The Battle of Hastings, an important turning point in English history, took place on the hillside above this town. The conqueror, William the Duke of Normandy, founded an abbey on the site of his victory. It is believed that the high altar was positioned over the spot where the defeated Anglo-Saxon King Harold, actually fell. The spot is now marked by a simple memorial stone. Although the site is currently occupied by a senior school, a large part of the grounds and some of the part-ruined monastic buildings are open to the public.

Town of Battle
Battle High Street © Travel About Britain

The busy little town is dominated by the massive abbey gatehouse, which stands at the top of the High Street. The town grew-up around the abbey and has many old and interesting buildings, some dating back to the late middle ages.

Places of Interest to Visit in Battle

Battle Abbey

Battle Abbey
The Ruins of Battle Abbey © Travel About Britain

After the historic events of 1066, William the Conqueror vowed that he would build a church on the site if God gave him victory. Benedictine monks later made a residence here, of which an impressive gateway and the partial ruins of an abbey still survive, but nothing remains of William's original structure. The abbey terrace provides the best vantage point to observe the site of the conflict, where it is easy to visualise the positions of the attacking Normans and defending Saxons. Information boards are placed at strategic places around the battlefield, explaining the proceedings.

Battle Fields
Fields Surrounding Battle Abbey © Travel About Britain

Opening times: March to Sept, daily from 10am - Admission Charge
Location: High Street, Butter Cross, Battle TN33 0AD
Tel: 0370 333 1181 - Run by English Heritage

Battle Museum

On display here are many items connected with the battle of 1066, including a half-scale reproduction of the Bayeux tapestry and a Saxon battle-axe, discovered during an excavation by Time Team. Exhibits also cover the local and social history of the area.

Opening times: Easter to October, daily from 10am (closed Sunday)
Location: 28 High St, Battle TN33 0AE
Tel: 01424 775955

Map of Battle

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Towns and Villages in Sussex

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