The original of this map can be found here.
A) shows clearly defined defense type structure at the proposed site of the Saxon port of Hastings pre-1066. Circular defensive ditch type layout in Five Acre field next to Redgeland Wood where the Chronicle of Battle Abbey states “they camped at Hedgeland” but actually the R may have been misread on the original as no-one knew at the time where Redgeland was. Other Lidar previously shown on this site shows another circular structure within Redgeland Wood where access to the port would have been found before the estuary silted up in 1290s. Hastings Port was the largest of the Cinque Ports prior to its demise. According to the accounts at the time at least 500 ships landed at that port according to Wace – here you can see exactly where it was.
B) is the hill above the port area (now Wilting Manor House- home of the first Norman Sheriffs of Hastings, Engleran and his brother). The Carmen states the Normans “restored the forts which had stood there formerly” (or depending upon your branch of Latin – the “defensive structures” that were there.) This anathema is impossible to explain by Pevensey or Hastings Castle since Hastings Castle was not there and Pevensey had only one defense that was not reinstated. This was a primary reason for the dismissal of the Carmen in the nineteenth century by historians, only to have it’s rightful authority restored on academic grounds by Elizabeth Van Houtts in the last thirty years, whilst I have been doing this work. We can now see the Carmen was right and so was Ms Houtts. Here in this image we see the Saxon Defense by the shore and to the right of the B the original structure of what was called Chapel Field where Wace records “they set up chapels” on the night of the battle. In chapel field is the clear outline of Hastings Burgh which was destroyed by the Normans prior to the Battle and consequently not included in the Domesday survey. There is no Burgh structure anywhere else and within the outline we see an additional ditch which may predate the construction. However one of the DeScotneys (Lords of the Crowhurst Manor was assigned to stay at the Old Burgh of Wilting according to a document I am still trying to get to see the original. The County Heritage map on the other hand shows Chapel Field was recorded as “possible site of early medieval village”. The archeology shows that the earth from the north side of this field was stacked by someone to level it out. The historical record shows this was under King Alfred’s instructions. Proper evaluation of this Burgh is now required because it represents a major heritage asset which like in other Burgh towns will not only add to the Hastings story but be a valuable tourism asset to the county. It would be good for Hastings to have this heritage asset reinstated.
C) shows a feature in the marsh above the C that looks remarkably like a marsh platform of some sort. It is located right in the new road route so hopefully we will get confirmation of what it is in the course of time. Given the location in an area rich in Bronze Age relics and near the Bronze Age tree we found around 1996 which had the axe cuts in it dated the same time as Stonehenge was being used I would not be surprised to find it connected to Bronze Age activity.
Lastly let me add that there is a massive amount of information on the web that is repeated ad infinitum by people who have not looked at any of the original documents. There is no archaeological evidence to even suggest that the Normans occupied Hastings Old town before 1090 when the Count of Eu moved the castle from the port to its present position and like the Battlefield site the assumption that the port was where the castle now stood (above where the cricket ground used to be). However this theory in the absence of evidence was completely discredited by the archaeological report which Hastings Council kindly produced to show they could build the shopping center there. The Hastings Castle of today that is falling into the sea was built on a headland next to a marsh that was always a marsh, with a shingle bank across its entrance, where Debenhams now resides. Taking all this into account the conclusion points to activity in the Crowhurst Valley where Hastings town pre 10666 was probably in existence within the so called “Saxon Doug-nut” and Burgh. It also explains why the Battle became known as the battle of Hastings – because it was in the same valley as the port and town of Hastings. Its time someone sensible in the world of history and archeology came down and had a look.
Hastings Link Road Video here
We take a tour down the new Hastings Link Road and have a look at the site we believe is the Hastings Burgh. Most recently we have been advised that the Burgh is pronounced Burr in local dialect and like the Croghurst name of early Saxon times the gh was silent. This in part explains why the Normans pronounced Crogherst Crerst and then was mistakenly written down as Herst in the Chronicle of Battle Abbey which tells us that was where the Battle was fought and later moved to the present site because it was not so suitable for such a fine building.
It is important to realise that there is no confirmed site for Alfred’s Burgh at Hastings and I urge those who mistakenly believe otherwise to do their due diligence. Now we have the chance to reinstate the historical record and transform an earthworks on the top of an unmarked hill at the old port of Hastings to its correct position in English history. People come from across the world to see history in Hastings and now one of its greatest assets is awaiting confirmation. Hastings Burgh went missing in 1066 in this the 950th anniversary year of the Battle of Hastings it would be perfect timing for its reinstatement into the historic record and growing 1066 tourist trail.
I have been told by my mole in English Heritage that there is a plan to bring archaeologists back to the Battle Abbey site this coming Easter as a result of public pressure to find evidence of the Battle of Hastings. When asked who was planning to do the work I was told it was not going to be Time Team again but would be done by “their people” and would not be drawn on the matter. Elements within English Heritage are “unhappy” that further evidence is needed because they believe their experts should tell the English public to take their word for it (and their money too).
Having not found anything relevant to the period of the Battle of Hastings at the Battle Abbey site, not a belt buckle, pin, ring of chain mail or even a button the claim that the Battle of Hastings was fought at Battle Abbey by English Heritage history experts is currently in ruins and needs a big fix. Visitor figures have I believe plummeted and unless something is found quickly the future of the battlefield as a commercial enterprise must be in doubt in the days when all costs are under pressure. It is my belief that the current site is losing English Heritage a six figure sum per annum and the Heritage Center built at a time when they knew the claim for the battlefield was under threat was a serious mistake.
My view is that the investigation is welcomed and let us agree that a proper investigation of that site is essential in order to eliminate it from the search. That continues in the Crowhurst Valley, where documentation in the Chronicle of Battle Abbey confirms it is to be found.
The Crowhurst archaeology group Secrets of the Norman Invasion completed a number of strategic magnetometry field studies last weekend. Initial images from the survey indicate a large number of anomalies on the site all in the region of 2m long by 1m wide orientated in an East West location. Nick Austin who heads the group is looking for battlefield archaeologists who are prepared to analyse the data themselves and offering to take interested parties to the relevant sites. He is writing to English Heritage to ask them to include the sites in the investigation into the authenticity of the Battle Abbey site when their team are due to come back later this year. No magnetometry evidence to support a battlefield has been found at Battle Abbey. Nick Austin claims this hard scientific evidence supports the Crowhurst site and it should now be investigated by battlefield archaeologists in order to avoid unnecessary public costs on surveys at Battle Abbey, where no magnetometry evidence has ever been found despite a number of archaeological surveys at Battle over many years.
We have found us a company who will rent us the magnetometry equipment we need for the next survey I want to do on the center field of the real battlefield. There are 260 people in the facebook group who will assist if need be in this community enterprise to ensure that the truth comes out. This will show us the spread of any metal left behind and also with any luck identify if any mass graves are present in the fields we can cover. Missing from the fake battlefield are any bodies or mass graves. These will identify the true site as you cant hide 8tons of bodies or move them somewhere else even now. So these graves arent just here and there.
I have strong suspicions that the first field of choice is the field that matters because (dont tell anyone – I am a dowser of ill repute according to Sir Baldrick:) but also because the field in question has three large anomalies identifiable on the LIDAR and its pretty much dead center of the battlefield. A local man reported that he had found a broken sword there 15 years ago in line with exactly where the anomaly is identified so that is where we have to start.
I am looking into issues about software and expertise and if anyone here can assist us set this up from a technical point of view so that my team can do the work at a convenient weekend as soon as possible let me know. It seems we are going to move ahead soon and things may well conclude soon. I am looking for a number of independent archaeologists to work with the raw data so if you want to work with it please let me know I am happy for anyone to put in their two pennies. What we dont want is interpretations of the data that do not agree with one and other – using a number of people interested in the project will avoid that.
In a wonderful bit of optimistic spin by East Sussex Council the above story leaked into the inner pages of the local paper this week. The opening statement “Archaeology enthusiasts working along the route of the Hastings-Bexhill Link Road have helped unearth what is thought to be one of the most significant finds of prehistoric remains in the country” it goes on to say “At the Eastern end of the link road, near Upper Wilting Farm, the team uncovered the evidence of Early Romano British industry” where the County Archaeologist assured me there was no evidence of Roman occupation or Saxon Settlement activity and at the Public Inquiry for the road assured the Inspector the earthworks on this site was post medieval. Here it is claimed the artefacts are “pre-historic” in a transparent attempt to mitigate the clear evidence of Roman and Saxon activity on the Hastings Burgh site. Since when was “prehistory” in the Roman and Saxon period – lets call a spade a spade – that’s plainly not right?
How long I wonder before it occurs to someone with influence that Roman and Saxon occupation was the hallmark of all the Burghs installed by Alfred the Great and that the earthworks, recently partly destroyed by our friends the road builders, may indeed be connected to the old town of Hastings where the port of Hastings was once located. Exactly the right size in exactly the right place. It would be very strange if the town of Hastings was anywhere else as there never was a town called Wilting, never has been, so where did this prehistory disappear to? The port of Bulverhythe recorded in manuscripts was recorded as the Port of Hastings and that was next to Wilting. Well of course I havent seen any boats yet say the experts who havent looked in the port area and would rather die than look. The same experts who told me and the Inspector there was no Roman evidence on the site. Not what HAARG says now. So who is right? Who do we trust here – politicians or archaeologists?
Long after these people who destroy our heritage have gone people who have integrity like the people who work at HAARG (Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group) will still be on this site and the truth will come out. You cannot change history because it does not suit your politics. In the meantime its only a matter of time before the penny drops with the heritage organisations that its time to call a halt to the devastation of Alfred’s Burgh at Hastings.
Categories: Announcements, port of Hastings
Tags: battle of hastings, burgh hastings, burghal fort, combe haven valley, environmentalists, hastings burgh, link road, Nick Austin, second battle of hastings, wilting farm, wilting manor
Despite assurances from East Sussex County Council that the road works on the Bexhill Link Road would not have any adverse impact upon flooding in the Crowhurst Valley it can be clearly seen that flooding has commenced this year a full two months earlier than it has ever flooded in the 28 years I have looked over this view. I hope East Sussex County Council have adequate insurance against negligence claims if those who stand in the path of this flood plain suffer flood damage as a result of this work. This flood plain does not normally flood until October at the earliest and usually in the New Year. Ominous signs need someone on the Council to do something to rectify this as it has hardly been wet by the standards of the last few years. Indeed it’s so early the hay is still on the ground.
It has always been a mystery as to why Chapel Field exists next to the manor house at Wilting and the Normans are reported to have set up their chapels in the field overlooking the battlefield on the night of the battle, when William was also reported to be in his camp at the port of Hastings (Wace, Poitiers et all). No remains of any chapel have ever been recorded at the site yet the name infers it.
Chapel Field is now being part excavated by Oxford Archaeology and we can see the massive archaeological investment in that field of foundations to various structures which will be written into a report by Oxford Archaeology in the course of time and hopefully provide some logical explaination as to what these structures are. More recent images can be found using Google here.
Tony Peak kindly forwarded these observations to me after looking at the aerial suveys of the site quite early in the investigation and they appear in my view to have merit worthy of further investigation and so I have informed the County Archaeologist and asked him to forward these obesrvations to the archaeologists working on the site:
“To start with well done in your work concerning the Norman invasion of England, This is an extremely difficult subject as very little information is available. I feel you have to look again at the chapel field site especially the google earth pictures you have included on your web site. The reason being I believe that they have discovered is the missing church of Filsham manor (doomsday book chapter 9;14). Originally a Roman building, built on the site of early Roman foundary. look closely and the footprint of 2 horseshoe shaped furnaces are clearly visible. It is highly likely the Romans leveled the site while extracting the local sandstone for buildings in the area. If as i believe this is Filsham church then there would be a connection to Hastings as this church would predate st Mary in the castle by around 34 years and would be the only church in this area for the Normans to worship God (excluding Bexhill). As we both know the saxons were fond of building their Burhs close to ports, but an important aspect of a burh was a church with a bell tower. I hope this helps you with your work and please carry on, as i feel you might be on to something.”
Thank you Tony.
Example of early horseshoe furnace and locations connected to Wilting by network of known Roman tracks plus others:
I am looking for up to four archaeology students who would like to spend some time this Summer helping locate the true site of the Battle of Hastings. Time Team and other archaeological investigations over ten years have proven that the only other two sites claimed for the battle have no archaeology present relevant to the period (including the traditional site at Battle Abbey). The advancement of battlefield archaeology and scientific investigation by archaeologists means that the battlefield can be identified if experts look in the right place. My book and the research show conclusively this is the Great Field at Crowhurst from the histrical and archaeological record.
I am looking for that site in the Crowhurst valley to be evaluated this Summer by those who have had archaeological training and are studying for a phd in archaeology or other similar qualification where experience is important. We have established that the Crowhurst Manor House foundations are too large to be a simple manor house (extending to an acre in size) and further investigation is required to establish whether the foundations are those recorded in the Chronicle of Battle Abbey as being the remains of the original abbey ordered to be built on the battlefield by William the Conqueror. The Chronicle of Battle Abbey records that the abbey was started on the battlefield and moved several years after commencement to where it is today. The evidence of the recent resistivity survey appears to confirm the presence of foundations of a massive early medieval building subsequently hidden under an earthen mound in Crowhurst. Further the site is identified in the Chronicle by certain landmark features which can be identified as where these foundations are found.
As a secondary element of the Summer investigation we wish to investigate a specific location in the center of the field which was named “The Great Field” at Crowhurst, which is believed to be the correct battlefield. LIDAR has identified anomalies there which suggest the presence of three large mass graves and other ditch features confirmed as present on the battlefield by the historian Wace. Investigation is required in two parts of the field and also the beach line where it is believed the Norman fleet anchored in the inlet that was once the port of Hastings and is now known as the Combe Haven. Again LIDAR has shown the presence of low mounds and also a feature that looks as if it may be the remains of the first Norman fort, which was recorded as being “right in front of the port” by French chroniclers.
I am not myself an expert archaeologists and am happy for this project to be supervised by either University staff or those with the relevant expertise. I operate a small archaeology group who can provide assistance if required in the form of manual assistance and this is very much a local archaeology group effort and the result of 27 years investment in research and time. None the less the subject of this research is of national importance and needs to be done by those who care about our national heritage and have the equipment needed to do a thorough job. Magnetometry equipment is needed along with ground radar as the identification of the graves may be difficult in the sand/clay hillside bearing in mind the age and also on the edge of the marshy Combe Haven, where timbers of the fleet may be expected to still exist.
If you would be interested in this project I can accommodate up to four people for as long as it takes. We cannot pay you, but we will look after you and probably more relevantly can get you world recognition for your work should the historical research prove to be correct. So far every investigation that has been done on this site has proven to be correct in the end and this is why this work must now be finalised by people using the disciplines necessary. Please contact me to discuss via the contact link if interested.
Having been told on a number of occasions the Battle of Hastings flawed site at Battle Abbey was to be reviewed. I have now been forwarded the review document by Michael Bernard, which clearly shows they have in colloquial terms bottled it and will not review the evidence, or the site claimed in Crowhurst. This is despite national television by authorised archaeologists, which showed the nation in no uncertain terms there is no archaeology supporting the battle anywhere within the registered battlefield area. I was not consulted by any historians, or archaeologists on any evidence referred to in this document, where I can see some serious flaws in what it is claimed that I claim. It makes a nonsense of the listing process. Rest assured this is not the end of the story, as evidence is still being sought in the Crowhurst valley, by people who do care about the nations heritage and we are close to a conclusion.
This is the document