Hastings is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the county seat of Barry County as well as the county's only city. Harold Godwinson was crowned king of England in 1066, but his rival, William, the Duke of Normandy, wanted his crown. Three men wanted to be king of England. This is the story told by both the Song of the Battle of Hastings and William of Poitiers, and is arguably more credible. +1 917 495 6005 +1 316 265 0218; Affiliate Marketing Program. The Battle of Hastings was fought for the crown of England between William, Duke of Normandy and the recently enthroned Harold Godwineson.. Hastings / ˈ h eɪ s t ɪ ŋ z / is a seaside town and borough in East Sussex on the south coast of England, 24 mi (39 km) east to the county town of Lewes and 53 mi (85 km) south east of London.The town gives its name to the Battle of Hastings, which took place 8 mi (13 km) to the north-west at Senlac Hill in 1066. This frame of reference is itself a historical "event" (actually, the ethos of a particular time and place). Lower, to have been a long croft at the foot of Netherfield Hill.  Oakwood Gill is close to it, and also to the ‘Birechette’, and Chevalier argues that this gill must be the feature once known as ‘Maufosse’ and, also, that the gill gave its name to an area of land which included Wincestrecroft.  This is pure conjecture.  We are dealing with a very late document here, over 200 years after the battle.  We simply don’t know how or when this Maufosse acquired its name.  As said above, the Battle Abbey Chronicle is very uncertain of the whereabouts of this ravine: ‘Lamentable, just where the fighting was going on, and stretching for a considerable distance, an immense ditch yawned.’Â. Experts have explained the absence of archaeological finds from the official battlefield as the work of acidic soil and the pattern of water through the ground.  Even if that is true, the foundation tradition of Battle Abbey is not enough, in my opinion, to justify its status as the official battlefield.  I have suggested another place to look for evidence.  I believe that it is worthy of a serious investigation and would welcome any advice on taking this forward. Find the perfect Battle Of Hastings stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. Some researchers have previously argued that this would have been a better route than the generally accepted alternative through Rochester and Bodiam.  That way he would have had to contend with Wealden clay valleys that could have slowed down the march and a possible tidal inlet at Bodiam.  The latter may not have been a significant obstacle at that time.  There is, however, no documentary evidence at all indicating Harold’s route into East Sussex.  If he came through Bodiam, he could still have easily reached Netherfield by the ancient ridgeway running from Crips Corner and Mountfield. 1066 is the most famous date in history, and with good reason, since no battle in medieval history had such a devastating effect on its losers as the Battle of Hastings, which altered the entire course of English history. I am aware that the ‘E’ version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that the Abbey was built ‘on the very spot’ where William won the battle.  But the author of the Chronicle may simply have reported the official version that he had heard.  Yes, the tradition does go back to within living memory of the battle, but the foundation story of the Abbey would have been in general circulation by that time and promoted by the new institution.  The Battle Abbey case rests on tradition only, and the idea that such traditions almost always turn out to be true is naive, to say the least.  Tradition lay behind accepted facts in medieval times, not historical investigations.  Once the site was established by tradition, nobody would have questioned it.  Please see my accompanying Document 2 which analyses Battle Abbey’s claim. Also available in the iTunes Store And William came upon him by surprise before his people were marshalled.’. @RedSonja: William of Orange died without issue, and his influence on England was not as lasting as that of William the Conqueror. RELEASED SEPTEMBER 28, 1995 ℗ 1995 SANCTUARY RECORDS GROUP LTD., A BMG COMPANY. Nevertheless the king fought very hard against him with those men who wanted to support him, and there was a great slaughter on either side.’. Hewitt: ‘The Battle of Hastings: A Geographic Perspective’, University of Western Ontario, 2016) has been recently published.  It looks at the probable topography of the area around Battle in 1066 and its likely effect on the battle itself.  It broadly assumes that the battle took place on the traditional site but also looks at Caldbec Hill and other suggested sites.  It omits any analysis of my proposed battlefield, but Hewitt only looks at sites which had been suggested up to that point in time.  Hewitt does think Caldbec is a possibility because of its proximity to the forest and its steep slope.  Both these elements apply to the hill at Beech Farm which the study did not examine. A change of tenant-farmer has halted further investigation of the site for the time being.  The western part of my proposed battlefield (west of the higher section of Wadhurst Lane), extending into Ashes Wood which I think could also be significant) lies on Forestry Commission land.  I recently met the County Archaeologist to see if there was any way of obtaining permission from the Commission for metal-detecting (officially forbidden on their land). The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England. I have made very few references to secondary sources on the Battle of Hastings and the Conquest, as I am attempting a fresh approach.  There are a great many books on the subject; nearly all of them accept the traditional story and the traditional location.  There are two which I have found useful: ‘The Battle of Hastings’, by Jim Bradbury (1998); ‘The Battle of Hastings: Sources and Interpretations’, by Stephen Morillo (1999). The Battle of Hastings is one of the most famous and significant in British history, despite taking place nearly 1,000 years ago. to the Battle of Hastings). Chess pieces that represent the two opposing armies in the most famous battle fought on English soil. You can view the original OS map online here: http://www.walkingclub.org.uk/book_1/walk_35/map.shtml. The Battle of Hastings was fought on October 14, 1066 between the Norman-French army, and the English army. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Look up Hastings or hastings in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. We need to look closely at the documentary sources for the battle.  A few of these were near-contemporary, written in the few years after 1066; the others are 12th century, quite some time after the event.  I shall look at the topography of the area to the north-west of Battle, as this is where I believe Harold emerged from the Weald forest.  I shall do my best to present the options open to the two commanders in the hours leading up to the battle.  Admittedly, we cannot know with any certainty the sequence of movements that brought the armies into contact but, in my view, we have to make some attempt to guess what might have been in the minds of Harold and William.  Many historians have simply followed the traditional narrative without adequately explaining how the armies came to engage each other at Battle Abbey ridge.  What was Harold trying to accomplish?  Was the abbey ridge his best option?  As I present the case for my site at Beech Farm, about 1.5 miles north-west of Battle Abbey, I’ll be examining these questions and many others. We spent the weekend on the South Coast, near Hastings. @Pieter Geerkens that's me channelling my Scottish grandfather ;-/, https://history.stackexchange.com/questions/27450/why-was-there-a-reference-to-the-battle-of-hastings-in-harper-lees-novel/27468#27468, You know, not everyone considers 950 years ago to be 'modern' :-). Recently it has been suggested, however, that the battle was not fought here. ‎Michael Flynn couldn't be prouder of his alma mater. The English line broke as dusk was approaching, King Harold having been killed quite late in the battle, according to most of the sources and the Bayeux Tapestry.  The possible location of the ‘Malfosse’, the ‘bad ditch’ into which a number of Norman knights fell during the pursuit of the English, has been much debated.  I make a case for two possible sites here and also look at the ‘Malfosse’ that is now generally accepted by historians.  However, in addition to the disputes over the site of the incident, there is also no certainty about its precise nature, due to ambiguity in the sources.  William of Poitiers describes a last stand by a group of English at ‘a steep valley intersected with ditches’.  He does not, however, indicate that a major disaster took place there; only that some English rallied.  Orderic Vitalis, writing a few decades later (‘Ecclesiastical History’, Book 3, c.1123), seems to have dramatized Poitiers’ fairly unremarkable description of a rearguard action.  Orderic has Norman cavalry crashing into the deadly ravine and this is the version of the incident that has become a familiar part of the story of the battle. He had no children. A news report on The Battle of Hastings to show the features of a news report and the use of appropriate vocabulary, style and tone. The Yeakell / Gardner map of the area (c . Here is a quotation from a charter dated 1280 (from Battle Abbey charters in the Huntingdon Library, USA): Document: Deed of exchange, 28 Sep 1280.  Text as follows: “Adam, son of Adam Picot, to his lords Reynold, abbot of Battle, and the convent, His right in 9a land and wood in Maufosse in Battle, which his parents Adam and Margery granted to abbot Ralph [de Coventry, 1235‑1261] and the convent in exchange for: 12a land and wood at The Birechette, on the west side of the windmill, which abbot Ralph and the convent granted to his parents paying an annual rent of 8½d at the court of Battle for that land, and for a piece of land which remains from his marriage, east of the 9a in Maufosse, in the long croft called Wincestrecroft, for all services except suit of court”. Overview of Tasks Week 1 – Label Saxon and Norman soldiers (Extension: extra research on the soldiers) Week 2 – Design your shield (Extension: make your shield!) They work on the assumption that it was on the English line of retreat from Battle Abbey ridge. These soldier scouts were, presumably, well-trained and were probably deployed on a number of vantage points from where they could watch the boundary of the Andredsweald forest.  It is unclear from Poitiers’ narrative whether the sighting of the English was on the evening of the 13th or the morning of the 14th October.  He has Harold preparing to surprise William, perhaps by launching a night attack – this would suggest the 13th.  However, he then has William calling his men to arms immediately after hearing the news from the scouts and ordering an immediate advance towards the English position.  Other sources indicate that the scouts’ sighting of the English was sometime on the day before the battle and it may well be that Poitiers was so anxious to get to William’s preparations for battle that he didn’t make the chronology clear.   William of Jumieges’ account (c. 1070) is clear that the Norman scouts made their crucial sighting on the day before the battle and the army stood to arms in expectation of a night attack.  Interestingly, the earliest source for the battle, the ‘Carmen de Hastings Proelio’, has William learning of Harold’s approach only on the morning of the battle.  However, with the battle starting at about 9am on the 14th, it would appear more likely that the sighting of the English was the previous evening. It was fought near Hastings on the south coast of England. Week 3 … My basic premise is that Harold did not want to be detected by Norman scouts as soon as he emerged from the southern edge of the Weald forest, somewhere to the north of Battle town.  To start with, why would he want the Normans to know that he was in the area when there were obvious advantages in not being spotted?  The following are key points: 1) From the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and other English sources, we hear that Harold may not have all the forces he was expecting when the battle began.  So, he may well have been awaiting reinforcements when he reached the place where he halted and, presumably, camped for the night of 13th October.  As he had marched quickly down from London, it would seem probable that some forces hadn’t yet joined up with him. William showed no intention of taking that road at any time before he fought Harold. The Normans would have advanced a little way along what is now the A271 road to Battle (see previous section) and then moved northwards to face the English directly across a narrow intervening valley.  The English were drawn up on the slope immediately opposite, above modern Beech Farm, and this was higher ground than that occupied by the Normans.  To return to the important quotation from William of Poitiers: ‘They [the English] stationed themselves in a position overlooking him [William]…’. An objection that might be raised to the Netherfield theory could be as follows.  If the whole point of Harold’s arrival in Netherfield was to avoid detection, and I’m now saying that his army was, after all, detected, doesn’t that undermine the whole theory?  In response, I would say that Harold, being an experienced commander of troops, did his best in the situation that confronted him.  He tried to keep his approach hidden from the enemy, as this would have given him more options – and he was expecting more troops to arrive.  We cannot assume that he had no plans to launch an attack against the Normans and that his only plan was to fight a defensive battle.  Some kind of offensive or possible ambush was an option he would have wanted to keep open.  He perhaps didn’t think that the Norman scouts would have been watching such a long stretch of the forest boundary.  The name ‘Netherfield’ is Anglo-Saxon and ‘field’ denotes a cleared area, so this land was not all wooded; much of it probably would have been.  Perhaps it was just too difficult to conceal an army when the enemy was continually watching, using very good scouts who knew what to look for.  Perhaps they saw armour glinting among the trees.  However, even if Harold was spotted that evening, he was still at least two miles from the most likely forward Norman position on Telham Hill.  Netherfield was not easily approached from the south and was probably largely protected by forest to the east.  Harold might well have felt himself safe from attack at least for the next day (the 14th). Map 2 is the same Ordnance Survey map on which I have drawn arrows to indicate my suggested line of the Norman advance to the battlefield.  I have also put in a ‘convex rectangle’ next to an ‘E’ to show the suggested English position. The Battle of Hastings occurred in 1066, a battle between two countries— England and France. The Battle of Hastings. BATTLE OF HASTINGS IS CANCELLED Read more.  Henry of Huntingdon actually has one during the main action and another at the end of the battle.  I prefer not to analyse these accounts here, as I find that they merely muddy the waters further.  It seems likely that these chroniclers, including William of Malmesbury, were attempting to interpret the Tapestry’s hillock scene.  We simply can’t be sure whether it is representing Malfosse, and I’ll now get on to my possible identification of the ravine – the one relevant to the pursuit. By the old ridgeway road from Hastings old town, Battle Abbey is about 7 miles away.  My site is just about 8.5 miles from Hastings old town. However, we did make one relevant find: a coin of Edward the Confessor.  This is exactly the right period and the location was a few dozen yards to the west of Beech Farm.  The find was verified and the data added to the PAS database. The present day location of this site is near Battle, East Sussex. The battle of Hastings in 1066 saw the defeat of Harold and his Saxons by William, Duke of Normandy. Lower was, however, certain of the location of Wincestrecroft, later Winchester Croft – at the foot of Netherfield Hill.  Oddly enough, that places it close to the lower end of the ravine running east-south-east from Horseye Shaw which I have suggested as a possible Malfosse.  I think, for now, that is all that can usefully be said concerning Malfosse, about which numerous other theories still exist.   If it’s clear that William was staying put in the territory he had overrun until Harold appeared, the location where Harold decided to assemble his army now becomes the critical factor in searching for the battlefield. Two published books have appeared which have made cases for two completely different sites: Caldbec Hill (a mile north of Battle Abbey) and Crowhurst (two miles south of the abbey).  The resulting debates led to an investigation of the new theories and of the traditional battlefield by Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’ programme in 2013.  The outcome of the programme was completely inconclusive, although Time Team themselves advocated a new location for the battlefield by a roundabout at the eastern edge of the traditional site.  The name ‘Malfosse’ only appears in the still later Chronicle of Battle Abbey (late 12th century).  The Chronicle’s author states that the place where this action occurred was known in his day as ‘Malfosse’ and it is likely that his version of the incident derives from Orderic Vitalis.  He does not, however, say where the ravine was and his account of the incident, and the whole battle itself, is so confused that we have to wonder whether he actually knew the place he was describing. The sources are more or less in agreement that Harold’s army occupied a hill which was fairly steep and a good defensive position.  There are clear indications, especially from William of Poitiers, that Harold’s position was quite a narrow one.  It is also stated by Poitiers and the ‘Carmen de Hastings Proelio’ that woodland was in close proximity to Harold’s army. We must give it a chance. Tom, see my comment to Pieter. Oakwood Gill, just north of Caldbec Hill, now seems to be the historians’ preferred site for Malfosse, following the theory put forward by C.T.  Looking at all the accounts, including another incoherent one by William of Malmesbury (‘Gesta Regum’, c.1125), it seems very probable that there was a significant action, late in the day, at some deep, precipitous ravine feature where the Normans sustained casualties. The area of land controlled by the Normans must have extended north of Hastings because, due to the nature of the coastline then, Hastings was in a ‘pocket’ of land with only one or two exit routes to the north.  To the west lay the now vanished Bulverhythe Harbour and on the eastern side (actually north-east following the coastline) was the estuary of the Brede.  The ‘gateway’ into this pocket of land was about four miles in length and dominated by Telham Hill, a mile south of Battle Abbey.  If William had kept all his army well within the pocket, or even in Hastings itself, he would have run the risk of being shut in this circumscribed area if Harold’s army appeared suddenly in the Telham Hill area.  With his military options greatly reduced and contained in a small area that he had already laid waste, William would have been in a serious position.  Thus, he had to occupy a position on this gateway to the Hastings ‘pocket’.  The obvious place is Telham Hill itself, and this is the height from which, according to the official account of the battle, William descended to engage Harold on Battle Abbey ridge.  From Telham William would have commanded the approach to the Hastings ‘pocket’ and been able to watch the forest to the north.  By holding Telham he would have prevented a surprise attack and been well-placed to move rapidly against Harold when he finally emerged from the forest.  William would surely have had watchers on the key hills in order to spot any troop movements to the north. William wanted to fight as soon as possible.  He wouldn’t have wanted the autumn to drag on towards winter without engaging his rival.  Food supply for the army would have become an issue.  Thus, the clear impression given by the sources that he marched against Harold at the very earliest opportunity, is entirely credible. We can begin to take precedence.  On the lower slopes of the hill is Beech Farm. Map 3  Another early map – a draft first Ordnance Survey, dated 1806.  The sandy coloured areas are higher, flatter pieces of land – i.e. The cause of the battle was the death of the king of England , Edward. Its fairly recent history (I wasn't alive yet, but some of our readers were I'm sure), but I'd argue it IS still history. Battle of Hastings. Now, let’s return to the quotation from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (‘D’ version) above. The battle occurred around 11 km or 7 miles northwest of Hastings. The Battle of Hastings is one of the most famous and important battles in English history. (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The Battle of Hastings is the 1995 album released by the British Canterbury scene progressive rock band Caravan. 1 The Battle of Hastings didn’t take place in Hastings. And William came upon him by surprise before his people were marshalled. The Bayeux Tapestry is the primary record we have of the Battle of Hastings. The Battle of Hastings didn’t take place in Hastings – it took place about 7 miles northwest of Hastings in a town now named “Battle.” Over 100,000 French translations of English words and phrases. The Battle of Hastings was arguably the most important event in (modern) English history. Which battle took place first in 1066 -- the Battle of Hastings or the Battle of Stamford Bridge?  A key finding of the study is that the southern boundary of the Weald north of Battle was about a mile from the Abbey.  This does not tally well with the statements of William of Poitiers and the ‘Carmen’ which place the English position very close to the forest.  It is thought that there were some woods around Battle in 1066, but the sources specifically refer to ‘the forest’.  They are surely talking about the Weald, rather than scattered woodland which the Normans would have found in many places in the landscape they had raided. It also gave its name to the State of New Hastings. These pieces of information are, I feel, highly significant.  The Carmen’s detail is particularly interesting.  It may be dramatizing the scene to some extent, having the English dash out of the forest but, nevertheless, the two sources are clear about the closeness of the forest (the Weald) to the hill occupied by the English.  There are also trees depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry right at the point where Harold is told of the Norman approach.  They also appear at the end of the tapestry when the English survivors are escaping into woods.