Monday 15 October 2012

1066 Battle of Hastings

We had been saying that we would go to the annual Battle of Hastings re-enactment, for years. This time, spurred on by one of the children, we went. It was definitely worth going despite or perhaps, because of the copious mud adding to the atmosphere.

The event takes place on Senlac Hill, in Battle near Hastings, England where the actual battle took place. Surrounding the battlefield were the camps of the Normans and English 

as well as some relatively authentic shops. We managed to avoid most of their blandishments!

There was plenty of opportunity to see the opposing armies. Plenty I hadn't appreciated such as what a new and fearsome weapon, cavalry was to the English. We had an interesting discussion about this, later, at home, in view of the much older stories about Boadicea and the Ancient Britons.

And there was mud-so much mud probably authentic for a battlefield. Some of the foot soldiers fell during their march. They weren't the only people to slip either!

The actual re-enactment of the battle was impressive with arrows flying and the armies in the positions that they held on 14th October 1066. There was a commentary which was great for the children and for people who, like me, easily loose the plot on these occasions. Judging by the war cries, most of us supported the English who, of course, lost. 
Post-Norman conquest Battle Abbey just above the battlefield

A great day out and a wonderful way to learn history. The children enjoyed their day apart from occasional woes from rather too close encounters with the mud. 


  1. That sounds fantastic! What an exciting way to learn history!

  2. Both our boys (ages 14 & 8) are studying the Middle Ages this year. Wish we could just hop across the pond to actually see the history. What an amazing experience.

  3. Anonymous-shame it isn't easier to hop over the Pond! It was a brilliant way to experience history.

  4. We were suppose to go to this year but my husband was sent on a business trip unexpectedly:(. We went several years ago and had such a great time. So glad your family got to see this event. It is an amazing experience:)

  5. Shame you had to miss this. As you say it is amazing.

  6. What wonderful experiences you have available to you! Thanks for linking up to the History and Geography meme!

  7. We were there too! Unfortunately my camera stopped working so I don't have ANY pictures. We will DEFINITELY be going back next year. We were wet, cold, tired from standing for two hours, yet my children came away with utter awe in their eyes, saying it was the best thing they'd EVER seen and could we go back next year!

  8. Shame about the camera. My children were the same-at times sad about the mud and cold but came away really enthusiastic about the Battle.