14/10/2016King Harold's last tweet
- Emojis mark the death of England's last Saxon king
- 950th anniversary of Battle of Hastings marked by thousands of school children
- Battle of Hastings Weekend Re-Enactment Sold Out
At 4.03pm today, exactly 950 years after King Harold fell at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the Twitter account of @King_Harold66 fell silent - his final post using the emojis of a bow and arrow, crossed swords, and a skull, marked the death of England's last Saxon king.
The live retelling of the battle via Twitter was part of a day of activity by English Heritage to mark the 950th anniversary of the battle. Hundreds of children gathered on the battlefield for a morning of battle cries and armour workshops before parading up the town of Battle. Across the country, English Heritage organised activities for schools at the Norman castles in its care including Old Sarum in Wiltshire and Helmsley Castle in North Yorkshire.
Events to Mark 1066
Earlier in the day, a ceremony was held at the stone memorial at Battle Abbey marking the spot where King Harold fell, remembering all those - Saxons and Normans - who died that day in 1066.
The morning also saw the arrival of the band of intrepid re-enactors who over the past three weeks, have re-created - on foot and on horseback - Harold's 300 mile journey from York to meet William the Conqueror's army at Battle. The re-enactors rode up Battle High Street and beneath Battle Abbey's Great Gatehouse, the final step of their epic journey.
Over the weekend, the marchers will take part in the English Heritage re-enactment of the battle, tickets for which have now sold out.
Both today's events and the re-enactment weekend are the culmination of English Heritage's year-long programme marking the anniversary of 1066. Highlights included a major £1.8m conservation and re-presentation of the 1066 battlefield and abbey as well as the creation of a sequel to the Bayeux Tapestry, featuring the most important historic moments since 1066, as voted for by children across the country.
'Most important battle in our history'
Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: "Exactly 950 years ago today, two armies met on this very field in East Sussex, and the outcome defined England for centuries. It was arguably the single most important battle in our history. The legacy of 1066 can be seen across our country, in our castles, in our language and laws, even our food".
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