Saturday 18 July 2020


The historic town of Battle in East Sussex is situated inland not far from the coastal towns of Hastings and Bexhill-on-Sea. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is a major stop for hikers using the 1066 county walk. Battle is famously associated with the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Battle Abbey is built on the site of the historic battle.

The Battle of Hastings took place on "Senlac Hill" where Battle Abbey was built and both the battlefield and remains of the abbey are popular tourist attractions. The town grew up around the abbey and had a reputation for the quality of gunpowder produced. This attractive, bustling market town is popular tourist destination and a fascinating place to visit.

Although the town's history has evolved from the building of the abbey in 1070 after the Battle of Hastings it is known that there was Roman occupation if the area. Between AD 100 - 200 there was a major ironworks at Beauport Park, about two miles east of the town. The large scale Ironmaking produced half of the Roman Empire's requirements. 

The Battle of Hastings took place in 1066 on Senlac Hill. After King Harold II and his troops had been defeated William the Conqueror founded the building of an abbey on the site to commemorate the battle. The abbey was dedicated in 1095 and the town slowly grew up around it. Then first townspeople were craftsmen and labourers. 

The Dissolution of the monasteries led to the abbey's closure in 1538, however  the town continued to thrive and In 1676 the first gunpowder mill in the town was built. By 1722 it was said to be making the finest and perhaps the best gunpowder in Europe. From the 16th to 18th centuries Battle was a centre of the Wealden iron industry producing cannons used to help defeat the Armada and in other wars. By the 18th century the Industrial Revolution in the North led to a gradual decline and the the town became a centre for clocks. 

Battle Abbey

St Mary The Virgin Church

Battle Abbey
Battle Abbey was built in 1070 on the spot where the Battle of Hastings took place in1066. The abbey was built by William the Conqueror who dedicated it to St Martin. It was eventually completed by his son, William (Rufus) about 1094. 

Unfortunately all that remains today is the outline of the church on the ground and some of the 13th to 16th century buildings which are part of a present day school. The abbey and battlefield are a popular tourist attraction and a fascinating place to visit. 

Battle Abbey Gatehouse

St Mary the Virgin Church
The beautiful Norman church of St Mary the Virgin was founded about AD 115 by Abbot Ralph. The Benedictine Abbey of St Martin established the church, built on the battlefield  to serve the community that had grown up around the abbey. The church has a magnificent  transitional nave and a rare wall painting of St Margaret of Antioch c.1300. 

St Mary The Virgin Church

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