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1066: The Lost Hastings Battlefield (Hardback)

Colour Books Military P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 11th Century Photographic Books World History > Europe

By David John Barnby
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 22 colour illustrations, 58 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399049054
Published: 4th July 2023


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The year 1066 is a date in English history that changed the way people lived and were governed, as well as transforming the language of the land. Astonishingly, this book finds the traditional site attracting many thousands of visitors each year is not where the battle was actually fought.

The death of King Edward the Confessor in January 1066 set off competing claims for the English throne by Norwegian King Harald Hardrada, Duke William of Normandy and the English magnate, Harold Godwinson; contentions finally settled at the epic Battle of Hastings later that year.

This book tells the compelling story, from the Norman duke's crossing with an army, that included a large cavalry contingent, in a fleet of Viking looking longboats from St Valery on the French coast, to the final battle, the Battle of Hastings, on Blackhorse Hill on the high ridge some two miles east of the traditional site at Battle Abbey. It was there that King Harold met his end when surrounded and attacked by Norman knights in the closing stages of the battle. In addition, the story from the Viking invasion of Lindisfarne until William’s crossing of the Channel and events leading up to William’s death have been included to provide context to our main story.

The sequence of events told here relies upon the several historic accounts and the placing of events, carefully matching them to the terrain described there with the topography of the area, a painstaking process of trial and error, to accurately place the battle site on Blackhorse Hill. The author has made use of satellite imagery, not previously available to earlier authors on the battle, to confirm the location of the old Cinque port of Hastings (first proposed by Nick Austin in his Secrets of the Norman Invasion), the site of Duke Williams's pre-battle camp. The author has analysed the relative distances from the old port to the Battle Abbey site and the Blackhorse Hill site to eliminate the former and confirm the latter.

As far as is known, no-one has ever considered the Blackhorse Hill site before and it is hoped that this will inspire researchers to expand upon these findings.

Review as featured in

Crowhurst News, February 2024

An original, iconoclastic, significant, and invaluable contribution to the history of 1066 AD and the Norman invasion of England, "1066: The Lost Hastings Battlefield" is enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a two page listing of Bibliography Resources, ten pages of Notes, and a five page Index.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

About David John Barnby

David Barnby graduated from what is now known as the City University, London in electrical engineering and following a long career in telecommunications engineering, turned to writing and produced several books. His book, Life and Times of Nicolas Forget follows the life of the mid-17th century French Canadian explore and fur trader, who was the previously unidentified travelling companion of Des Grossellier. With a life-long interest in history and analytical skills gained during his working life, it was an easy transition to researching and writing 1066: The Lost Hastings Battlefield
John Leftwich is the model maker extraordinaire who constructed a model of the Hastings Battlefield for the better understanding of the battlefield topography. He also drew the maps and diagrams for the book and advised on technical issues. He has a long career in the graphic arts industry producing both technical and figurative illustrations, and later graphic designs for print.

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