What’s new in Battle local history?

The Rotary Club of Battle took on the job of funding the educational part of the exhibition SUS-160504-084554001
The Rotary Club of Battle took on the job of funding the educational part of the exhibition SUS-160504-084554001
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The next History Society talk is on the ‘Wealden Iron Industry in the Middle Ages’ by Jeremy Hodgkinson at 7.30 pm on Thursday 21 April in the Wynne Room, Battle Memorial Hall. All welcome; non-members £4 on the door.

Battle Museum of Local History launched the new season on Wednesday 23 March with a reception for major donors who have made the 1066@battlemuseum possible and above all have saved the ‘Battle of Hastings Axe’ for future generations. The Rotary Club of Battle took on the job of funding the educational part of the exhibition. In particular, they funded the replica (made using Saxon methods) which shows what the Museum’s axe would have looked like when wielded in battle. Pictured next to a replica of the axe are, left to right: Denis Spiller, President-Elect of Rotary Great Britain and Ireland; Mike Bett, Treasurer of Rotary Club of Battle; Michael Hodge, Club President; and Ray Dixon District Governor of Rotary East Sussex and Kent.

It is going to be a busy year and the Museum still has a few vacancies for volunteers – could you help? Guides welcome visitors to the Museum and show them round. If you have a few hours to spare why not give Margaret Emeleus a call on 01424 772058? We are a friendly team: no experience is necessary and full training is given.

Why not come and see the new exhibition (open Monday-Saturday 10.00-4.30 pm) and the axe in its new case? And don’t forget to add a stitch to the Battle Community Tapestry in the Almonry on either Thursdays or Saturdays (no experience necessary).

This month in 1066

During April, William continued with preparations for the invasion. By Easter, news of what William was doing must have reached Harold and fears of invasion were increasing. Harold was now returned to the south from his trip to York. His return, however, coincided with a rare phenomenon: every night during the last week of April a star was seen blazing across the sky. It was, in fact, Halley’s Comet but in 1066 such a sight was not understood. Indeed, it was considered a terrible omen, one that signified a great change. In the Bayeux Tapestry, a group of Englishmen are shown pointing to the comet, then Harold is told the worrying news that William is getting ready and in the border beneath his feet a ghostly fleet is depicted already at sea.