Battling our way through 1066 country


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11 miles

about 6 hours

Battle is a popular tourist destination close to Hastings in East Sussex and of course it is famous as the location of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The walk today explores some of the countryside to the South West of the town as we retrace the steps, according to whoever laid out the 1066 Country Walk, taken by William the Conqueror (before he became the Conqueror, that is) from his landing point at Pevensey to the site of his victory.

We will not actually be entering the English Heritage site of the battleground and the remains of St. Martin's Abbey which stand close to the current Abbey buildings which, with their adjacent stone walls, dominate the town. However the walk (unsurprisingly) passes very close by.

The very undulating, attractive countryside right on the edge of the High Weald in this area passes through the villages of Catsfield and Crowhurst, wherein there stands the oldest tree I have ever seen- a venerable yew which was there when the army passed by nearly 1,000 years ago. Other lovely names crop up on the route: Powdermills, Potmans and Peppering Eye, Skinners and Starcroft. Old country descriptions which confuse us nowadays. The 'eyes' of this area were actually the islands and outcrops sticking out above the sea which covered the area then. Pevensey (Pevenseye?) was the same and its castle was built on a hill above the water- but that is for another walk, another day.

After our walk we will have some time to explore Battle itself and maybe a pot or pint before wending our way home.


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