 1537. Henry VIII granted Battle Abbey to his friend and supporter, Sir Anthony Browne, who demolished most of the medieval buildings.
Browne created a large manor house from the west cloister range, incorporating bits of the abbot's lodging and frater. Browne's large estate included the battlefield and extensive abbey lands. Later in the 16th century, a courthouse was built onto the east side of the gatehouse. This courthouse remained in use until the 18th century.
In 1721 the Battle estates passed to the Webster family. Over the next 250 years the Websters gradually sold off pieces of the estate, and the medieval buildings were allowed to decay. After WWI Browne's Tudor manor house was rented to Battle Abbey School, who still occupy it today. In 1976 the government purchased the estate, including the battlefield, from the Websters, and passed control to English Heritage.
Almost no visible remains of the battle here have been found, and the landscape shows no trace of the conflict. There were no great earthworks or siege engines in those days, so the impact on the battlefield site was minimal. But having said that, the topography of Senlac Hill has changed hardly at all over almost 1000 years, allowing modern visitors to trace the events of the battle with relative ease.
The site is huge - at 100 acres (roughly 40 hectares), with trails running across it. For a full account of the battle, the events leading up to it, and the consequences, see our Battle of Hastings article.
Very little remains of the great abbey church today, beyond the 13th-century extension to the east end. One feature to look for is a rather peculiar memorial on the site of the high altar, marking the traditional spot where King Harold fell. This rectangular stone plaque - known, not surprisingly - as The Harold Stone - is set into the earth on the traditional site of the high altar.
The monk's dormitory is in relatively good repair and features some extremely good vaulting. On the west of the cloister range are remains of the abbot's lodging and guest accommodation. Though much of these buildings are in ruins, sections of the guest house undercroft are in good condition, and again, the vaulting is wonderful.
The best-preserved part of the entire abbey site is the marvellous gatehouse, one of the best medieval gatehouses in England. Much of this striking structure is an early 14th-century rebuilding of the original Norman gatehouse. Permanent exhibitions on the history of the battle and the abbey are housed on the first floor.
- The grand abbey gatehouse
- The guest house undercroft, with its marvellous vaulting
- King Harold's memorial
- The battlefield site on Senlac Hill
Visiting Battle Abbey
English Heritage has gone to great lengths to appeal to families and children at Battle Abbey. There are special CGI exhibits to bring the Battle of Hastings to life and interactive displays to tell the story of the battle and its importance in English history. There is a free audio tour of the battlefield so you can trace the events of that momentous day in 1066.
You can walk around the perimeter of the battlefield, where information panels have been strategically placed to tell the story of that dramatic day. By following the battlefield trail you learn how the soldiers were arrayed, how the Normans attacked and were driven back, how Duke William rallied his troops by taking off his helmet to show that he was still alive, and how the Normans finally overcame the Saxon shield wall and won, not just the battle, but the kingdom as well.
When we visited on a sunny spring day the battlefield was covered in flowers, like a carpet of yellow and white blossoms amid lush green grass. It was sobering to think that in this peaceful spot a bloody battle took place so many years ago.
Just outside the abbey gatehouse is an iron ring in the pavement showing the location where medieval bear-baiting took place. From there you can follow a really quite good town trail laid out by the local historical society look for their decorative plaques on buildings along the high street. I can also recommend Battle Museum, housed in The Almonry a lovely timber-framed building.
There is a dedicated parking area immediately beside the abbey. The car park is pay and display, but Abbey visitors receive their parking fee back when they enter the abbey. The car park is well-signposted. Don't do what we did and accidentally park in the town car park further up High Street, which is also pay and display but does not entitle you to get your parking fee back!
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Battle Abbey
Address: High Street, Battle, East Sussex, England, TN33 0AD
Attraction Type: Abbey
Location: in Battle at the south end of the High Street
Website: Battle Abbey
English Heritage - see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
OS: TQ749 157
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Taking Up Position
Soon after dawn on 14 October, Harold arranged his forces in a strong defensive position along the ridge now occupied by the buildings of Battle Abbey. The English line probably stretched for almost half a mile, and formed a ‘shield wall’ – literally a wall of shields held by soldiers standing close together – on the hilltop. This formation was considered almost impervious to cavalry, but left little room for manoeuvre.
William ranged his army to the south, at first on the far hillside above the marshy valley bottom. His Norman troops were in the centre, probably with Bretons to the west and French to the east. These forces were in three ranks: the archers in front, then the infantry, and behind them the mounted knights.
Photos: Pearl Harbor
In a surprise wave of attacks on the U.S. naval base at Oahu Island, Hawaii&aposs Pearl Harbor, Japan, aligned with the Axis, takes out America&aposs Pacific fleet (the fleet&aposs three aircraft carriers are not present during the attack). With approximately 2,400 U.S. troops killed and another 1,000 wounded, President Franklin D. Roosevelt calls it "a date which will live in infamy" and, the next day, the U.S. officially enters World War II, declaring war on Japan.
History's turning point
The place commemorating one of the turning points of British history. The battelfield itself was closed due to the rain but had good views from the terrace. Nice to be abel to pay tribute at the high altar where Harold was killed. The dormitories were impressive. Great views from the roof of the gate house and one-way staircases up and down.
Was really excited for this, have done quite a few ghost walks now and had high expectations for this one being a battlefield and all. It was ok, the guide was funny and knew her stuff but I'd have liked a bit more from it, more inside the abbey and its creepy history instead we just did a circle of the outside and didn't hear too many varieties of story. On the whole it wasn't bad but it wasn't great either.
After studying the battle of Hastings and then do it for homework with my daughter it was really good to visit the place where the battle took place and a massive part in English history took place. The abbey is amazing and very well looked after. Well worth the money and taking the kids. Joined the English Heritage as a member so will be visiting other places after today.
Visited on Sunday afternoon following a very wet week. Staff were very helpful and we had a good walk round the battle field using the phone app to tell us the history of the battle. Lots to see but rain stopped play but as English Heritage members we will return.
Very disappointed when compared with our fabulous recent visit to another EH site. At this location staff were unhelpful bordering on rude and resolutely negative about the setup “You should have come before, nothing good here to see” as well as their view of their own managers. No flexibility or common sense was in evidence, with inconsistent one-way signage, an overwhelming focus on Halloween rather than the history of the actual site & very poor facilities (cafe, toilets, shop). We brightened up our day considerably with a trip to the town museum in Battle - better artefacts, kind & friendly volunteers, lovely tiny shop and effective Covid measures. Avoid Battle Abbey- we certainly will!
Property and Battlefield History
Prehistory: Excavations on the property by Br. James Sommers have uncovered an impressive collection of Indian artifacts–arrowheads, awls, scrapers, axe-heads and other tools. Br. James submitted his finds to an archaeologist from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC and his finds have been identified and classified, representing work from 8500 BC to 1700 AD.
Evidently these implements were the work of migratory tribes who passed through the area in the spring to plant seasonal crops on the flood plain, hunt and fish before they returned to more sheltered locations for the winter. No evidence of dwellings or of waste dumps seem to have survived or, at least, have not been uncovered. The green stone, from which many of the tools have been flaked or carved, is not from this area but may have been transported, unworked, from elsewhere down the Valley.
There is a rumor that a hilloc in front of the present church is a native burial mound, but the site has never been disturbed and no one seems to know the origin of this tradition or rumor. Clearly, the land has been inhabited from before colonial times and, perhaps, it is not fanciful to say that the land has been considered sacred long before the monks arrived.
Cool Spring House: The Cool Spring property enters history with the young George Washington (1732-1799). Washington’s family was connected to Lord Fairfax through marriage the Scottish Lord owned millions of acres of Virginia land and preferred to spend the hunting season in the colony. Like a fuedal Lord, Fairfax “awarded”–at a price–tracts of land to the up-and-coming gentry. He was a genuine aristocrat in the midst of yeoman colonists aspiring to up-ward advancement and they benefited from the Lord who legitimized their gentility by association. In 1748, still a teenager, George Washington was commissioned to explore and survey the Northern Neck of this territory and, effectively, surveyed what would become the Cool Spring property. By chance, Ralph Wormely (1715-1790) attended a land auction in Williamsburg and impulsively bid on a 13,000 acre tract in what is now Clarke and Berkely Counties. He asked advice from Washington who described the territory as plentiful and beautiful. It was Ralph’s sons, James and John, who actually settled the land, one building the Rocks, in Berkely County, the other, Cool Spring, here in Clarke County. Cool Spring House was built in 1784 and the central block, a two-story, five bay, hipped roof structure built of local lime stone, survives to this day. One of the out-buildings on the north side of the house, perhaps a kitchen or a laundry, also survives.
The Battle of Cool Spring: The Cool Spring property inevitably re-entered history during the Civil War when the strategically located Shenandoah Valley was the constant arena for the struggle between the Federal and Confederate troops. Harpers Ferry, Winchester and Berryville would, time and again, come under the control of either side before the hostilities were resolved. Late in the War, an unanticipated engagement occurred on July 18, 1864–on the Cool Spring property which is now Holy Cross Abbey.
The Union army was in pursuit of the Confederate forces which had recently threatened to enter Washington, DC. The War Department of the United States wanted to insure that the Confederate forces were in retreat to Richmond, a hope-filled delusion that Major General Horatio Wright was too eager to read into any information communicated to him. Unfortunately for the Federal troops, their leadership had not learned anything from the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862 the Confederate forces were on home territory which they knew inside out. The local topography afforded them quick get-a-aways and convincing concealment retreats could be faked ambushes could be skillfully planned. Added to all these advantages was the motivation of protecting their home-territory. Another advantage was the consistent incompetence of Federal Generals, complicated, in Wright’s case, by his incapacity to communicate.
Brigadier General George Crook, one of Wright’s subordinates, was in pursuit of Jubal Early’s army, pulling back from Washington, DC. Following the tracks of the Confederate army from Purcellville though Snicker’s Gap (Bluemont), the Federal force sought to insure that the Southerners would continue on to Richmond. However, the Snickers Gap crossing was well defended with artillery and the Northern troops moved northward along the Shenandoah across from the Cool Spring property where a significant portion of the Confederate troops was encamped. It’s worth noting that the weather was a typical example of an extremely hot, dusty July day in the Shenandoah Valley, to the disadvantage of the Northerners. The Confederate forces were regrouping, reprovisioning and recovering after their northern campaign, never expecting the Federal forces to pursue them into the Valley in fact the greater part of the Federal army would remain with Wright, inactive, to the east of the River.
The Federal troops forded the Shenandoah at Parker’s Island in the hope of realizing a decisive intervention. The engagement was fierce but inconclusive since there was no back-up or follow-up by Wright’s forces. In the end the battle simply affirmed the status quo. Apart from the combat, Federal troops were lost in the retreat back across the Shenandoah, disappearing into the sink holes in the ford, weighed down by arms and supplies.
It is worth noting that the Northern army was aided, at least in terms of refuge, by local Unionists who opened their property to them. The city of Winchester, too, had its identifiable Unionists, hopeful for the presence of the Federal army. It is part of the complexity of this War, and perhaps incomprehensible to an American of the 21st Century, that these Unionists were not restrained or charged with treason for giving such hospitality to the invading army. Likewise, the Federal forces, at least until the burning and pillaging of Chambersburg, on August 4, 1862 respected local property–apart from raids on farmyard or barn. After the Battle of Cool Spring, local women turned out with food and bandages, their time, energy and expertise to attend to the dying or nurse the wounded of both sides. It can even be disconcerting to read accounts of the polite social calls of Federal commanders to local relatives in between battles. This was a society, with its veneer of gentility, inflexible values and uncompromising principles, very different from our own.
For those interested in more information, Shenandoah University’s relevant page includes maps of the battlefield. Shenandoah University has undertaken the preservation of most the riverfront across the river from our monastery. It is open to the public as a recreational area–from dusk to dawn–but will primarily function as an educational, historical and environmental site.
Holy Cross Abbey: Almost one hundred years later, the Cool Spring property returned to public notice when the Trappists arrived in 1950. The Monastery of our Lady of the Valley in Valley Falls, Rhode Island, was already in the process of relocating to Spencer, Massachusetts when the original Monastery burned to the ground. Rather than repeat the story here, you may read the background in full in the history of Holy Cross Abbey.
The Cool Spring House and one surviving out-building to the northwest became the central block of the new monastery. Cool Spring House served as Chapel, dormitory, Chapter Room and Superior’s Office. The out-building was reworked as the brothers’ dormitory (upstairs) and Chapter Room (downstairs). The first buildings to be added was a cinder block dormitory of two stories to the northeast of the main house, an office for the superior to the west and a refectory joining that office to the brothers’ outbuilding. Eventually a range of buildings would extend westward (infirm kitchen, Scriptorium, monastic kitchen, Refectory, washroom and laundry below Chapter Room, Sacristy and Church above).
After this construction, Cool Spring House served as speaking rooms outside the monastic enclosure and the visiting families of monks were still fed there into the early 1960’s. The tailor shop for the monastery was located in the cellar of Cool Spring accessible by stairs originating in the enclosure. A house tradition maintains that during an entertainment in the late eighteenth century, George Washington banged his head on his way down these stairs to sample the wine and spirits kept there. Given his impressive height, he would have to a hobbit could hurt his head on the great beam intruding into that low space.
The monastic terms for the Abbey’s rooms require some explanation. The Chapter Room is where the monks assembled every day to hear a chapter of the St. Benedict’s Rule chanted by the cantor and commented upon by the Superior after that the day’s work was assigned. The Scriptorium was where each monk had a place to sit and do his sacred reading. According to the usages at that time, any gap in the schedule with neither prayer, work, meals, chapter or sleep was labeled “lectio” or “reading”. The monk was supposed be at his place in the Scriptorium reading some sacred text. In this house both the Chapter Room and the Scriptorium doubled as library space but one was not free to browse the shelves and take whatever one wished. Books were requested from the librarian and might be specified by the Novice Master or some other superior rather than by one’s own choice.
The monastic kitchen was where the community’s strictly vegetarian meals were prepared. These meals were eaten in the Refectory, from the Latin root meaning a place where one is “remade” or “refreshed”. When one was ill, or if a monk needed a supplement to his diet as stipulated by the infirmarian, his meals were taken from the infirm kitchen and eaten there–as meat or chicken broth would contaminate the monastic kitchen or unduly tempt the other monks in the refectory.
You can read in the history of Holy Cross Abbey about the other additions to the monastic buildings from the late 1970’s through the 1990’s. Cool Spring House, under the influence of monastic life, has generated a complex of buildings, rambling out from it like a series of pavilions. In fact it is not unlike its function as the plantation it had been built to be, supporting a self-enclosed way of life.
Shenandoah University River Campus, Further reading
Shenandoah University has undertaken the preservation of most the riverfront across the river from our monastery. It is open to the public as a recreational area–from dusk to dawn–but will primarily function as an educational, historical and environmental site.
They have a website dedicated to the River Campus of Shenandoah University, which includes the following page on the battle, with helpful maps:
Battle of Evesham Battlefield
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Site of the 1265 Battle of Evesham
On 4 August 1265 an alliance of rebellious nobles led by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, met a royal army led by Prince Edward, later to become Edward I. De Montfort camped at Evesham Abbey on 3 August.
His scouts saw Edward's army approaching from the north, and though he was outnumbered De Montfort decided to attack, believing that his only hope lay in an unexpected charge. Montfort's Welsh allies deserted him before the fighting commenced, leaving the rebel army outnumbered by four to one.
Montfort's men charged up the slope of Greenhill, on the edge of Evesham, but they were trapped in a pincer movement by Edward's men, and the rebels were utterly crushed. De Montfort's men were massacred, killed on the hillside or drowned while trying to cross the River Avon.
De Montfort's body was cut to pieces, and the pieces sent to various parts of the kingdom as a warning to others. His torso was carried down the hill and buried at Evesham Abbey. A memorial to the Earl stands amid the ruins of the once-powerful abbey.
Such was De Montfort's popularity that the battlefield became a place of pilgrimage, and healing miracles were reported at Battle Well, near the site where the unfortunate rebel leader is believed to have met his end. A furious Edward forcibly suppressed the stories. Sometime later a chapel was built near Battle Well, and this too became a destination for pilgrims.
There are no facilities for visitors, and just one interpretive sign, at the top of the site, off Greenhill. The sign shows how the armies were arrayed on the site below, and tells a bit about the history of the battle and its background.
From the interpretive sign a clear footpath heads down the hillside in a westerly direction, before turning south along a field boundary, looping back east briefly before following the edge of a field to Abbey Manor Farm.
It does take some imagination to visualize the course of the battle, since there are no obvious remains of signs to tell what happened where. On the other hand, the battlefield is a beautiful area, an oasis of relative peace and rural beauty on the edge of Evesham town.
If you'd like to turn the battlefield visit into a longer circular walk you can easily do so by following signs from the town centre. I stopped off at the tourist information centre at the Almonry Heritage Centre, and they gave me a free town map which showed where the battlefield was and how to access it. It couldn't be simpler!
From the Almonry just follow High Street north until it turns into Greenhill. As you ascend the hill you are following in the footsteps of Simon de Montfort's rebel soldiers. Opposite Croft Road is Battle wel House. In the mid-19th century a large number of burials were found near the house, thought to have been rebel soldiers pursued down the hill towards the town.
Opposite Abbotswood road a signed footpath leads off Greenhill to a gate giving access to the battlefield. Almost immediately inside the field is Battle Well, where you will find the information panel. From there follow the trail through the battlefield as described above, until you emerge on Worcester Road. Follow Worcester Road to its junction with High Street and return to the beginning. It took me about 45 minutes to complete the circuit.
Even with the town map I would suggest an Ordnance Survey map, but even without one you should have no trouble following the signposts through the battlefield.
As of this writing plans are underway to expand the visitor facilities and improve the experience of visiting the battlefield. I do hope these plans work out, for it is a very enjoyable site to visit and really just needs more in the way of signs and helpful information to make the battle and its story come alive.
As it is now the best place to get a better idea of the battle is in the Almonry itself, where a special Battle of Evesham exhibit reconstructs the battlefield. One of the exhibits is an iron axe head discovered in the River Avon. It is the same design as weapons carried by Simon de Montfort's Welsh soldiers.
The Battlefields Trust offer regular battlefield walks, and The Simon de Montfort Society holds an annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Abbey on the anniversary of the battle. The Evesham official website also has an extremely useful sketch of the battlefield trail.
See our history section for more on the Battle of Evesham, its causes, the course of the battle, and its consequences.
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Battle of Evesham Battlefield
Address: Greenhill, Evesham, Worcestershire, England
Attraction Type: Countryside - Battlefield
Location: Off Greenhill (A4184). Open site, accessible at any time.
Website: Battle of Evesham Battlefield
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Battle Abbey foundation document confirms battlefield at Crowhurst
English Heritage are promoting the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings this year. New analysis of the Chronicle of Battle Abbey proves beyond doubt that the abbey was not the original battlefield. Those who wish to examine this proof can find the evidence here at this link and I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has any reason to doubt either my view or the expert opinions upon whom I rely.
The evidence of the Chronicle, together with the geophysics in Crowhurst is also supported by the Domesday data analysis which shows conclusively that Crowhurst was the most wasted manor in 1066 where the battle took place. This is followed by the second most wasted manor Wilting where the Normans camped at Wilting Manor. The new evidence in the Chronicle of Battle Abbey now explains in a logical manner why these two manors stand out in the Domesday analysis as the two most wasted manors recorded in the Domesday Book. This conclusive analysis together with the fact no archaeological has ever been found at the Battle abbey site means the site of the battlefield in Crowhurst must now be investigated. Despite five years of information coming out and being sent to media and English Heritage nothing has been done to investigate. English Heritage promised to provide a proper archaeological investigation of the Abbey site when Time Team failed to find evidence of the battle. That was scheduled as a public dig in April but canceled without explanation and since then English Heritage has continued to market its battlefield operation to the public, stepping up the spin as the 950th anniversary of the Battle approaches this October 14th.
The question that must be asked is should a national heritage organisation be spending tens of thousands of pounds on radio and press advertising on a site with no provable provenance because they earn money from the gate. Can it be claimed they can spend this money on advertising but cant afford to do the archaeology that is needed. Any impartial organisation interested in national heritage would investigate the claims made for Crowhurst because they were documented at the time of the invasion. Even now faced with evidence they have known about for some time nothing has been done. The justification to continue marketing operations is made because they seek to rely upon ‘tradition’ as their right to continue to earn gate money from the public. Quite a lot of gate money – its not peanuts. That claim of ‘tradition’ can now be shown not to have any validity and is not even supported by the abbey’s own foundation document.