Time Team’s new theory on 1066 battle site

ARCHEOLOGISTS and historians have put forward a new theory as to where King Harold met his fate in 1066.

1066 The Lost Battlefield - Time Team Special, which aired on Channel 4 last night (Sunday) suggested that the Saxon king fell where a roundabout now stands at the junction with Lower and Upper Lake on the A2100 in Battle.

After carrying out an aerial laser survey, the team concluded that the hill would have been the most likely place for the two mighty armies to have clashed, rather than the ‘boggy’ terrain of the official 1066 battlefield.

Time Team carried out archaeological digs on the battlefield and nearby at Caldbec Hill, an alternative battle site put forward by historian John Greham, back in August this year.

No archeological evidence was found at either site to prove where the battle took place.

English Heritage, which is responsible for Battle Abbey and the 1066 battlefield, pointed out that less than one percent of the battlefield was dug up during the Time Team investigation.

And English Heritage has disputed the claim that a new battlefield has been found, pointing out the ‘new’ site is in fact just an extension of the official battlefield.

During the course of the show, Time Team experts also appeared to pour cold water on claims the clash took place in Crowhurst, as claimed by local historian Nick Austin.

The programme divided viewers, with some historians and some local people criticising the team for its supposition and lack of hard evidence.

Former field and museum archeologist Matt Nicholas, who is currently studying a PhD in early medieval non-ferrous metals, Tweeted: “Well I hated the Battle of Hastings Time Team.

“Over confidence and supposition are not a replacement for evidence and debate.”

One Battle resident said: “I was disappointed by the Time Team 1066 special.

“My home town and UK’s history boiled down to total guesswork, supposition and not an artefact found!”

He added: “It would have been equally scientific to get historians in the Kings Head over a beer and film that.”

For the full story and more reaction, please see this Friday’s Battle Observer.