William, 7th Duke of Normandy (1027 – 1087), set his stamp on the history of the Duchy of Normandy and of the Kingdom of England, their destinies becoming closely entwined for more than a century. The symbolic date 1066 marks the subjection of England by William the Conqueror and his Barons. By winning the Battle of Hastings, William became King of England. He and his successors put down firm roots into English soil, reinforcing cultural , economic and political links between the Normans and the Anglo-Saxons.

Battle is a small town in East Sussex, close to St. Leonards-on-Sea, Hastings and Bexhill. It is also the site of the Battle of Hastings, where William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II to become William I in 1066. Battle Abbey (above) was founded to commemorate the battle, and dedicated in 1095.

Opposite the abbey you will find this nice inn. If you like a more personal approach you could also cross the High Street and visit Coffee Shop “The Lounge”, where they serve an excellent freshly home made bacon sandwich. Great food, great service!

The town of Battle was gradually built around the abbey, and later developed a reputation for the quality of the gunpowder produced in Powdermill Lane. In 1722 Daniel Defoe described the town as being “remarkable for little now, but for making the finest gun-powder, and the best perhaps in Europe”.

Although Battle today is known as a tourist destination, in the mid 18th century the town supported five watchmakers in the High Street. In Anthony Burgess’ famous novel “Earthly Powers”, Battle is the hometown of its main character, Kenneth Toomey, where Toomey’s father has a dental surgery.

Battle is where British rock band Keane originated.  Tom Chaplin, Richard Hughes, and Tim Oxley-Rice are childhood friends from the town of Battle, and the band was formed in 1997, while they were still in college. Tim Oxley-Rice said, “We have known each other since we were very young. I have known Tom since he was born. He is a few years younger than the rest of us, me and Richard. Tom was born at the same time and the same hospital as my brother. Battle is a small town. You meet people like that and it’s nice. Not much happens there. It’s one of those sleepy towns were you grow up.”

About Jack Vanderwyk

Hey! What am I like! :-)
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