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    Battle
(William the Conqueror prevails)
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Name Derivation

General Details

Battle East Sussex - View West up the High Street
The Romans were based around Battle at Beauport from 43AD until 400AD. Here they built a bathhouse to provide the troops guarding the Iron Workings ( Bloomeries ) in the area with recreational facilities.

Battle was founded on the site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 , whose name comes from the Rape of Haestingas (one of the six major divisions of the land of the South Saxons) in which the Battle was fought. Hastings was the nearest small town and a fishing port at this time, though larger than other settlements in the area.

The town was originally known as La Bataillage which was built up around Battle Abbey which was constructed between 1070-1094 by William the Conqueror , as a penance ordered by the pope for the loss of life occurring in the battle, and in earlier raids in the surrounding area designed to draw Harold into conflict. (See Whatlington , Salehurst and Mountfield )

King William II stayed at Hastings Castle in 1095 while he waited for favourable seas to take him to France, during this time he visited the newly formed Abbey at Battle .

As the town grew, the Abbot in 1115 built the church, for the people of "Battel" a village which had grown up around the Abbey.

1264 saw Henry III and his army stop at Battle on their way to their defeat by Simon de Montfort at Lewes.

The abbey gatehouse was built in 1338 as a protection from a possible French Invasion. To the side of these gates stands the Pilgrims Rest, now a tea room/restaurant, the current building was erected in 1420, on the site of a 12th century building.

The Benedictine Abbey became famous, and until the dissolution by Henry VIII in 1538, the hub of a wide sphere of influence.

The Abbey was given to Sir Anthony Browne who was Henry's Master of the Horses, and was lived in and used as a private estate until 1976 when it was purchased for the nation by the government. It is now in the care of English Heritage, and is a major tourist attraction, as the battlefield and abbey can be visited. The main building is a private school, but can be visited during school holidays.

The area in front of the Abbey gates, is known as the Abbey green, which was used for bull-baiting, a once popular pastime, it is now a gravelled amenities area.

In the 17th century, Battle was the centre for the gunpowder industry, located in the surrounding villages. The famous Battel Bonfire Boyes celebrate the gunpowder plot in November, it is possible that the gunpowder used by Guy Fawkes came from this area.

This small town is the heart of the Sussex Bonfire Societies , who provide noisy processions, unbelievable outfits and fantastic firework displays throughout the month of November - a spectacle not to be missed.


Services

Battle Sussex - The Abbey Gates
Battle has many shops, and is a centre for the local villages.

The main London to Hastings railway stops in the town with half hourly services taking about 1 hour and 20 minutes to London.

It is a major stopping route for buses that service the local area.

The nearest large town is Hastings about 3 miles South which provides a major shopping centre, and many Supermarkets.

Car parking is either behind the high street or just off the main Battle roundabout, Battle Abbey has its own car park.


Views

Battle East Sussex - Battle windmill
There are a number of picturesque views in Battle. Walk down the High Street from the north end of town near the roundabout and in front of you is the old green, now a car park, and behind that the Abbey Gates.

From the gates of Battle Abbey walk south past the Pilgrims Rest, until you reach the gate to the field, turn right, and a small footpath takes you back to the north of the town.

Along this path, facing south you can see the rolling East Sussex landscape. The 1066 Country Walk runs through the town.

 
       
 
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