port of Hastings

Boats found by archaeologists and hidden.

I had an interesting call from someone who knows the archeology team.  I have no reason to disbelieve him now. He tells me that three boats were found on the route of the road and the evidence has been hidden. They sent the wood off for testing and found that it was two or three centuries after the Invasion but this took months to come back and may be questionable. They key is it proves that boats were moving up and down the waterway and the claim that this was not a port is shot. Apparently everyone has known about this except us and so it is time to ask questions of those who know as they had a duty to tell us. Perhaps a journalist might persist as it raises questions that need to be answered namely why they hid it and why they haven’t looked in the Crowhurst Valley for the answer now it is known it was a port and three boats suggests it was a port.

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Battle Abbey foundation document confirms battlefield at Crowhurst

There is no battlefield at Battle Abbey.

English Heritage are promoting the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings this year. New analysis of the Chronicle of Battle Abbey proves beyond doubt that the abbey was not the original battlefield. Those who wish to examine this proof can find the evidence here at this link and I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has any reason to doubt either my view or the expert opinions upon whom I rely.

The evidence of the Chronicle, together with the geophysics in Crowhurst is also supported by the Domesday data analysis which  shows conclusively that Crowhurst was the most wasted manor in 1066 where the battle took place. This is followed by the second most wasted manor Wilting where the Normans camped at Wilting Manor. The new evidence in the Chronicle of Battle Abbey now explains in a logical manner why these two manors stand out in the Domesday analysis as the two most wasted manors recorded in the Domesday Book. This conclusive analysis together with the fact no archaeological has ever been found at the Battle abbey site means the site of the battlefield in Crowhurst must now be investigated. Despite five years of information coming out and being sent to media and English Heritage nothing has been done to investigate. English Heritage promised to provide a proper archaeological investigation of the Abbey site when Time Team failed to find evidence of the battle. That was scheduled as a public dig in April but  canceled without explanation and since then English Heritage has continued to market its battlefield operation to the public, stepping up the spin as the 950th anniversary of the Battle approaches this October 14th.

The question that must be asked is should a national heritage organisation be spending tens of thousands of pounds on radio and press advertising on a site with no provable provenance because they earn money from the gate. Can it be claimed they can spend this money on advertising but cant afford to do the archaeology that is needed. Any impartial organisation interested in national heritage would investigate the claims made for Crowhurst because they were documented at the time of the invasion. Even now faced with evidence they have known about for some time nothing has been done. The justification to continue marketing operations is made because they seek to rely upon ‘tradition’ as their  right to continue to earn gate money from the public. Quite a lot of gate money – its not peanuts. That  claim of ‘tradition’ can now be shown not to have any validity and is not even supported by the abbey’s own foundation document.

I cannot see how any organisation can sell the anniversary of such an important date in English history without knowing it is selling access to the real site and with public money when there is no evidence for what they claim. Worse still their claim runs contrary to the documentary evidence.If any other organisation were to conduct itself in such a manner it would be stopped and subjected to court proceedings until the veracity of the claims were proven. It is no longer possible to ignore the evidence presented. English Heritage are not behaving in the manner expected from a national heritage organisation when it comes to the most important date and battlefield site in the world..

Nick Austin

14th July 2016

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New Lidar image of Hastings Port area show features

Lidar Bypass Route1 marked copy

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 1066 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.


Categories: Announcements, port of Hastings | 5 Comments

Important Artefacts found on Link Road Old Hastings Burgh site

Bexhill Observer

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.

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Old Port of Hastings photo

Old Port of Hastings at Combe Haven
Here is a picture, taken by Keith Piggott, of the area in the Combe Haven that was the old port of Hastings before the entrance was blocked by the great storm at the end of the 13th century. Those who do not believe this waterway was the port of Hastings should really think again. Would you leave your boats exposed to the sea when they could be in here? Photo taken from Hillcroft Farm.

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