Readers Letters
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Letter 17

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Nick

Nick.

In response to your e mail concerning the mention of Caldbec Hill. I
don't think I actually said that the battle took place on Caldbec Hill.
This was the meeting place of Harold's men. It was well known
because of the old hoare apple tree, and today where the windmill is
located. As you are aware, the battle took place on Senlac Ridge
which is now in and around the Battle Abbey grounds. The question
of how many men Harold had for this battle comes from the
assumption by most modern historians that the two sides were
more or less equal in numbers. Any reference to medieval
chroniclers concerning this point, should not be trusted and on
many other points, come to that, as mentioned in the introduction.
The ogistics of how many men William could have brought is limited
by the number of boats he had at his disposal. If you note, I have
allowed a margin of error to account for the uncertainty.

Comments like this are useful to me to improve this site. I tried to
avoid the use of endless references to sources. You are probably
more switched on than most people about events in 1066.At this
stage, I have no idea who this site will appeal to, and how much
feedback it will generate. If the more intellectual tend to peruse it, I
will add sources and a bibliography. If you have a couple of hours
spare to read it all , I would be interested on your fuller comments.

Glen ( Battle)


Glen.

I think the most important thing is that where you make an
assumption you say so. The issue of where the Battle took place is
currently coming under scrutiny so if you want your site to be taken
seriously it is reasonable to say " It is my opinion dah dee daah
because etc".

If you look into the history of the development of the battle site
Caldbeck is never mentioned - it all goes back to very recent times -
the Victorian era. Prior to that the only name mentioned is Senlac
and that was disscredited by the same people who sought to
discredit the main source Wace, as used b the French in Bayeux.

The look of your site is very good but it is churning out the traditional
line based upon what looks like it will shortly be discredited. To do
credit to your own site you should be sure of any facts and where
assumptions are made make clear to the reader that this is your
assumption and why you make it.

You must be aware of the glaring holes in the case for the Battle at
Battle Abbey. Firstly the Chronicle which the monks wrote to
authenticate the Abbey states that they first started to build it on
another site lower down to the West of the Ridge at a place called
Hurst. Now you know that the oath states that the Abbey was to be
built upon Williams battlefield oath. Why do you think his orders
were overridden until a monk from France came over (Smith) and
ordered it to be built where it is now.

In practice the battlefield oath is unlikely ever to have happened as
most serious historians now discount it - however it suits the
tourism industry.

Secondly no battlefield relics have ever been found not even with
today's marvelous array of archaeological weapons.

Thirdly it is more than likely that Hedgeland - mentioned in the
Chronicle of Battle Abbey was invented in or around 1200 to
substantiate the clain that the battle took place there when another
Hedgeland was located at the port of Hastings. You will need to look
into this to understand the significance. However you will see that
inventing a place name to support your case ultimately undermines
the authority of the site when caught.

Fourthly almost all source documents to the battle refer to a steep
hill where the battle took place. The current site of the battle is not
exactly a steep hill compared to the hill which leads to the battle
site and in any event William's side overlooks Harolds - something
that major contributors to this debate rarely admit but will when
faced with a tour of the domain in question.

And more - The Hoary Apple Tree to which you refer was a common
marker in Anglo Saxon times to mark a landmark. In particular there
are a number of records in existence for such markers where it is
believed in all instances they marked parish boundaries. However in
this case the marker is for some unexplicable reason not on the
Parish boundary.

And more - evidence suggests that the London road went from
where it is currently located directly to Crowhurst along the footpath
you can now identify on ordnance survey maps, not along the ridge.
In fact no evidence shows the road going along the ridge until after
the advent of coaches. The London to Hastings road went via
Crowhurst and Wilting further undermining the location of
Hedgeland.

And more - the Domesday Book shows conclusively that the wasted
manors were wasted along the roads serving the camp - logical.
However the most wasted manors were not where the battle is
supposed to have taken place but further south where the road
turned East and West along the coast - very strange and should
alert most enquiring minds.

Lastly the Bayeaux Tapestry shows pretty much where the battle
site is located and its not at Battle. Of course I am working on this
but the best give away is the lack of the current site as a "confined
place" - as stated in a number of texts and the absolute abscence
of the Malfosse adjacent to the battle site.

Needless to say going against current historical "thinking" is not
easy but I am impressed with your honesty so it is as wise for you
to know that almost every aspect that your site is created around -
using traditional repeating of written and re-written documents over
the last hundred years - without any serious research is about to be
challenged.

Many people will seek to dissagree with my work because the
status quo makes some of them a lot of money churning out what
other people before them wrote without ever doing any serious
research themselves. It is clear that you have taken considerable
time to present a fine piece of work - it is only fair that you know
that it may not stand up to scrutiny and would be best qualified
regarding your sources.

regards

Nick Austin

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copyright Glen Ray Crack - Battle - East Sussex - United Kingdom
Submitted 10th January 1998
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