Hi from Gillian and Michael
Today we joined English Heritage for £78 for a joint membership and we get two months extra for using direct debit. Battle Abbey is our first English Heritage site something we have been looking forward to a very long time.
Battle Abbey is a partially ruined Benedictine Abbey and was built by William the Conqueror with the High altar on the supposed spot where King Harold was killed in the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. A plaque to mark this was placed later in this year on 14 October 2016.
During the dissolution, the displaced monks of Battle Abbey were given pensions and the abbey and much of its land was given by Henry VIII to his master of the horse Sir Anthony Browne who demolished the church and parts of the cloister and turned the abbots quarters into a country home.
Battle Abbey is a grade 1 listed building and includes buildings and ruins, a visitor centre with a film and exhibition about the battle, audio tours of the battle site and monk’s gatehouse with recovered artefacts. The visitor centre includes a children’s discovery centre and a cafe and there is an outdoor themed playground.
We spent the day walking around the ruins and the walled garden using the audio guide but we did not walk around the battlefields as they were closed off for maintenance for the upcoming festivities in October.
We walked across the road to St Mary the Virgin church and found our second church micro. I had also worked out a puzzle called 1066 The Battle of Hastings but did not have the coordinates with me so it will have to wait for another day. I sure we will return many times.
The main street of Battle is a narrow street with parking one side which then makes two-way traffic very difficult. It always seemed congested with the amount of traffic and then people trying to back into parking spaces. There are three car parks, one at the top of the town in Market St car park, Mount St car park both of which had to be paid for by the hour and one for English Heritage members next to the Abbey. Parking is free of charge for English Heritage members displaying their Member’s car sticker. Parking charges apply to non-members which was an all-day fee of £4.00. Battle is quite a touristy village for obvious reasons, especially on such a lovely day.