Wording at heritage site is ‘outrage’

Copy of a letter sent to English Heritage at Battle Abbey

Dear Dawn Champion

Back in August I informed you that Battle Abbey was displaying a terribly ignorant and offensive statement. It has come to my attention that the board displaying the following statement…‘The Norman Conquest Was A Good Thing’ has been defaced with the words ‘Holocaust which still effects the English today’ (I have attached a picture of this to the email). Sadly I must confess to having total sympathy with those who committed this act.

I do hope English Heritage has the sense to recognise the awful outrage that has been caused here by English Heritage.

I would strongly advise that you seek to disperse the anger generated here by replacing the wording to ‘I treated the native inhabitants of the kingdom with unreasonable severity, cruelly oppressed high and low, unjustly disinherited many, and caused the death of thousands by starvation and war, especially in Yorkshire....In mad fury I descended on the English of the north like a raging lion, and ordered that their homes and crops with all their equipment and furnishings should be burnt at once and their great flocks and herds of sheep and cattle slaughtered everywhere. So I chastised a great multitude of men and women with the lash of starvation and, alas! was the cruel murderer of many thousands, both young and old, of this fair people.’ William the Conqueror

In addition the removal from the grounds of the Abbey of the stone plaque that has been inserted into a wall stating…‘This stone has been set in place to commemorate the fusion of the English and Norman peoples which resulted from the great battle fought here in 1066’ would be wise.

Unless you take steps to correct your errors I do know that the kind of behaviour that took place on Monday October 14 will continue and sadly escalate to alarming levels. You have a large number of venerable structures throughout the nation which logically could be vandalised in protest of your actions at Battle. Windmills such as Saxtead Green Post Mill or Berney Arms Windmill could be totally destroyed through simple acts of arson and imagine the harm this would cause to our organisation were it made known that this stemmed from an Anglophobic act at Battle Abbey by English Heritage.

You are the custodians of the English peoples heritage and by deliberately insulting our proud/tragic past with your childish controversy you risk so much, particularly when the many aggrieved can strike at any time at any place.

I do hope you have the intellect to take my advice seriously, if not then it will be clear that you hold nothing but contempt for the English and there will be those who understand that further corruption of our historic sites by English Heritage may only be stopped through aggressive displays. This would sadden me greatly.

Tim Hawke

by email