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.
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.
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.
Fields Surrounding Battle Abbey © Travel About Britain
Opening times: March
to Sept, daily from 10am - Admission
Location: High Street, Butter Cross, Battle TN33 0AD
Tel: 0370 333 1181 - Run by English Heritage
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