The small civil parish of Battle is located in the district of Rother in East Sussex. The town wasn't established until sometime in the 12th century. The area, however, is important to English history. In the mid eleventh century it was the site where the Battle of Hastings took place. This important battle is where the Duke of Normandy, William, defeated King Harold and became King William I. Thirty years later, in 1095; Battle Abbey was built as a way to commemorate the Battle of Hastings.
Probably the biggest tourist spot is the Battle Abbey. Pope Alexander II decided in 1076 that the Normans needed to do penance for killing the multitude during their English conquest. As penance for their slaughter, King William I decided to have an abbey built on the site that the Battle of Hastings was fought. While William the Conqueror did start the building of Battle Abbey he unfortunately did not see the completion of the building as he did before it was finished in 1094. The high alter is said to have been built on the very spot where former King Harold was killed. Today the original buildings of the Abbey lie in ruins. Visitors can wander the ruins and see the plaque that dedicates the spot where the high alter sat to the fallen King. The buildings that have remained intact are still being used today as schools and are not open to visitors. However, if you should visit Battle during the summer holiday there is a chance that you can tour the Abbey Hall as it is sometimes open to visitors during the school break.
Adjacent to the Abbey ruins is the famous battlefield. Many Englishmen and Normans lost their lives here and it was a great turning point in the Norman invasion as this is the area where the English King Harold was killed. With his death the Normans were able to conquer England and install their own leader in the monarchy. Visitors can see not just the plaque commemorating where the Abbey's high alter stood and where King Harold met his end but you can also see a monument to Harold which was erected by the people of Normandy in 1903.
If you are interested in the history surrounding the town of Battle then you should visit the Battle Museum of Local History. Here you can see not only artifacts from the Battle of Hastings, as they are said to have an axe head on display from the time period, but many other interesting exhibits. You can learn all you want about the town's history. Past exhibits have included exhibits on ancient pharmaceutical practices, long bows, the extinct Dodo and what mankind did to his ecosystem, and many other interesting artifacts. They often have new and interesting exhibits for the whole family to enjoy.
If that isn't enough history then go over to Yesterday's World. This unique museum has information on not only, what some would call, ancient history but even what might be considered more current history. These displays date from the early 1700s all the way up to the 1970s. You might find some interesting memorabilia that you've heard your parents or grandparents talking about.
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