Several months ago, I visited Battle Museum to enquire why there was not a worthy stature to the man who defended England with such valour in 1066.
So I was delighted to read that a memorial was being considered but then appalled to see the photograph of what was being proposed.
Here we have a man, crowned in Westminster Abbey, who raised four armies in less than one year, spent the spring and summer of 1066 preparing for the expected invasion from across the channel (where have we heard of that before?), marched 250 miles to halt the Vikings advancing south, and did so at the victorious Battle of Stamford Bridge. Then march back down to the south, a further 250 miles, rallying men to his side from all over England.
With only one night to rest and recuperate, he assembled his Saxon warriors into a wall of wooden shields and axes, along the ridge of Senlac Hill. Although up against cavalry and bowmen, he fought the longest recorded battle in early medieval history. Eventually fate decided, and Harold, our last Saxon king, was slain, butchered alongside his own kinsmen. With his death ended the Saxon way of life.
He was an extraordinary man faced with an extraordinary crisis in 1066. There is every indication that he would have been an excellent Saxon king, upholding Saxon law, a valiant warrior, magnanimous in victory, Wworthy to take his place in English history as a defender of England.
Some of us who feel we may have Saxon blood running through our veins would like a stature worthy of such a man. not a metal caricature on a roundabout.
May I respectfully request, that Mr John Stiles Jnr. glances at some of the statures raised in memory of other great defenders of these shores, Boadicca .Alfred the Great ,Nelson, Churchill, to name but a few. This may enable him to have the vision, to design a structure more in keeping with the life of this valiant man.
Why not place such a memorial in front of the Abbey? Historians give us to understand that the Abbey was built by the Conqueror as penance for instigating the death and carnage on the field of battle.
King Harold ll, was written out of history by the invaders. Is it not time we re-instated him to a more honoured place in our history?