Landscape Features that could have effected
the Battle of Hastings 1066

Anglo Saxon
History
Map Position

This map shows the position of locations containing '1066' centered on Frant in Sussex.

Map Logic

This map shows Roman roads shown in black plotted from Ivan D Margary 'Roman Roads in Britain' published in 1955.

The red roads are taken from Ivan D Margary 'Roman ways in the Weald' published in 1948.

Also shown is the border of the Forest of Anderida in green. The changes in the coastline shown in pale blue, and the 5 metre high tide mark on the rivers shown in dark blue.

The dark shaded areas along the coast show the cliff line in 1066, which would make landing at these points impossible. so the only logical place for the Normans to land 700 ships would be from the Hooe peninsular to the Coombe valley at Bulverhythe. Any ships overrunning would have to pass the cliffs at Hastings to land.


 
Icon Key:
Town
 

The black lines show the routes of old Roman main roads, the red lines show ancient ridgeways mostly running east to west, both of these major route types were likely to still be in use in 1066, as they would be the only way a large force of men could move by foot through the Forest of Andredsweald to Hastings.

The Green shaded area represents the Forest of Andredsweald which has been plotted using the location of Domesday villages, this also corroborates with the plot of the villages containing Hurst the majority of which appeared after the Battle of Hastings. (So I think this is a reasonable plot of Andredsweald).

The Area out to sea to the East of Hastings has been calculated to the current erosion rates of about 0.8 metre per year for the sandstone cliffs at Fairlight. The area to the West of Eastbourne has also been caculated at an erosion rate of about 0.9 metre per year for the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head.

Map of Sussex by John Speed 1610Map of Sussex by Robert Morden 1695
John Speed's Sussex AD1610Robert Morden's Sussex AD1695
Please click on the maps to be taken to Sussex Record Society large size and complete maps.

The area off the coast of Bexhill is conjecture based on the 'John Speed map of Sussex from 1610 and Robert Morden map of Sussex from 1695' both of which which shows an island off the coast of Hastings which together with the overall direction of ridges in the area running west to east, implies that the Combe Valley originally reached the sea at Hastings port. When the great storm of 1287AD hit it eroded the cliff at Hastings where t is recorded some of the Castle collapsed into the sea, this rockfall could have blocked the entrance to the Coombe Valley with the river then breaking through directly to the sea at present day Bulverhythe. This in turn would have created an island off the coast of Hastings which is shown in the maps.




External References in no particular order :-
Original Manuscripts of the Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Online Anglo Saxon dictionary
Online Etymology dictionary
Open Domesday Book - The first free online copy of the Domesday Book
The Ermine Street Guard Roman re-enactment and research Society
The "Kent A" cadastre - page 5 - Peterson 2002
Archaeologia Cantiana Online
Romney Marsh Research Trust
Romney Marsh the Fifth Continent
VillageNet the reference guide to villages in Kent & Sussex
Global warming Flood Maps
The Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Google Maps - the core of the system
GeoPlaner - Useful site for plotting map data
Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars 55BC(Books 4 & 5)
Wikipedia - Caesar's invasions of Britain
Wikipedia - Portus Istus
The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy (Bill Thayers)
Roman Britain.org
Runetree Beowulf
Bayeux Tapestry Online
The Secrets of the Norman Invasion
Chronicles of John of Worcester
Battle Historic Society
Binsted village website(Mearcredesburnan Steðe)

 

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Author: Simon M       Document Created: 2015-06-20
Data is derived from a number or sources including the Ordnance Survey Gazetter data overlayed onto Google Maps