Part of historic battlefield has been reopened

15/10/11- Battle of Hastings Re-enactment, Battle Abbey.  Photo by Steve Hunnisett
15/10/11- Battle of Hastings Re-enactment, Battle Abbey. Photo by Steve Hunnisett

PART of the historic 1066 battlefield has reopened to the public - eight months after the site was damaged by wet weather.

Visitors to Battle Abbey were restricted to where they could walk on the site and all major events cancelled after the wet weather took its toll on the field.

Last year’s Battle of Hastings re-enactment, coupled with a torrential downpour, left the battlefield resembling a mud bath.

As a result, English Heritage, which owns the site, took the decision to cancel the second day of the re-enactment for safety reasons, citing ‘unacceptably high levels of mud’.

This had a knock-on effect with the town’s bonfire celebrations forced to relocate from the battlefield at short notice because of the poor state of the field.

In February English Heritage confirmed it would not hold any major events on the battlefield in 2013 to allow time for the area to be re-seeded and rested following expert advice.

The restoration work left English Heritage with a £50,000 bill.

A spokesperson for the organisation said that although part of the battlefield has been reopened to visitors, major events on the site remain on hold until further notice.

The spokesperson said: “Some areas of the battlefield are currently being allowed to rest this year following a previous season of exceptionally wet weather.

“Therefore as previously advised, there will be no Battle of Hastings re-enactment this year.

“Prepare for Conquest, an event telling the story of the Norman preparations, will take place on October 12 and 13.

“The Battle bonfire is not taking place on the battlefield this year.

“The majority of the battlefield walk is now reopened, and visitors can still experience the 1066 story vividly retold through our audio tour.

“Those visitors intending to walk the battlefield are however advised to wear stout footwear.”