A group of intrepid re-enactors set off from York on an epic journey on Sunday (September 25), inspired by the one King Harold took exactly 950 years ago, marking the Battle of Hastings anniversary.
Organised by English Heritage, re-enactors on foot and horseback will travel south over three weeks, arriving at the battlefield site on October 14, the date in 1066 when the forces of Harold and Duke William of Normandy met in arguably the most famous and transformative battle in English history.
Taking a route based on the journey made by English forces in 1066, the group departed from Clifford’s Tower in York on September 25, the anniversary of King Harold’s victory over a Viking army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
Journeying through Yorkshire and the East Midlands, the march will visit the historic city of Lincoln, passing through the same Roman arch Harold and his men would have done on their way south.
Travelling through the Fens and on to Essex, the participants will visit Waltham Abbey, the church richly endowed by the English king, and where tradition says he may have been buried.
On the final weekend, the group will march into central London, joining a ‘pop-up’ Saxon encampment within Hyde Park on Saturday October 8.
The final week’s journey will travel from Westminster into Kent, through the Weald to East Sussex, paying tribute to what would be King Harold’s final journey.
Three weeks and three hundred miles after setting off, the re-enactors will arrive at Battle Abbey on the morning of the anniversary itself, in time to take part in the annual re-enactment event that marks the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.
This year’s re-enactment will take place on Saturday October 15 and Sunday October 16.
More than 1,066 Norman and Saxon soldiers will clash in this special anniversary Battle of Hastings.
Visitors can step foot in the encampments, see the displays, meet the falconers, and the cavalry.
There will also be a chance to have a go at archery and have fun in a kids battle, meet the authors and visit the medieval traders.
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