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.
Posts Tagged With: battle of hastings
Well thats a turn up for the books. English Heritage historian Roy Porter admits to the Guardian “The one place we know the armies weren’t is the low ground below the abbey, where most visitors understandably think the battle must have been fought” The Guardian adds ‘To add to the confusion, the annual recreation by costumed reenactors, which will be fought with increased fervour in October, is held in the wrong place, since the town and abbey ruins occupy the true site.‘
Its a step in the right direction as there is no more evidence in the town or the abbey site than the place we have been told for 940 years was the battlefield. Well done Mr Porter for coming clean on an issue that was getting more and more difficult to deal with in historical and not to mention archaeological terms now we know the truth of the matter. Now lets get the issue sorted properly with a proper investigation of the Manor site in Crowhurst. Lets put behind us the errors of the past since we have suffered the illusion that the so called battlefield was the right site for too long. Perhaps someone from English Heritage might now consider after five years of invitations to come to Crowhurst to look at what is here.
nick at secretsofthenormaninvasion.com
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..
14th July 2016
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 Time Team programme which sought to identify the Battle of Hastings was repeated on More Four this evening and it is clear from the presentation that Richard Kemp the military expert rolled out by the Time Team to support their crass supposition that the battlefield was at Battle Abbey near the roundabout had not been informed of the evidence confirming the correct battlefield at Crowhurst or its topographical connection (including LIDAR evidence) to the port and special circumstances that forced the battle to last all day. Not only was due diligence not undertaken but Richard Kemp, who is an outstanding military commander, was effectively missinformed before producing his statements on UK national television. English Heritage has I am told instructed Time Team not to allow my evidence to be presented to third parties. Col. Kemp had not evaluated the military significance of the Crowhurst site compared to the one claimed by both British Heritage and the Time Team on a like for like basis and clearly there was an intention to avoid this.
I have tried to contact Mr Kemp and would like him to evaluate Crowhurst in the context of the known reports for the battle using his military expertise. John Grehan who wrote his book is also a military historian and its quite clear to me that military historians and experts hold the clues to identifying the correct site. If anyone has an address I would be pleased to send him my book so he can understand what is at stake and the importance of establishing the most important battlefield in English history which everyone now knows is not at Battle Abbey or Caldbeck Hill.
Here is the correspondence with English Heritage. I request information is made available to those who are adjudicating the application that Battle Abbey field in front of the Abbey where Dr Foard conducted his Time Team evaluation, which is currently listed as a protected battlefield, is delisted if the battle took place somewhere else. This blog is well read I am sure these comments will not go unnoticed, as this is starting to look remarkably as if someone at English Heritage has used their position of influence to tilt the story in their favour, otherwise there would be no reason to lie, and lie it certainly appears to be. I know this because I asked Time Team’s Alex Lawson why I was lied to by Time Team and he confirms the lie in writing only for English Heritage to now deny their involvement. I have waited till after Christmas to deal with this and have been waiting for English Heritage to respond.
Alex had no reason to lie to me because it was a condition of the filming – as simple as that. The response that the decision was made by the producers of the show does not mean English Heritage have no responsibility if it was a condition they imposed upon those producers – which clearly it was. I work in television and I and anyone else can see exactly who did what so please pass this information on to the relevant authority English Heritage administration, to those responsible for getting a proper evaluation of the Abbey and Crowhurst sites, since partiality cannot be hidden so easily. This response appears to confirm the partiality of an organisation prepared to stop at nothing to avoid looking at the archaeology in the Crowhurst Valley. The monks lied about the site and now we have our own Heritage organisation, charged with evaluating that lie, imposing a restriction that meant the shows producers had to lie to me – and now they deny it because I have found out about it. Whatever the result of the so called battlefield evaluation this story is continuing to run as independent archaeologists will now start the work in the Crowhurst Valley soon – stay tuned – details will be published shortly.
I am sorry that this issue has had to become public. The reason is English Heritage’s official denial of the facts as detailed in this correspondence. They knew they did it and have tried to palm off the truth on the shows producers – bad decision – Time Team dont lie unless they are forced to.
My original email to Alex Rowson:
Sent: 24 November 2013 21:36
To: Alex Rowson
Subject: Battle of Hastings lies and truth
I read this with interest Alex:
Tony Robinson gives the history books one in the eye by discovering where the Battle of Hastings was really fought. The battle is the most famous in English history but not a single bit of archaeological evidence for it has ever been found. Have historians put the battlefield in the wrong place?
Time Team set themselves the task of uncovering the true location of England’s most famous defeat.
For decades there has been dispute over the site, even though Battle Abbey is supposed to stand exactly where Harold fell. In 2012 a bestseller claimed that Caldbec Hill, a mile away, was the real site. But most historians still believe the main focus of the fighting was in the fields below the Abbey.
Time Team excavate both sites to seek evidence of either one being a battlefield.
Digging alone is inconclusive. But a cutting edge aerial technology called LIDAR to map the terrain proves that the traditional battlefield would have been too boggy for William’s Norman cavalry.
So military analysts study the data to see where Harold, a skilled commander, would most likely have mounted his defence against William’s invading army.
They identify the only ideal battlefield. It seems Harold’s fearsome Saxon shield wall straddled a narrow strategic pass that is on today’s A2100.
It leads to a surprising conclusion about where the heart of the battle was fought, and why William won and Harold lost.
Well done, you must have seriously hit problems to have come up with the solution you think you have found. Strange I was told by you that no archaeology was going to be done.. Why did you do that if it wasn’t true? The above is part of the official press release. I gave you access to everything and you have now delivered the story that the Battle of Hastings is not at Battle Abbey – well done again but it wont help those who put you up to this. I understand that and so will the world, which of course delivers the story into my hands for the next programme currently being planned.
But I have to ask why lie to me I don’t understand that and would like to know because you misled me and I appeared on your programme because of that and don’t understand what was to be gained from not telling me the truth. Are you going to provide an explanation please? I would like to know. As you know I am very media savvy and don’t like to be lied to in order to get my co-operation but have quite broad shoulders.
I have tapes of our conversations so I need a response otherwise this issue will become public.
The following Day Alex replies:
On 25 November 2013 10:52, Alex Rowson wrote:
Good to hear from you! Apologies for my tardy reply, I have now left Time Team and only check my emails every other week.
Yes the 1066 programme has been confirmed for this Sunday, a TX card will be sent out from the office to all contributors with further details. I have yet to see the fully finished film so i’m as keen as anyone to see the end result!
Please accept my apologies for not telling you about the dig. It was decided before any work took place that we should keep it secret. EH and Time Team felt that this was a sensible approach and would negate press or visitor interruptions. Most people in Battle and indeed visitors to the site didn’t realise that the work was going on! This is also Time Team’s normal policy with many of its digs, as we have to respect the wishes of the landowners and the academics who carry out the work. However I will say that the work we completed was only a pilot sample of the area, and I really hope that EH will expand the work in the future and make it more accessible to the public.
During the programme it was our aim to look at all the theories surrounding the location of the battlefield of Hastings, giving each a fair and equal platform to present the archaeological evidence, which I believe we have achieved. We have also tried to add something new to the debate with a limited sample of fieldwork and a recent aerial LiDAR survey at Battle.
Time Team have evaluated the evidence and presented their own independent conclusions. It is not mean’t to be definitive and we are keen to encourage future archaeological work in order to help find more evidence for the events of Oct 1066.
We really are incredibly grateful for all your help, and hope that our involvement will go some way to raising the public’s awareness as to the battlefield debate. I remain fascinated by your theories and I wish you all the best with your future investigations.
Nick Astin further email Sent: 25 November 2013 11:04
To: Alex Rowson
Subject: Re: Battle of Hastings lies and truth
OK Alex thanks but it does really look this end like we have been done over in the Crowhurst valley for the time being and a magnificent opportunity missed. Having done the archaeology on the battlefield its now clear that my thesis that the battlefield was not at Battle is correct and the Chronicle of Battle Abbey is an authentic document. It also tells us where the Normans camped at the port and thats now looking very close to confirmation again thanks to LIDAR.
I still dont understand why having got agreement amongst the experts that it could not have been fought at Battle the site at Crowhurst was rejected in the face of there being claimed archaeology that was not looked at whereas there is none in Battle or John Grehan site – that doesnt really stack up as normal practice to look somewhere else does it:)
Alex final word This is all before the programme ran
On 25 November 2013 11:24, Alex Rowson wrote:
It is a fascinating subject and I think the clear message that comes out of the programme is just how difficult it is to find preserved battlefield archaeology from this time.
We felt that LiDAR analysis might be able to add something new to the debate and this was undertaken by an independent landscape archaeologist. However as you point out, without archaeological evidence to back it up it is still just speculative. The plot thickens as they say.
All the best,
My letter to English Heritage
Sent: 13 January 2014 18:27
To: Pearson, Lorraine
Subject: Re: English Heritage
The documents that you refer to are completely inadequate in terms of analysis of the battlefield because the ones quoted have made assumptions not supported by any documents written at the time of the Battle. If they were to rely upon the documents of the time they would identify the Malfosse on or next to the battlefield – indeed none do and all established historians accept the absence of this major feature without explanation or justification. The assumptions you refer to which are well out of date with current thinking are therefore supposition, based upon a false theory that cannot be proven unless archaeology confirms it. The archaeology now done by Dr Foard and his team shows the cavalry could not have used the current protected battlefield and it therefore no longer needs protection. There is no justification for protecting a field that could not have featured in the battlefield action and that has been accepted by the archaeologists as a major error for those who have in the past accepted that it could.
The recent archaeology undertaken by English Heritage proves conclusively these assumptions from past historians are false. You cannot quote documents from the recent past (last 200years) to support the battlefield at Battle without archaeology when archaeology has proven the battlefield to be elsewhere other than the place Dr Foard looked. History is confirmed by archaeology and until so it is just theory. Many theories exist and become dust when proven to be incorrect. You are quoting dust and old thinking. (intentionally with-held).
Until it was known that there is no archaeology to support the battlefield theory at Battle Abbey and the LIDAR confirmed the ground was too boggy for Norman cavalry everyone assumed the story passed down by the monks was correct. It is highly foolish to quote sources who have been shown to make false assumption in the past, because those who are shown to be incorrect are not likely to be right in other matters. None can explain why the Normans were able to see the Saxon camp on the night of the battle yet two sources at the time confirm this visual observation. Everything points to conclusions that are completely wrong in recent years. Repeating the claims does not mean they now remain to be correct. Your response is therefore completely inadequate.
The recent Time Team work undertaken at Battle Abbey has shown English Heritage have sought to influence the producers ability to work independently and even handily and shows bias. The claim of bias against English Heritage now stands confirmed. This is because I was seriously misled by the shows producers who tell me that English Heritage instructed them that the archaeological investigations at Battle Abbey must remain secret from me when I had been asked to appear on the programme to show my work and the evidence in the Crowhurst valley. I was told by the producers that there was to be a desk top study of the three sites and the Crowhurst Battlefield site was to be compared with the two other sites without any archaeology taking place at any of the sites.
The producers then recorded three days filming with me and I was expecting a further day which never materialised. I then found out at broadcast that an attempt was made to discredit me and my work on film by showing only one element of the Crowhurst battlefield. It was a disgracefully inept attempt to blacken me by associating my work with dowsing, when none of the material relevant to the Crowhurst battlefield relies upon dowsing. One element was taken out of context and the minute or so of exposure for the Crowhurst Battlefield showed the public that something was wrong. Taken in the broader sense the show made the claim there were three claims for the battlefield at the Battle of Hastings. Two had no archaeology to back them up and the one that claimed there was a lot of archaeology was not going to be looked at. Kick me if I’m being stupid but this is not what the Time Team have ever done on any other show so please explain 1) why I was not told the truth and 2) why no archaeology was allowed to take place where it was claimed to exist on the Crowhurst battlefield and lastly 3) why the show was not allowed to film the Malfosse in Crowhurst which is a unique feature of the site of the Battle of Hastings in most accounts at the time and only exists at the Crowhurst site.
I have an email from the Time Team director confirming that I was misled and now I believe this should be known to those who are responsible for adjudicating on the Battle of Hastings site. There is no reason for me to be misled or for any issues to be secret in this matter because it is national heritage that is at stake. The fact that someone at English Heritage conspired to mislead me in order to avoid investigation of the Crowhurst archaeology shows something seriously wrong in the English Heritage evaluation process. The end result of failing to investigate the Crowhurst battlefield was to send the message to the nation that the only site with claimed archaeology was not looked at – you now need to explain why? this is neither logical or in the interests of historical truth and those who were most damaged by this action are suffering from complete failure to prove the Battle Abbey site. Indeed I cannot see anyone next year attending the English Heritage site because now it is known to be false by almost everyone in the country.
I do not want this matter to rest here. I want some sort of explanation from English Heritage as to what happened and who was responsible for interfering in the production of this programme. The conclusion that the Battle of Hastings was probably held on the roundabout has no authentic historian showing himself on television to agree such a mad supposition. There is no-one I know prepared to go on television and support this nonsense and writing to me quoting the sources you have to promote the idea is plainly laughable.
Answers are required and I have copied my MP and Michael Bernard as this is serious. It is one thing to make a mistake, but its another completely to try to cover your actions by implementing television coverage based upon misrepresentation of the facts. Misrepresentation has happened and now I would like to know why. The producers blame you and this means that English Heritage have deliberately sought to mislead me and in so doing have misled the public on national television. It is not right for a public heritage organisation to be partial in this way and use its position to mislead the public through national television, using a third party producer whom they control through secret instructions, as result of having a long term working relationship with them.
English Heritage’s reponse:
On 23 January 2014 09:42, Champion, Dawn wrote:
Dear Mr Austin,
Our Customer Services department has passed on your email of 13th January 2014 for my attention. I can confirm that there is no truth to your allegations of a secret deal with Time Team.
The editorial decisions were made independently by the programme makers.
The evaluation on English Heritage land was not kept secret: visitors to the site were told about it and English Heritage staff and Time Team archaeologists answered questions from the public on site. We did not and would not seek to influence any decisions regarding filming in any other locations.
Over a number of years your views regarding the issue of the location of the Battle of Hastings have been represented to us and noted.
As you are aware English Heritage is already considering a review of the battlefield site following your application.
We therefore have no further comment to make regarding this matter.
The stone for the building at the manor house site in Crowhurst has been identified by the author Alan Gillet in his 1989 book Battle and Robertsbridge Old Photos.
A copy of the reference relevant page was kindly sent to me by Cordelia Silver. Cordelia says “Caen stone is a limestone, harder than our local sandstone, yet carveable. Battle Abbey has some Caen stone in the building, but according to British History on-line, most of the stone was quarried locally.”
The significance is that Caen stone was usually used in great buildings built by the Normans, usually upon the instructions of the King, at the time of the Conquest. The primary use was Canterbury Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral and the Tower of London and a relatively small amount at Battle Abbey. The confirmation of Caen stone on this site in Crowhurst is good solid evidence of Norman involvement in the construction.
I am in the process of getting confirmation from a stonemason source and am waiting to hear from Canterbury Cathedral where they have a team working on Caen Stone. Hopefully they will be able to assist. Clearly this reference is not to what is below ground and relates to those stones that were probably robbed out at the time of the building of the current ruin (estimated to be 1220AD).
I am sending this evidence to English Heritage who must take this into account when they review the battlefield application. The presence of Caen stone indicates Norman construction or re-use of Norman stonework re-used in the Manor House construction and would confirm why the Norman arches are present in the wall previously misidentified as 13th century by W.S.Walford in 1884 and appears to confirm Norman construction, as only the Normans had access to this building material in this early period of History. It is possibly significant that the other site in the area which has Norman Caen stone elements is the Church in the Wood Hollington – the nearest church to the Manor House and Wilting Manor where the Normans landed.
A copy of an email was sent to me today which was sent to English Heritage – names withheld:
Regarding the site at Upper Wilting.
There have been various claims that the Upper Wilting site was an important historical military encampment; where William camped prior to the Battle of Hastings. Previous English Heritage (EH) evaluations have cited a lack of documentary or physical evidence in respect of these claims. Consequently, EH have not objected to the development of the site. However, I have recently come across some other documentary and physical evidence relating to the history of the site. I believe these issues warrant proper, qualified consideration before the Upper Wilting site is destroyed.
It has always been assumed the Hastings Burghal Hidage Fort was at the same location as where Hastings Castle was subsequently built (see first – http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/research/projects/burghalhidage/hidage). However, the Burghal Hidage Fort pre-dated the Norman Conquest and was built for very different reasons to Hastings Castle. It could have been elsewhere.
There is little disagreement that the location of Hastings prior to the conquest was vague, and the various local villages and communities were either destroyed or displaced during the conquest. Hastings Castle was built along with the “New Burg” of Hastings, as established by the Normans post 1066 (Ref History of Hastings Castle, Dawson, 1909 and other books concerning the Norman Conquest). The Castle was built to protect the newly formed Norman community and to subjugate the local population. However, the Burghal Hidage Fort system was built to protect southern England from seaborne Viking raiders.
“New” Hastings has never had a port. To this day, the fishing fleet uses the beach. The main pre-conquest port location (for trade) was at Bulverhythe, some distance along the coast (Ref various books, mostly those concerning Roman and Saxon Iron Industry in the Weald). The Upper Wilting site overlooks and tactically commands the Bulverhythe area and Coombe Haven. Furthermore, Upper Wilting is located right on the end of the Roman/Saxon era main London road (at Green Street) and thus provides strategic protection for the region. Hence, the Upper Wilting site provides excellent strategic and tactical protection. Conversely, Hastings Castle is located several miles away, has no view of the Bulverhythe port or related inlet area and is nowhere near the Saxon era main London road. The Hastings Castle site provides no physical protection, whether tactical or strategic, from seaborne raiders.
Hastings Castle was not built (whether built from scratch or re-built from a prior encampment or fortification) until well after the Conquest. During this interval, and even after the castle had been built, soldiers charged with defending the East Sussex coastline resided at Wilting (Ref Fines of Henry IV part II, Edward II part II, History of Hastings Castle, Chronicle of Iolm Harding &etc ). This further suggests Wilting was used as a preferred location from which the local coastline and ports could be protected.
But of greatest significance; I have compared the size of the Upper Wilting site with the size of the Burghal Hidage Fort recorded for Hastings. The size correlates very well. Conversely, the size of the site at Hastings Castle does not correlate at all.
I suspect Upper Wilting is considerably more likely than Hastings Castle to be the site of the Burghal Hidage Fort for the Hastings area. This can easily be confirmed with a straightforward, formal assessment of the Burghal Hidage lists – Saxon era documents. If my assessments were confirmed, it would provide both documentary and physical evidence, all of which is completely independent of the controversy surrounding 1066.
Regardless of theories put forward regarding the Norman Conquest for Upper Wilting; a Burghal Hidage Fort location would be a significant historical site worthy of protection. Contemporary Documentary evidence (pre and post conquest) exists and physical assessment is both straightforward and presently possible.
May I request this possibility urgently be properly assessed before the Upper Wilting site is destroyed in the very near future (I believe the bulldozers start next week).
The significance of this information is the confirmation in the Crowhurst Parish records that the Lord of Crowhurst Manor, who had the family name Pelham, lived at the Burgh where the coastal defense was located at Wilting.
This document supports the understanding that falls into place when the true site is known
This in turn confirms Wilting as the correct pre-conquest location for Hastings, which was recorded and known to be at the same port.
This means the evidence given at the public inquiries (two of them) claiming there was no town, or port, at Wilting or any defenses at Wilting is shown to be completely flawed. The public inquires were prejudiced by false information provided by so called paid experts appearing for the road builders. The road being built through the center of the Old Burgh of Hastings should now be halted until this matter is investigated properly, before any permanent damage is done to the Wilting site.
Wilting is now confirmed by clear and accurate historical record as the site of the Norman Invasion where William the Conqueror is recorded to have camped on the night of the battle. It is part of a much larger site currently claimed to warrant World Heritage Status. This document fills a critical gap in the written record and is conclusive. The Carmen tells us there was a fort at the invasion site which was reinstated when the Normans arrived. We now know that reference was specifically to the Saxon Burghal Hideage Fort at Wilting Manor. Action is required and the minister must intervene before it is too late. A video will be posted later of the damage to the fort site as it stands this afternoon.