Battle of Hastings, AD 1066
15-16.10.2016 (950th anniversary!)
Battle, Rother (East Sussex county)
The towns of Hastings and Battle, in East Sussex county, will be celebrating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in Autumn 2016 with an amazing programme of cultural events, including themed exhibitions and a spectacular edition of the famous annual battle reenactment, which takes place every October on the battlefield lying behind Battle Abbey.
Battle, a small town located about 89 km from London and 51 km from Brighton, arose around the abbey built by William on the scene of the Battle of Hastings and dedicated to St. Martin. Today the site is operated by the English Heritage as “1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield”, which includes the abbey buildings and ruins, a visitor centre with films and exhibitions related to the battle, audio tours on the site, and the monks' gatehouse. Battle was once renown for the quality of the gunpowder produced in the area, while today it is known as a charming tourist destination.
The nearby town of Hastings, located about 85 km from London, has long been an important fishing port, boasting still now the largest beach-based fishing fleet in Europe. Since the end of the 18th century the town became a popular seaside resort and a spot for therapeutic sea-bathing. Today Hastings is worldwide famous for being the site of the famous Battle of Hastings, where William the Conqueror (c.1028-87), Duke of Normandy, defeated King Harold Godwinson (c.1022-66) in 1066 AD, during the Norman Conquest of England.
The Battle of Hastings was fought on October 14, between the Norman army and the Anglo-Saxon army at Senlac Hill, about 10 km northwest of Hastings, near the present-day town of Battle, and was a decisive Norman victory. William the Duke of Normandy invaded England, claiming his right to the English throne. On September 28 William landed on the English south-eastern coast with 7,000 troops and cavalry. He first seized Pevensey, then marched to Hastings. After crushing the English army there, William marched on London, where he received the city’s submission, and on Christmas Day 1066, in Westminster Abbey, was crowned the first Norman king of England.
Every year on the weekend closest to October 14, the great commemoration of the Battle of Hastings takes place, organized by the English Heritage and involving hundreds of reenactors from all over Europe, Northern America and Oceania, while every five or six years a major reenactment is organized to mark anniversaries with round numbers. The visitors have the breathtaking chance to discover the events leading up to the battle and immerse themselves in the medieval daily life, strolling around the historical craftsmarket featuring plenty of stalls selling Saxon and early medieval themed goods, visiting the living history camps, where they can meet the knights and their horses, experience amazing Norman cavalry displays, join chain-mail and weaponry workshops, as well as other crafts demonstrations, or attend exciting falconry and archery shows, lectures, talks, plays, exhibitions, dance and theatre performances, and a wealth of leisure and educational activities for adults and children. The visitors will also have the chance to enjoy music from the bygone days with traditional instruments, taste historical food and drinks, and, last but not least, re-live the thrilling atmosphere and tension of one of the biggest and bloodiest battle ever fought on British soil as horses’ hooves thunder and up to 1000 warriors clash in the great battle reenactment.
On the occasion also the marvellous and famous Bayeux Tapestry is on display. The 70m long tapestry, which is regarded as an absolute marvel of medieval Europe and the most famous piece of embroidery in history, consists of some 50 scenes with Latin captions embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns, and provides an amazing pictorial interpretation of the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. The Bayeux Tapestry is exhibited at Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux, Normandy, France.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Association/organization name: English Heritage, 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield
Address: High Street, town of Battle, county of East Sussex, TN33, England
Tel.: +44 8703331183, +44 8703331181
Image: © Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Text sources: English Heritage, Wikipedia,
Battle and Hastings on Google Maps:
Video reportages and promos of the event: