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Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:16 am
by Cynric the cynical
seahermit wrote :- "- there are several contending sites put forward by different researchers but the one near Crowhurst seems to be a favourite."

This is what got me interested in the whole shebang! But Nick's theory has a few problems.
1. Bulverhythe creek would be difficult to get 700 ships in in one go - so it looks like the Normans could have landed at Pevensey Castle. William offloaded his knights at Little Standard Hill according to local legend.
2. The Normans built a hilltop temporary fort ( now alongside the A2100). Why if you have the height would go all the way down to Crowhurst Church ( practically sea level in those days) in order to fight the English uphill?
3. His identification of "Herst" in the Chronicle as being the spot where the church now stands but Pevensey could be anywhere within 5 miles of the actual fort. What's sauce for the gander is ....

Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:19 am
by seahermit
It's a fascinating subject. Some time I think I will read some of the books, maybe even tramp over the landscape a bit and research it properly. I know there have been some trial excavations and a few artifacts were found, but I think so far nobody has been willing to invest big money into an investigation - probably wary of upsetting the official version that the battle took place near the Abbey!

Wonder if there are any groups currently looking at all this?

Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:04 pm
by ColinL
I visited south a month ago and went to Pevensey castle. In the exhibition they have created a model of what the various inlets would have been like in the 11th C and it shows that the lay of the land with multiple inlets off of the bay would have provided a lot of space for many ships. It is said that some of the ships were dismantled to provide for resources for stockades and similar defences.

The contemporary Chroniclers record laying waste to the villages and hamlets of Sussex as a warning to the Saxons. Then there was, what became known as the Harrying of the North which again meant that farm land was destroyed and thus the means to keep the local population alive. In the 1980s there was a renewed Harrying of the North when the then rulers laid waste to the means of production and income............

Here's hoping that the remembrance of the battle (wherever it was) next weekend goes well and visitors and inhabitants enjoy themselves.

From a former Hastinger of Norman French (Scandinavian) origin according to my DNA test!

Enjoy yourselves

Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:28 pm
by seahermit
The Sussex landscape along the coast was very different at that time and there were few reliable routes for the Normans and their baggage trains to take, in order to skirt around the extensive marshes (rather than through them) which lay along that part of the coast. The Saxons of course knew the lay of the land and were thus able to choose a location for defence on dry, higher ground. Some think that, because of the deceptive nature of the landscape, the Normans were actually led into something of a trap and found themselves having to attack from a soft marshy area where their knights could not operate effectively.

Some months ago I happened to meet the lady chairman and some others from the Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group (they meet in the Old Town). I found them charming and very interesting - I'm sure that they would be co-operative if anyone was seriously wanting to know more about the whole battle-location issue. Meanwhile, I am indebted to these last few fascinating posts - they have re-sparked my interest in the history, I was actually quite a keen amateur archaeologist many years ago!

Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:27 pm
by Cynric the cynical
Nick Austin's idea that William landed in the Hastings area to upset Harold is a good one considering the manors were mostly "owned" by said Saxon.

Pevensey seems to have been "invasion route one" in ancient times The Saxons invaded in this area circa AD481 (written reports), the Normans in 1066 and, in my opinion, the Romans in AD43.

My evidence for this is the report written by a chap called Dio, who said that the Roman Army came over in three waves after sailing due west from their port of departure. Now there is some debate as to which was the port of departure but Pevensey is literally due west from Boulogne - one of the many possible ports.

After the 1066 battle location has been found, it's my next research project along with the site of the first major encounter with the native Brits.

I don't think much of HAARG - when I floated my idea at them, they politely told me to disappear.

Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:15 am
by seahermit
That is interesting. If the Hastings Archaeology group did indeed dismiss any discussion of alternative theories about the battle site, that suggests that they are not very serious or professional archaeologists, just some amateurs interested in the history!

New generations have brought new ways of studying and interpreting ancient documents, apart from modern scientific techniques which are capable of revealing disturbances to the landscape and structures underneath the surface. A modern archaeologist with a truly "scientific" way of thinking should be open to revised theories about the past and ideas which go against conventional history.

I am rusty about the Romans but pretty sure that Claudius's army did land on the Pevensey coast, wide sloping beaches ideal for a large body of troops, horses etc. Caesar I believe is reckoned to have landed near Deal/Walmer. About 54BC?

Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:43 pm
by Cynric the cynical
" That is interesting. If the Hastings Archaeology group did indeed dismiss any discussion of alternative theories about the battle site, that suggests that they are not very serious or professional archaeologists, just some amateurs interested in the history!"

I think it's because I don't come from a Historical or Archaeological background ( I'm a former Technical Civil Servant) that they weren't interested. They do do some legwork for the County Archaeologist to a good standard but could be said to be "elitist" when dealing with the "differently educated".

Anyway I hope you had a good "Battle of Hastings" Weekend

Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:22 am
by seahermit
Anyone has the right to voice an opinion or put forward a theory they have heard/read about - and to be listened to. One's background should not make any difference - I dislike snobbery or cliqeyness just because some people were lucky enough to get a better formal education than others.

I am afraid the Battle of Hastings weekend has passed me by! I don't have a lot of patience with all the fuss and anyway my celosias were droopy, needed a drink ..

Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:17 pm
by Richard
English Heritage quote historical sources to say the following:

"The Benedictine abbey of Battle was founded and largely endowed by King William in about 1071. Dedicated to the Trinity, the Virgin and St Martin of Tours, it was established as a memorial to the dead of the battle and as atonement for the bloodshed of the Conquest. It was also a highly visible symbol of the piety, power and authority of the Norman rulers.
Despite the unsuitable location on top of a narrow, waterless ridge and objections from the first monks, William insisted that the high altar of the abbey church be placed to mark where Harold had been killed."

Re: Bayeux Tapestry

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:45 pm
by seahermit
Not surprising that English Heritage maintain the official line that the battle took place near Battle Abbey. To entertain any alternative theories would undermine a tourist industry which has been going for a thousand years!

That's not saying that any of the other theories are correct - but there should long ago have been a proper debate and investigation. There seems to have been great resistance to that happening.

I think "piety" is the wrong word to use about the Norman rulers. Rather brutality, violent power-grabbing and mercilessness towards their defeated enemies. As in the 20th/21st centuries at times of course .. "Plus ca change ..."