Posts Tagged With: wilting manor

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

Categories: Announcements, battle abbey, port of Hastings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Announcements, port of Hastings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Crowhurst Manor Geophysics published

Crowhurst Manor Geophysics

The geophysics for the Crowhurst Manor site report by Archaeology South-East is published here. Please note the conservative nature of this document prepared for English Heritage. Having been involved in a number of different resistivity surveys over the last 26 years it confirms the presence of the foundations (as a minimum element) but also probably some substantial footings (due to the depth of the mound and the limited depth of the recording equipment). The high resistivity peaks appear to confirm a building in an east/west and north/south orientation where we know buttresses are present from the previous survey work done on the site, with walls and robbed out areas at least a meter thick. The real surprise is the lack of any low resistivity areas normally associated with ditches and the extent of the site covering an acre and certainly as big as the original Battle Abbey, all completely hidden from view.

The significance of this survey, for those unfamiliar with the background to this story, is there is written evidence in a Chronicle written at the time of the Invasion by the monks at Battle Abbey (the first 22 folios of the Chronicle of Battle Abbey published around 1180), that confirms the abbey that William ordered to be built on the site of the battlefield, was started next to a low wall at the bottom of the ridge that surrounds Hastings at a place called Herste. The monks then moved the Abbey a few years later to where it is today. This information has been ignored by historians because the building could never be found. Finding the foundations of the original abbey site confirms the site of the Battle of Hastings in the Crowhurst Valley. There can be no other interpretation of this information.

Those who want to process the raw data from this survey (which has not had the time spent on it that it should, due to lack of funding to date) can contact me and I will also make it freely available here when I have the time. This week is extremely busy with ITV today and You and Yours Radio Four lunch time Friday after the Sunday Times last weekend.

Categories: Announcements | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Discovery of lost Hastings Burgh confirms Norman Invasion site.

A copy of an email was sent to me today which was sent to English Heritage – names withheld:
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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).

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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.

Categories: Announcements | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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