Response to Time Team programme

I have been asked to give my response to the Time team programme. After due consideration:

Here it is

It has been filed with English Heritage in accordance with the statutory provisions. A copy can be seen online if you have an English Heritage account or register with them at their web site.

It is the only appropriate response in the circumstances and overdue by twenty six years.

Categories: Announcements | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Response to Time Team programme

  1. Rob Page

    Nick, a well written and well argued case, which will probably be rejected by English Heritage – they’ll find some way to justify ignoring the documentary evidence you have presented. I must say I was disappointed with the poor coverage that Time Team gave your case – it seemed to me that they felt they had to mention your Crowhurst Valley claim, but found a way to quickly dismiss it and then move on. The only thing that will sort the issue once and for all is some definitive archaeological findings, and now that the controversy is receiving increased public attention I feel every effort must be made in 2014 to pursue further survey activity, including metal detecting, and hopefully some targeted follow-up archaeological trenching. Good luck…


    Morning Nick

    An excellent submission which must surely make EH respond with equal diligence. Presumably you have copied it to Time Team. Do you expect to hear from them?

    If you fancy a bit of light relief go to Channel 4 OD and have a look at last night’s “Gogglebox”. It’s a programme about people watching the telly. The featured couch potatoes were not greatly impressed by Time Team (nor was I) but they all seem to have been convinced that the battle did not take place on the Battle Abbey site.

    Best wishes



  3. Richard Paine

    I also was disappointed in Time Team’s coverage of the Crowhurst theory, and subsequent dismissal of your work. The new battlefield location, now conveniently under tarmac, raises more questions than answers. Now this new site has been given publicity, surely English Heritage are now involved in fraud by publicising the Abbey site as the battle site.

  4. Ian Jarman

    Nick: you are absolutely right to ask for delisting of the Battle Abbey site. I first visited it over 30 years ago taking with me the detailed pen and ink copy of the battle ‘map’ from Edward Freeman’s 1869 ‘The History of the Norman Conquest’ (vol III, pull-out diagram between pages 442 and 443) based on the ‘traditional’ position of the English Standard. I came away from the visit upset and alarmed at the mismatch and the ludicrous alleged siting of the Abbey altar, saying “This was never the site of the battle!”. So, I am not at all surprised at the Time Team’s inability to discover any archeology whatsoever at the site – and especially after so much time when thorough investigations had been prevented. That was the best aspect about this programme, however. Other than that it was a trite, flimsy and flippant effort, although it did also refute the proposition that the real site was on Caldbec Hill. The allegation, in the dying minutes of the programme, that it was actually on the round-about at the bottom of Battle High Street was pure farce and totally unworthy of this excellent series. But I was simply astonished at the scant coverage of your investigations and in particular that no alternative archeological dig was conducted at the Crowhurst site, nor even mention of the enigma of ‘Malfosse’. So I feel you were not given due ground on the programme and I suspect the delisting application is unlikely be given its deserved consideration either. Your point about Trades Descriptions is spot on: at the very least we should expect all English Heritage literature about the site to now carry a caveat in bold that no evidence has been found that it is the true site of the battle. I wonder, is there now also a case for the town’s name to reflect the emerging position?

  5. A very impressive document, Nick The logic for delisting seems inescapable..

  6. Jackie Cleary

    I should think that true archaeologists would be very excited at this news. How did the person who dug up Richard III’s skeleton organize her dig of the parking lot? It seems that English Heritage is prepared to just wait it out until it goes away. Since there is power and safety in numbers, and this is of nationwide importance, perhaps a joint effort of university archaeology departments could organize an unbiased and thorough investigation.

  7. Peter Stone

    Peter Stone.
    I visited battle abbey some ten years ago and was amazed to learn that no artifacts had been found on the site.When I enquired about the location of the burial pits of the fallen I was met with silence on the matter and told that monks visiting the site some eighteen years later reported that the bleached white
    bones still lie where they fell.This fact alone makes it crucial that the battle site is found as this will give
    the clearest information of how the battle ”panned” out.
    If we look at recent history we can see how the battle of Little big horn was reconstructured by the
    final resting positions of the fallen and spent ammunition giving an accurate account of the battle.
    In the time team special I was shocked and amazed that they did not carry out even a rudimemtary
    ground scan or even a small trench,being that you were the only one to offer any actual artifacts from
    your site.

  8. Jeff

    The Time Team’s Hastings survey was dreadful, 55 minutes of Rhubarb filler items and 5 minutes to tell us that the battle took place in the vicinity of the roundabout. The show could have started and finished in no more than ten minutes.

    The manner in which the Time Team experts debated the possibility that Coombehaven was the landing site and assembly area was hastely closed down, the conclusion given that it was an impenetrable marsh, when in fact it was a recognized working harbour, was also inexcusable.

    I have recently read that Harold II’s body was buried under a pile of stones on a beach and recovered later for reburial. If this is a true account then the battle must have taken place a lot nearer to a shore line, than the Battle Abbey Site.

    I now believe that Nick Austin is in the correct field for the Battle of Hastings. though it does not square with the academics, who seem to be totally against any idea of a rethink or investigation. .

  9. Keith Browning
    I have just watched the Time Team program for the first time and then read your seven page response. I spent several years working in the Hastings area and know the topography well.

    With a totally open mind I have spent the last few minutes taking a quick look at the Hastings geography to see if there is anywhere that jumps out, fitting your summary of the evidence.

    and yes – surely the place that has a good fit is much closer to Hastings and has to be the area close to the Church in the Wood. There is a valley directly to the south with a watery ditch at the bottom, acting as an obvious North/South barrier.

    Then there is Wishing Tree Road – was the Wishing Tree in reality the ‘Apple Tree’.

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