What’s new in Battle Museum of Local History and the History Society?

A scene from the Bayeux Tapestry SUS-160507-065716001
A scene from the Bayeux Tapestry SUS-160507-065716001

The next History Society talk is on ‘Battle High Street Inside and Out’ by David Martin at 7.30 pm on Thursday 21 July in the Wynne Room, Battle Memorial Hall. All welcome; non-members £4 on the door. There will also be a launch of the new book ‘Building Battle Town: an Architectural History, 1066-1750’ by David & Barbara Martin and Christopher Whittick with Jane Briscoe.

If you have not already seen the 1066@Battle Museum exhibition, why not pop in to the Museum, 10-4.30 pm Mondays-Saturdays inclusive (free admission). You will also be able to see the Museum’s entry to this year’s Scarecrow Competition. Don’t forget that local artist Chris O’Brien has painted a new map of Battle High Street to commemorate the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. Signed prints are available at the Museum for £3.95.

Dates for the diary: on Tuesdays in August, there will be art activities for young people at the Museum and then the Alderney Tapestry will be arriving at the Museum on Friday 2 September – it shows the Alderney Islanders’ interpretation of the supposed missing panel from the end of the Bayeux Tapestry. On Tuesday 6 September, at 7.30 pm in the Main Hall, Battle Memorial Hall, there will be a talk on ‘Beyond the Bayeux Tapestry’ by Kate Russell and Tina Greene. Kate Russell, who organised the creation of the Alderney Tapestry, will discuss the background and techniques used to create this unique embroidery and Battle’s own Tina Greene will do the same for the Battle Community Tapestry. Tickets £5 on the door or from High Street outlets to be announced shortly. There will also be a chance to check on the progress of the Battle Community Tapestry – if you have not already done so, do go and contribute a stitch or two at the regular sessions on Thursdays and alternate Saturdays in the Almonry (no experience necessary – but experienced embroiderers welcome of course!).

This month in 1066

July could be said to be the lull before the storm, although no doubt anticipation would be mounting. For William, the month was spent in last minute preparations, assembling his 700 ships, supplies and 7000 men: an amazing feat of organisation.

Harold was still watching and waiting. As for his rebellious brother Tostig, according to the Norse Saga by Snorri, he first tried to persuade the Danish King, Swein, to invade England but failed. It was then that he visited Harold Hardrada in Norway.

He is recorded as flattering the King as the greatest Scandinavian warrior, suggesting one last adventure to recapture his earlier successes in the Mediterranean; he is also said to have argued that the invasion would be easy with his, Tostig’s, involvement as he had most of England’s magnates on his side.

This must have been tempting to Hardrada and the promise of support from within England would make it seem feasible.

As we will see, Hardrada agreed.