Battle and District
                 Historical Society

Welcome to BDHS's website

New papers added to Collectanea

We were recently offered a paper by Australian Dr Beverley F Ronalds about her forebear Sir Francis Ronalds, the inventor of the electric telegraph who once lived at St Marys Villas off Battle Hill, this is complementary to a paper by George Kiloh and both will be found in Section O. Other papers include three more related to 'big' houses, and one about the history of the Almonry (all also in Section O), local Doctors until 1945 (Section D),  and local banks until 2018 (Section C - yes as we all know they are history now). There is more about the Brownes and Montagues of Battle Abbey and their Catholic recusancy after the reformation (Section F), an update to the 'Six artists' paper (Section L) and a new discussion paper about how the Norman Conquest has been viewed by the British over the centuries (Section X). A new Section S - for local family histories has been added with its first paper about the Ticehurst family - Could you add to this section, all offers are welcome? The Indices have also been updated. Enjoy..

New Printing of '1066 and the Battle of Hastings - Preludes, Events and Postscripts'

This BDHS book by Keith Foord and Neil Clephane-Cameron has been selling so well that we have had to arrange a third printing. The authors have taken the opportunity to make some changes to the first part of Chapter 16 which covers the Battlefield and Battle Abbey. More information and references have been added for this chapter, including to our own Hugh Willing's thoughtful lecture on the eve of the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, Tina Greene's 'Battle Tapestry' and other data that has come to the fore since the book was first written in 2015. This has lengthened the text by only two pages and otherwise the book is unchanged from the second printing. 

Copies of the book are available from Battle Museum of Local History, the English Heritage shop at Battle Abbey (where it is a 'best seller') and from the new 'Rother Books' shop on Battle High Street. It can be ordered online from Waterstones, or contact us directly. The price is unchanged at £14 but BDHS members can obtain copies at meetings at the discounted rate of £12.50.

Amazing find by BDHS

In the process of changing over BDHS archivists Gina Doherty and David Sawyer unexpectedly turned up an old small parchment that appeared to originate from Abbot Richard Tovey of Battle Abbey in 1493. The Research group contacted 'The Keep' about the document and Christopher Whittick of ESRO confirmed its authenticity This is a 'pass' entitling the carrier to travel freely in England and quoting the old charter rights of the abbey. Gina has produced an excellent summary of this find which can be accessed in Section A3.4 of Collectanea. In the picture below members of the Committee met in Battle Abbey museum with Natasha Williams of English Heritage and Christopher Whittick to hand the document over for safekeeping at ESRO. BDHS has also given a facsimile copy to Battle Abbey for future display.

L-R: Neil Clephane-Cameron, Keith Foord, George Kiloh, Gina Doherty, Natsha Williams, Christopher Whittick   (Photo: Peter Greene)

  • Battle and District Historical Society

    The Society is one of the lively and active societies of the town of Battle and welcomes members from all over the district and further afield. With a regular lecture programme that attracts expert speakers you can expect to hear talks on a wide range of historic subjects, be able to participate in our research and reading groups, have access to our unique archive and be offered an occasional visit to somewhere of historical importance. Above all you will be welcomed!

  • Collectanea - our Virtual Library

    Collectanea is our virtual library of papers concerning the history of Battle and District. Written mainly by local historians each paper is well researched. We cover the history of our area from pre-historic to near modern times with a comprehensive range of subjects.

    Click on the icon above or the link on the left menu to go to Collectanea

  • Books

    The Society is a publisher. Click on the books icon (left) to see details of the books that the society and members have published about Battle and District.

  • Battle Museum of Local History

    If you are visiting Battle do not forget to include a visit to the Battle Museum of Local History. An excellent small museum, with free entry, you will be able to see amongst many interesting objects 'The Battle Axe' possibly the only example of a weapon used at the Battle of Hastings. Also included in the 1066 exhibition is a complete print of the Bayeux Tapestry by Charles Stothard, recreations of scenes from the Tapestry and a replica of the Alderney Tapestry which was completed in 2013..

  • GeoTourist

    The BDHS Research Group have contributed a Battle History Tour to the GeoTourist App. Sponsored by Battle Town Council it is narrated by the actor, Anton Lesser. Click on the image to the left to get to the download. Or see section R of Collectanea.

  • Keywords

    Battle, Battle History, Battle-History, East Sussex, Hastings, Battle Abbey, Battle of Hastings, Battle Town, Battle East Sussex, 1066, William the Conqueror, King William, William I, Harold Godwinson, King Harold, Earl Godwin, Local History of Battle, Local History, Battle Sussex, Battle and District, BDHS, Senlac, Senlac Hill, Battle and District Historical Society, Battle History Society, Battle Historical Society, East Sussex History Society, History of Battle Sussex, History of Battle East Sussex, History of Battle England, Westfield, Catsfield, Ninfield, Netherfield,Ashburnham, Penhurst, Mountfield, Sedlescombe, Robertsbridge, Brede, Dallington, Brightling, Salehurst, Ewhurst, Bodiam

About Battle

Battle is a small town in East Sussex, England. It is twinned with St Valery-sur-Somme in France. Battle lies at the heart of 1066 Country – a leading destination of historical significance and within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The town was founded to support Battle Abbey, built on the site of the Battle of Hastings, where William, Duke of Normandy, defeated Harold Godwinson. William founded the famous abbey in 1070 to atone for the many deaths, not just at the time of his victory but over the next four years as he subjugated England.

There are: an annual Arts and Music Festival in October; an annual Marbles Match and Easter Bonnet Parade on Good Friday; a Medieval Fayre during the late May Bank Holiday; a Scarecrow Festival in July; Battle of Hastings re-enactments in October; Battel Bonfire Boyes celebrations in November; and Battle is lit up for Christmas.

The town is 55 miles (89km) south of London, Hastings which lies on the English Channel coast is 6 miles (9.5km) to the south, with Rye to the east and Pevensey to the west.

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