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The Battle of Hastings, fought on 14 October 1066, is one of the best-known events in England’s history, when William of Normandy defeated the army of King Harold of England. The battlefield owes its survival to William the Conqueror, who founded Battle Abbey on the exact spot where Harold died as penance for the bloodshed of the Norman Conquest. The abbey thrived as a Benedictine monastery for over 400 years, and after its suppression in 1538 the abbot’s lodging was transformed into a grand country house.
Find out much more about the Battle of Hastings and the history of Battle Abbey here.
Read an in-depth history of the abbey founded by William the Conqueror after the Battle of Hastings, from its foundation to its suppression and after.
The objects excavated at Battle Abbey give us a wealth of insights into the everyday lives of the medieval monks. View some of them in detail here.
One of the pieces of music visitors to the abbey will hear is a late medieval carol. Find out the story behind it and its new musical setting.
Pageant master extraordinaire Gwen Lally directed a cast of thousands at the Battle Abbey historical pageant in 1932. Find out more about the pageant and the life of a 1930s pioneer.
At dawn on Saturday 14 October 1066, two great armies prepared to fight for the throne of England. Read what happened at the most famous battle in English history.
Was Battle Abbey built ‘on the very spot’ where King Harold fell, or was the Battle of Hastings actually fought elsewhere? Discover the latest thinking about the battlefield’s location.
Battle Abbey was a memorial to William’s great victory – but it was also an act of penance. Find out how this great abbey owes its origins to the Battle of Hastings.
Find out much more about the Battle of Hastings and the events of 1066, and discover where to find some of the most spectacular castles and abbeys the Normans built across England.
A group of portraits that hangs at Battle Abbey charts the many generations of the Webster family from the 17th century onwards.
This is a lesser known but fascinating chapter of the abbey’s history – a time that saw warring factions not out on the battlefield, but within one family.Read more on Google Arts & Culture
Read a description of the battlefield and the well-preserved remains of the medieval monastery, including the great gatehouse.
Download this detailed PDF plan of Battle Abbey to discover how its buildings have developed from the 11th century onwards.
Read a full history and detailed tour of Battle Abbey and the Battle of Hastings battlefield in this beautifully illustrated guidebook.
The well-preserved battlefield and the remains of William I’s great memorial abbey are vivid reminders of the events of 1066.
What better place to learn about the Battle of Hastings than the battlefield itself? Find out what Battle has to offer and download teaching resources.
Find out how archaeology and documentary research have enriched our understanding of the abbey and battlefield.
Use this list of visual and written sources, published and unpublished, to learn more about Battle Abbey and the Battle of Hastings.
Would William have won the Battle of Hastings if Harold hadn’t fought another battle less than three weeks earlier, many miles away? Find out more about the importance of the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
Was William’s victory at the Battle of Hastings a foregone conclusion? Was King Harold really killed by an arrow in his eye? Find quick answers to these and other questions about 1066.
Listen to our experts discuss the impact of the Norman Conquest on England, as well as events before, during and after the Battle of Hastings, in this three-part podcast.