Campaigner’s bid to have 1066 battlefield de-listed

A CAMPAIGNER, who believes the 1066 battlefield is in the wrong place, has applied to have the site officially de-listed.

Nick Austin, who claims the Battle of Hastings was fought in Crowhurst, made the application to English Heritage following the recent Time Team special.

28/11/12- Author Nick Austin at the site in Combe Haven where he believes a Norman Longboat may be.

28/11/12- Author Nick Austin at the site in Combe Haven where he believes a Norman Longboat may be.

The documentary, which was shown on Channel 4 on December 1, claimed a new battlefield had been found.

Following an aerial laser (LIDAR) survey, the team of experts suggested that King Harold fell where the roundabout now stands at the junction with Lower and Upper Lake on the A2100 in Battle.

English Heritage disputed the claim, adding the ‘new’ site is in fact just an extension of the existing battlefield - which stands just 200m away.

Mr Austin said: “No archaeological evidence could be found or has ever been found that would prove the designated battlefield was indeed a battlefield.

“New evidence in the form of LIDAR showed the ground was too boggy to ever have been used by William the Conqueror’s cavalry. The designation of the battlefield at Battle is therefore no longer valid.

“All those who appear in the documentary video accompanying this application are experienced experts in their field and their judgment is recorded and stated on air in the programme. English Heritage has direct access to all of these experts.

“English Heritage set out in their document Designation Selection Guide that ‘in order to be registered a battle’s location must be securely identified..the area where the troops drew up, deployed and fought while in battle formation must be capable of definition on the ground.’ No such definition is obtainable from any documents of the time or any archaeology completed on the site over the last 200 years.

“The registered battlefield is devoid of any element that can allow it to remain a designated battlefield under the rules that English Heritage have defined.

“As stated in the programme historians have doubted the authenticity of this site for many years.

“I have been told previously by English Heritage that the historical consensus has been reached by historians the registered site was correct. This is now known to be false and so the site must now be de-registered until the correct new site is identified either by archaeology and or historical documents and preferably both.

“A consensus cannot be obtained overnight since the evidence for any site needs to be assessed by those who have read the documents contemporary with the times, have visited and inspected the new site and have studied the issues in depth. None of that is possible for at least a year and in the meantime the public will be misled if the current status is maintained.”

An English Heritage spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received an application to remove Battle Abbey battlefield from the English Heritage Register of Historic Battlefields.

“We are already considering a review of the battlefield site and all supporting evidence will be taken into account.

“We are expecting to announce our decision on the review in the New Year.”